Dr. Anne Stoneham is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She followed her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian after reading the works of James Herriot and received her DVM degree from Cornell University. Following in the steps of Dr. Herriot, she worked on all species, great and small, until she realized that she “lit up like a firefly” (her receptionist’s words) when emergencies came through the clinic door. She then completed an internship at the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon and proceeded to finish a residency in small animal emergency and critical care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Before moving to Pittsburgh to join the UVS team, Dr. Stoneham spent more than 10 years working as a specialist in Maryland; serving as emergency department director, working directly with patients and teaching the intricacies of her field to interns, residents, and technicians. Her interests include treating acute kidney injury, the hemodynamic changes of sepsis and trauma.
Dr. Kaplan-Zattler is a New England native originally from Maine. To escape the cold, she travelled to the University of Florida to earn her DVM. She then completed a small animal internship in Florida, before moving back to New England to pursue a 3-year Emergency and Critical Care residency program at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA. After the completion of her residency she earned her diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She then achieved certification through Colorado State University in western veterinary medical acupuncture, which she uses in conjunction with standard medical practices for pain control and overall patient well-being. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with all clinical veterinary positions and has presented at veterinary conferences to both technicians and veterinarians, and has taught at the local veterinary school branch. Her specialty interests include anesthesia, pain medicine, wound management, and toxicology.
In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, as well as dabbling in free-lance art and medical illustrations. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and her three feline fur babies.
Common Veterinary Emergencies
The scope of veterinary emergencies varies greatly. Our 24 hour emergency vets see everything from pets that are uncomfortable from itching to pets that are critically ill. Common emergencies that we see include the following:
Allergic reactions are a common problem in our pets. You may see your pet develop hives, act restless, or see vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction please call or bring them in for evaluation. Most of the time treatment for allergic reactions can be started right away and give your pet rapid relief.
Your pet’s eyes can go from completely normal to very abnormal in a very short period of time. If you notice that the appearance of your pet’s eye or eyes change or you notice your pet squinting or pawing at their eyes, then they should be evaluated. Common causes of eye pain can include corneal abrasions, ulcers, or glaucoma. Changes to the appearance of the eye can be cause by a variety of things including glaucoma, infection, inflammation, cataracts, bleeding disorders, and much more. If you have a concern about your pet’s eye, please call so that one of our staff can guide you.
We all do our best to keep our pets safe, but sometimes accidents happen. If your pet incurs any type of trauma, it is always best to have them evaluated immediately. Examples of trauma cases we frequently see include pets that are attacked by another pet or by wildlife, pets that are hit by cars, other causes of lacerations, and pets that are accidentally dropped or tripped over.
Any time your pet appears to have breathing problems, or respiratory distress, they should be evaluated by a veterinarian immediately. This is always an emergency and can vary in severity. It is particularly urgent if you notice their gums or tongue appear blue or purple or if you have a cat that is keeping their mouth open while breathing. Loud noises while breathing can also be an indication that your pet needs help. If you have any question about if you pet needs help, please call or bring your pet in so that we can help.
As with people, pets can have problems with their heart and this is unfortunately a common cause of emergency room visits. Typical symptoms of heart failure can include coughing, inability to exercise normally, shortness of breath, or abnormal open mouth breathing (particularly in cats) but there are many other things that can cause these symptoms as well. If you suspect your pet may have heart disease or failure, they should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Most pets vomit at some point in their life. The causes for vomiting range from very benign stomach upset to life threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis or intestinal obstructions. This is one of the most common presenting complaints in any veterinary hospital. If your pet is vomiting, call our hospital for guidance. If your pet is trying to vomit and not producing anything or producing only small amounts of foam, please call us immediately or have your pet seen immediately as this can be an indication of a life threatening disease process called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) which is commonly referred to as bloat.
Most pets, like people, will have an episode of diarrhea from time to time. When diarrhea becomes more frequent it can become concerning and lead to dehydration. It can also be a symptom of a more concerning disease process. When blood is present in the diarrhea it can indicate a number of things but is often a sign that a pet should be seen immediately.
Seizures are typically one of the most frightening emergencies you can have with your pet. If your pet has a seizure, try to get them to a safe location where they will not hit their head while they are seizuring. Do not put your hand in or near their mouth as your pet doesn’t have control of their muscles and could involuntarily bite you. There are many possible causes of seizures and they vary greatly in severity. This is a common emergency and certainly warrants emergency care. If your pet is having a seizure, please have them evaluated immediately. If you call while you are on your way, we can have one of our trained staff waiting to help you at our door when you arrive.
Just like with children, ear infections seem to never become a problem during normal business hours. Common signs of ear infections can include your pet shaking their head frequently, pawing at their head, or sometime even vocalizing. Ear infections may seem like a small thing, but we frequently see pets traumatize their ears or eyes trying to paw at their painful ears. The sooner a diagnosis is made and therapy is started, the sooner your pet can get relief from this painful condition.
Pets sometimes get into things we didn’t intend for them to get into. Common household items can be very toxic to our pets. These items include grapes, raisins, chocolate, antifreeze, human medications, rat bait, and more. If you suspect your pet has gotten into a toxin, give us a call and we can help you to determine if your pet should be seen. With toxin ingestions, if your pet is treated sooner rather than later we are more likely to get a good outcome and less likely to need extensive treatment. Another helpful resource is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control. Their phone number is (888) 426-4435 and there is a fee associated with this call so we recommend that you call us first.