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Pet Evacuation Kit

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation stresses the importance of being prepared for a disaster with a pet evacuation kit. They recommend assembling the kit well in advance of any emergency and storing it in an easy-to-carry, waterproof container located close to an exit.

Be sure that you rotate and replace the food and medications to ensure they don’t expire. Here is what they recommend that you include in your pet evacuation kit:

Food and Medicine
• Three to seven days’ worth of dry and canned (pop-top) food*
• Two-week supply of medicine*
• At least seven days’ supply of water
• Feeding dish and water bowl
• Liquid dish soap
*These items must be rotated and replaced to ensure they don’t expire.

First Aid Kit
• Antidiarrheal liquid or tablets
• Antibiotic ointment
• Bandage tape and scissors
• Cotton bandage rolls
• Flea and tick prevention (if needed in your area)
• Isopropyl alcohol/alcohol prep pads
• Latex gloves
• Saline solution
• Towel and washcloth
• Tweezers

Sanitation
• Litter, litter pan, and scoop (shirt box with plastic bag works well for pan)
• Newspaper, paper towels, and trash bags
• Household chlorine beach or disinfectant

Important Documents
• Identification papers including proof of ownership
• Medical records and medication instructions
• Emergency contact list, including veterinarian and pharmacy
• Photo of your pet (preferably with you)

Travel Supplies
• Crate or pet carrier labeled with your contact information
• Extra collar/harness with ID tags and leash
• Flashlight, extra batteries
• Muzzle

Comfort Items
• Favorite toys and treats
• Extra blanket or familiar bedding

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Our LVTs are Exceptional!

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s dedicated Licensed Veterinary Technicians are passionate about the quality of care and level of compassion that they provide to our patients. They take their oath, shown here, very seriously.

We thank them for all they do for our patients every day!

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Happy National Veterinary Technician Week to the Very Best LVTs—Ours!

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVTs) are truly the very best in their field and we are extremely proud to have them on our team. They are critical to our practice. Our LVTs are knowledgeable, highly trained, caring, compassionate, and dedicated to their profession and to all of the dogs and cats to whom they provide care.

Please join us in giving our LVTs a well-deserved round of applause!

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Dr. Jay Coisman Joins Our Surgery Team

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is pleased to announce that James “Jay” G. Coisman, DVM, MS,  DACVS-SA has joined our exceptional Surgery Team.  

Dr. Coisman grew up on a small farm in rural upstate New York.  After high school he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served four years on active duty and several years in the Marine reserves.  In 1999 he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Molecular and Microbiology.  During his first year as a veterinary student he was awarded an Army Health Professions Scholarship and commissioned into the Army Veterinary Corps.  

 

In 2004 Dr. Coisman earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida and return to active duty military service as a clinical intern at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Veterinary Services in San Antonio, Texas.  He served as Officer in Charge of the Moody Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility and Chief of the Fort Shafter Branch Veterinary Services.  

 

Dr. Coisman returned to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine and completed a residency in small animal surgery and a Master’s degree in Clinical Sciences in 2013.  He attained board certification in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2015.  Subsequently he has served as the Deputy Commander of the 218th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services Support (MDVSS) at Fort Lewis, Washington; in Afghanistan in support of the 72nd MDVSS as the theater clinical specialist; as a clinical instructor and referral surgeon at the Fort Belvoir Veterinary Center; and Chief of Animal Medicine, Veterinary Services Branch, Defense Health Agency.  

 

His particular interests are in minimally invasive, trauma, and oncologic surgery, wound management, and sports medicine.

 

Dr. Coisman lives in Stafford with Natalie, his wife, and their four children Olivia, Kira, Adyson, and Sawyer, Belgian Malinois Betty, German Shephard Tonka, and Shar Pei Mater.  In addition, they have a large menagerie of chickens, rabbits, and goats.  He enjoys spending his free time with his family, running, and serving at church and 4H.

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Dr. Keaton Massie Joins Our Emergency Team

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is pleased to announce that Keaton Massie, DVM has joined our highly qualified Emergency Team.

Dr. Massie grew up in Oregon and Washington with a childhood dream of working as a veterinarian.  After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at Washington State University, he moved to Florida to work in the zoo industry on his eventual path to becoming a veterinarian.  During the first decade following college Dr. Massie worked as a mechanic, alligator wrestler, and zookeeper focusing on reptiles.  He worked with everything from the tiniest Poison Dart Frogs to large King Cobras and Crocodiles.  Dr. Massie joined the Army in 2011 and spent three years on active duty living in Italy as an animal care specialist/veterinary technician.

Following his active duty commitment, Dr. Massie earned his veterinary degree from Ross University in St. Kitts in 2018.  During veterinary school, Dr. Massie completed research studying the effects of Alfaxalone in Alligators.  In addition he assisted with research on Leptospirosis in Nevishian Donkeys.

In his free time Dr. Massie enjoys diving, sport/competition shooting, hunting, fishing, and working on cars and motorcycles.

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Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Follow these recommendations to ensure your pets’ safety this Halloween.

• Don’t leave treats out. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate and sugar substitutes are particularly dangerous.

• Carved pumpkins are festive but can injure your pet if lighted and knocked over. Ensure your pets do not have access to lighted pumpkins.

• Costumes on pets can cause unnecessary stress. It is best not to put a costume on your cat or dog unless they truly love it. It can limit their ability to move, see, or breathe normally. Easily chewed off parts are a choking hazard.

• Keep your pets calm and easy to identify. Many strangers coming to the door can be frightening and very stressful for your pets. It is advisable to keep them in a separate room away from the front door for trick-or-treating. When opening the door—be sure your dog or cat doesn’t slip outside. Make sure they are always wearing proper identification which can be a lifesaver for your pet.

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Safe Use of Flea & Tick Prevention Products

Fleas and ticks are not just an annoyance—they present health risks to people and animals. They suck your pet’s blood, your blood, and transmit disease. It is very important to protect your pets from these parasites and keep the parasites out of your home.

There are many effective flea and tick prevention products on the market. Some are topical products that you administer directly on your pet’s skin. Others are oral medications. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian about your options and which choice best meets your pet’s specific needs. Here are some important questions to ask your veterinarian:

• What parasites will this product protect my pet against?

• How often should I apply or administer this product?

• How long will it take for this product to be effective?

• What should I do if my pet has a reaction to this product?

• Do I need to use more than one product? If so, how do I apply or administer multiple products.

It is important that you and your veterinarian develop a customized plan that is best for your dog or cat considering their age, breed, lifestyle, health, and any other medications they are receiving. Caution is essential when considering flea and tick treatments for very young, very old, or unhealthy pets. Your veterinarian will help you choose wisely.

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Dr. Jessica Diebold Joins Our Emergency Team

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is pleased to announce that Jessica Diebold, DVM has joined our exceptionally well-qualified Emergency Team.

Jessica Diebold grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2001 with a major in English Literature and numerous minors including Chemistry, Biology, and History. After realizing that full-time students can’t support themselves, and with a lifetime love of animal science and zoology, she went on to veterinary school and graduated from St George’s University after completing her clinical year at the University of Florida in 2005.

Prior to joining the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s Emergency Team in July 2018, Dr. Diebold worked as an Emergency Veterinarian for 13 years throughout Northern Virginia. Her professional interests include emergency surgery, emergency medicine, and animal welfare.

Jessica and her husband Nick have two children—five-year old Grayson and nine-year old Lyra.  She enjoys spending her limited free time with her family, caring for her hobby farm and rabbitry, and traveling. She currently has six dogs, one hairless cat, goats, chickens, ducks, ball pythons, saltwater fish, and innumerable rabbits.

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Dr. Eric Martinez Joins Our Emergency Team

We are delighted to announce that Eric Martinez, DVM has joined our highly qualified Emergency Team.  Dr. Martinez was born and raised in Puerto Rico.  He attended the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez campus for his veterinary prerequisites and participated in multiple research projects. Dr. Martin
ez was accepted to Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where he participated in research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and presented at the North Carolina State University Summer Scholars.

After earning his DVM degree, he successfully completed a small animal medicine/surgery rotation and small animal surgical internship in South Florida. Dr. Martinez relocated to the Northern Virginia area for continued training and liked the area so much that he has decided to settle here.  His interests include emergency surgery and medicine.

Dr. Martinez enjoys spending his free time with his wife, two beautiful daughters, two dogs and a cat.  Diving, sailing , and other outdoor activities are among his favorite pastimes.