Meet Dr. Andrew Ayre, VESCONE's newest Emergency and Critical Care Staff Doctor. Dr. Ayre hails from the New York tri-state area and is a new transplant to Boston! Learn more about our newest doctor below and he welcomes any suggestions of dog friendly places in Boston to visit!
What interested you in becoming a veterinarian?
I have always been fascinated with animals, how they interact with each other as well as with people. I became interested in their biology during high school and proactively sought to be a doctor of veterinary medicine since then as I felt this was the best way I could help. I love what I do and can’t imagine a better way to spend my time then helping people through the treatments of their beloved pets… and getting to play with a few along the way too! J
Why were you drawn to Emergency and Critical Care?
During my internship I found that the variety of cases and intensity of medicine was a right fit for me with emergency medicine. I found that I enjoyed identifying with pet owners in crisis and guiding them through the necessary steps to give their animals the treatments they needed.
You mentioned you worked in an exotic species show for kids, what are you favorite varieties of exotic species?
This is a hard question because the reason that I enjoy exotics is for the variety of species that this area of veterinary medicine has to offer. However if I were to choose a type of species I would say furry pocket pets – rabbits, rodents etc. I did have the wonderful experience of owning a rat with recurring oral abscesses since the pet store could not sell her. That experience gave me a fondness for rats and showed me the unique personality that rats can have and the type of relationship that an owner can have with them.
Are you excited about living near Boston? What things are you interested in seeing?
I am very excited, everybody I spoke to before coming only had good things to say and that “You are going to love it.” So it has to live up to some pretty high expectations! I am interesting in exploring “tourist Boston” to see all of the sights but I also really enjoy outdoor activities with my adolescent Shepard mix, Nala. I would love to find some good hiking and dog-friendly beaches/boardwalks, etc. Any suggestions?
Share with us your philosophy about being a vet? What motivates you to help animals?
I believe in the noble profession of veterinary medicine and the important role that is plays in our society – from companion animals to protecting the food supply to aiding endangered species. My role in companion animals is to protect the human-animal bond and help to promote health so that this bond can be as long and create as much happiness as possible. Dealing with disease and death, as we must being veterinarians, is the biggest challenge to overcome and I think guiding pet owners through these times of grief and suffering are just as important as the health of their pets. I want to go beyond the expectations of my clients as a healer of animals to be a leader in the community who listens to owners to provide a higher level of understanding and care.
With the weather getting warmer, we're leaving the house with our dogs more. You may have seen dogs running in severe heat or dogs sitting in cars lately. We've asked Dr. Amy Goldstein, from the Emergency and Critical Care Department to tell us more about heatstroke in dogs and how to prevent it. Is your dog more at risk because of his breed?
Photo Credit: http://heat-exhaustion-symptoms.blogspot.com/2011/07/heat-stroke-can-cause-death-to-your-dog.html
Heat stroke starts when the body temperature goes above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal temperature for a dog is 100.5 to 102.5. When the body temperature goes above 109 degrees animals can develop organ failure and death.
Causes of heat stroke
The temperature in a parked car can go up to 160 degrees in the summer even with open windows. Exercise on very hot days can also lead to heat stroke. The main way that dogs dissipate heat is through panting. This is easily overwhelmed on hot days.
At risk breeds
Any dog can develop heat stroke when they are outside in extreme heat or they are shut in a car. Puppies, overweight dogs, dogs with other illnesses, dogs with heart disease, dogs with a thick hair coat and older pets are at a higher risk. Dogs such as pugs that have a short muzzle are much more likely to develop heat stroke.
The first sign of heat stroke is excessive panting. Their gums may become bright red. As their temperature continues to increase they will become weak and they can collapse. Some dogs will develop vomiting. When the temperature gets high enough you may notice red dots on their skin or gums. These are small areas of hemorrhage.
What to do
If you are concerned about heat stroke you should immediately bring your pet to a veterinarian. On the way you can cool your pet with wet towels or room temperature water.
What to expect at the vet
Once your pet’s temperature is taken and heat stroke is confirmed they will be cooled with a bath and intravenous fluids. Blood work will be performed to check your pet’s organ function. Most dogs with heat stroke will need to be hospitalized and they may need very intensive care depending on the extent of the organ damage.
If you or someone you know believes that their animal is in need of immediate medical attention, please call VESCONE at 781.684.8387. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.