Saying Goodbye

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There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the rainbow bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the rainbow bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.


When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. They frolic and romp all day with one another.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing. They each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.


They run and play together, until the day comes when one of them suddenly stops playing and looks off into the distance. The nose twitches. The ears are up. The bright eyes are intent. The eager body quivers. Suddenly this one runs from the group, faster and faster, leaping and flying over the tall green grass.


You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace, clinging together in joyous reunion. Happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your cherished pet, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

And with your pet beside you once again, you cross the rainbow bridge together.


~Author Unknown

We have earned AAHA reaccreditation!

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Caring Hands Animal Hospital of Lake City, Florida has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading healthcare teams by AAHA, the American Animal Hospital Association. Our anniversary and evaluation were May 2nd. We passed with flying colors due to our staff’s dedication to excellence!

Only 12-15% of animal hospitals are AAHA accredited. In the US, all human hospitals that serve people with Medicare must be accredited. They undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet standards of quality for every aspect of medical care. However, not all animal hospitals choose to pursue the AAHA accreditation process since it is not required by law. When it comes to pet healthcare, accreditation is voluntary. Accreditation is rigorous and time-consuming, and not every veterinary hospital wants to go through the lengthy process.

What exactly does being AAHA accredited mean? We voluntarily submit to a rigorous review of our processes and continuing education to guarantee:

  1. Each patient gets a thorough “whole pet” examination and treatment plan every time.

  2. That, during anesthetic procedures, your pet is physically monitored by a well-trained, dedicated veterinary nurse and monitored with modern equipment.

  3. That we are well equipped and trained to handle emergencies.

  4. That we follow rigorous infection control policies for your health, your pet’s health, our staff’s health, and the wellbeing of the community in general.

  5. That your pet’s comfort is priority during restraint for procedures and treated with compassion through staff training.

This is just a short list of some of our and AAHA’s priorities. We are evaluated on approximately 900 different standards that cover oral health care, nutritional assessment, quality imaging (radiographs and ultrasound) services, premium surgical services, preventative health care and vaccines, fluid therapy, infection and biosecurity control, diabetes management, pain management, life stage considerations, weight management, end of life care, and oncology. Finally, those standards also make sure we are top-notch in something we hold sacred: client service.

Please congratulate our staff for this prestigious accomplishment (again)! You and your pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our number one priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care and client service. Because you and your pets deserve nothing less.

-Bethany A. Cody, DVM

Holiday Scraps: To Share or Not to Share

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Sharing is not caring when it comes to your holiday table scraps!

I sit down to my evening meal and, it never fails, I have 3 cute little chihuahuas giving me their “I’m so innocent and pretty” faces while sitting perfectly (that they’ll never do on command).



As the meal progresses, I get the dilated pupils, the slicked back ears, and the chihuahua tremble with faces that say “I’ll never survive without that bite of meat!”


Finally, since playing nice got them nowhere, I get the bark or whine that says “I command you, lowly human, to feed us, your masters!”


They are so hard to deny but we know that love is NOT best given in the form of food.

All kidding aside, here at CHAH, we treat several cases of gastritis and pancreatitis around the holidays. It is in our nature, as loving pet owners, to want to share the celebration of food with them. Sudden changes in diet or feeding scraps can wreak havoc with the gastrointestinal tract. It can be as minor as transient loose stool to a raging pancreatitis with bloody diarrhea, bloody vomiting, and dehydration.

Pancreatitis causes inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation causes leakage of digestive enzymes that can lead to organ damage, diabetes, and, in the most severe cases, death. Treatment is geared toward controlling nausea and vomiting, correcting dehydration with intravenous fluids and preventing further dehydration, and feeding a low-fat, easily digestible prescription food. If pancreatitis is diagnosed, your pet will require at least one night of hospitalization. Of course, other diseases can present with similar symptoms, so a full diagnostic work-up is indicated.

Please advise visiting family members or someone who is pet-sitting while you are away for the holidays, not to feed the cute dog or cat begging for table scraps. Keep all trash in a pet-proof secure receptacle. Tell guests to put their plates with leftovers away immediately.

If you or your visitors cannot resist giving a little morsel, let it be a piece of the dog’s regular kibble or a plain green bean. Give the cat a very small teaspoonful of tuna. We really like Purina Proplan Gastroenteric diet that is easy on the GI tract. I have advised clients to bake small biscuits of the canned food in the oven to make a healthy treat.

Please call us if you need us this holiday season!

-Bethany A. Cody, DVM

But Doc, he is eating fine…

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Animals are amazing. They seem to live by the popular cliche “keep calm and carry on”. So many of them go through life with issues that would have us, humans, complaining to anyone who will listen to us. Why is that? Humans are altruistic (help each other),  work in groups and use language to ask for help. We don’t expect our fellow humans to eat us. 


Pets evolved in a different world. Cats may be hunters, but other animals also hunt them…and eat them. The weakest dog in the pack isn’t allowed the prime food sources or resting places and may be attacked by others in the pack. Our pets are not programmed to show signs of pain unless they just can’t cope anymore. Showing signs of weakness is a sure ticket to a shortened lifespan. 


Dental disease and arthritis are the most common things I see that tend to be missed by owners. Both of these conditions are subtle and painful in both dogs and cats. Addressing them properly can completely change the life of a pet. It is not uncommon for me to hear reports of “he is playing like a puppy again” or “she isn’t hiding under the bed anymore”. This is usually followed by “gee, I had no idea how bad he must have felt”.


So when your veterinarian sees signs of pain in your pet, they know it’s real.

Dogs don’t limp for attention, cats don’t leave their food because they are finicky and “getting old” is not a disease. There really is something wrong. Many times they will just change their behavior slightly such as sleeping more or eating less and you won’t realize that there is anything bothering them until the problem is resolved. 


Listen to your veterinarian, (s)he is often the only advocate for our “silent sufferers”. 

Caring Hands Animal Hospital New Blog

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Welcome to our new blog! We are hoping this will be a spot for you to gain valuable information about your pet, current pet news, and many more exciting things happening at Caring Hands. Check back often for updates as we will also be starting a new video blog soon.  Happy blogging!!