At Bayshore Animal Clinic, we know pets are like family.
Our goal is to exceed your expectations by providing the highest quality veterinary care with genuine compassion in a safe and comfortable environment. The special bonds we have with our own pets are our motivation for continuous improvement and providing an exceptional educational experience for you at every visit. From annual wellness care to medical or surgical care, we are here to serve you.
We are proud to be able to provide acupuncture for your pets. For over 3000 years acupuncture has been used to treat a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) considers acupuncture an important component of veterinary medicine and surgery. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of medical conditions from pain management to renal disease.
Our team has experience with many undesirable pet behaviors. We will work closely with you to get a detailed history and to discern between medical and behavioral causes of inappropriate behavior. Together, we will develop the best plan for reducing or eliminating the problem. When appropriate, we will consult with or refer you to specialists or board certified animal behaviorists to aid in eliminating the unacceptable behavior.
We believe that preventative care is the best approach for the long-term oral health of your pet. Our animal hospital provides extensive dental services including digital dental radiographs, prophylactic and periodontal treatments, extractions and oral surgery.
Dental care is a very important part of your pet’s overall health. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious disease of the heart, kidneys, and liver. Studies have shown that 8 out of 10 dogs and 7 out of 10 cats show signs of gum disease by the age of three. The good news is that most dental diseases can be prevented and controlled. Dogs and cats over the age of one should have routine dental check-ups. Good preventive oral care is an important part of protecting your pet’s overall health.
Home Dental Care
Home dental care for companion animals should start early even before the adult teeth erupt. It is best if owners brush their dogs and cats teeth twice daily. Dental sealants can easily be placed while your pet is being spayed or neutered. Other oral home care options such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats should be considered.
In addition, proper dental care at home is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your pet. Although tooth brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up, there are many options for dental home care. In general, chew items should bend slightly with force or dimple a bit when a fingernail is applied. For a list of Veterinary Oral Health Council accepted home care products considered to be safe and effective as plaque and/or tartar retardants go to www.VOHC.org.
Pet Formulated Toothpaste and Brushing
Teeth should be brushed twice daily to help prevent the occurrence or progression of periodontal disease, provide a positive bonding experience, and to assess changes in the oral cavity (lumps/bumps, color changes, fractured teeth). For tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth, please click on tooth brushing.
Dental wipes can be just as effective in controlling plaque as tooth brushing. Available wipes contain either sodium hexametaphosphate (which controls tartar) or chlorhexidine (which controls plaque). Wipes should be applied to the outside surface of the upper and lower teeth twice daily. For tips on how to use wipes, please click on tooth brushing.
Applying q-tips to wipe away accumulated plaque from the area where the gums meet the tooth can lead to effective plaque control especially in cats. For tips on how to effectively use q-tips in dogs, and in cats please click on q-tip use in cats, and q-tip use in dogs.
Dental Formulated Foods
Dental formulated foods work in several different ways to mechanically and/or chemically slow down the progress of periodontal disease. Veterinary dental diets are completely balanced and can be used as the complete diet or may be added in with the existing food.
OraVet® Plaque Barrier Gel
OraVet® is a waxy gel applied to the teeth during a dental cleaning then applied weekly at home thereafter. Oral plaque is attracted to the gel instead of under the gum line to decrease plaque’s harmful effects.
Specially formulated chews for dogs and cats to help mechanically, and sometimes chemically, clean the teeth and remove plaque.
Toys that encourage chewing can help prevent calculus deposition. Kong and Kong-like toys are great at mechanically cleaning the teeth. Rope toys (be careful they are not shredded) are also beneficial. In general, toys should be able to be bent or indented and should not hurt when lightly tapped against your knee (the kneecap test).
Items to Avoid
To help prevent tooth fracture, the chewing of safe items should be encouraged and the following items should be avoided:
- Real Bones
- Nylon Bones
- Cow Hooves
- Ice Cubes
- Cages (if your pet chews on them)
- Other hard treats or toys
Step-by-step guide to your pet’s dental procedure
Emergency Care Service
Drs. Drewes and Panzarella practiced emergency and critical care for over 12 years at referral and specialty hospitals. We are available for emergencies during business hours. If available, we will meet you and your pet at Bayshore Animal Clinic in the event of an emergency. We provide hospitalization and overnight care for our patients if needed.
Gold Feline Friendly Practice
Our practice puts cats first!
At Bayshore Animal Clinic, the cat is king! With cats being the most beloved pet in the country, there is a growing need to improve the health care and overall well-being of the feline population. Whether it’s a routine checkup or special visit, the staff at BAC is committed to ensuring that cats get the best veterinary care. And, to further its dedication, our clinic recently implemented the Cat-Friendly Practice (CFP)program to offer pet owners more at every phase of the cat’s health care process. “We are committed to providing quality care to our feline patients,” says Dr. Meegan Panzarella, owner of BAC. “When building Bayshore Animal Clinic, we created a space and a practice philosophy that will make the veterinary visit more positive for cats and cat owners!”
BAC is one of a select few practices in the Tampa area that achieved Gold Certification from the AAFP!
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) pioneered the CFP program to provide a framework for creating a positive practice environment for cats, including medical care that supports the cat’s unique needs and knowledgeable staff members who understand feline-friendly handling. At BAC, our specially trained veterinary staff incorporates cat-friendly features into the physical environment of the practice including special waiting rooms and waiting accommodations, feline-sensitive examination rooms and ward facilities, and equipment appropriate specifically for cats. Our staff members also approach cat care in a different manner. The staff learns how to understand the needs of the cat such as how to interpret a cat’s facial expression and body language. Furthermore, the staff is well-trained in alternate techniques to calm an anxious cat and ensure that exams and procedures do not escalate anxiety. Dr. DiGiacomo emphasizes: “We can proudly say that from the minute they walk through the door, our patients and clients will be part of a welcoming, comfortable experience that will ultimately lead to the improved health of our feline patients.”
Cat-Friendly Practices® Can Reduce Stress of Vet Visits
What is a Laser and how does it work?
Laser surgery uses a beam of light energy at a specific wavelength.
What are the benefits of laser surgery for my pet?
There are benefits to laser surgery over traditional surgery including decreased pain, reduced bleeding and blood loss and reduced risk of infection.
Almost any soft-tissue surgery may be performed with the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser is also used for skin mass removal, gingival procedures and laser declaw procedures. Your veterinarian will discuss whether a CO2 laser is appropriate for use during your pet’s surgery.
Managing your pet’s pain is one of our highest priorities. It has been shown that pain impairs healing and more importantly, is inhumane. We place utmost importance on your pet’s comfort and well-being.
At Bayshore Animal Clinic, we utilize numerous protocols for controlling pain. These can include oral medications, injections, constant infusions, nerve blocks, regional analgesia and sustained release pain patches.
Like their human owners, cats and dogs are living longer and exhibiting illnesses and conditions we associate with advanced age. Regular and preventive veterinary care is essential to keep your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Typically, dogs and cats are classified as senior by the age of seven. Considering that animals age at a much faster rate than humans, they are more likely to develop serious health issues within a matter of months.
As your pet grows older we recommend that “wellness visits” become more frequent and that we see your pet at least twice a year (every 6 months) for senior blood work and senior care. Blood work for seniors may include urinalysis, kidney and liver functions, complete blood cell counts, and thyroid function. Blood work helps to identify systemic abnormalities that a physical examination may not detect. It helps us detect minor changes and problems before they turn into life-threatening conditions. As with all pets, senior animals should have a nutritious diet and regular exercise. We will help choose a senior diet that is best for your pet.
Many older dogs and cats suffer from osteoarthritis. Safe and effective pain medications can make senior pets more comfortable and help them live longer, happier lives with your family.
Therapeutic Laser (K Laser)
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser Therapy uses specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling for your pet. Laser Therapy has been widely utilized in Europe by physical therapists, nurses, and veterinarians as far back as the 1970’s. Now, after FDA clearance in 2002, Laser Therapy is being used extensively in the United States.
Has effectiveness been demonstrated scientifically?
Yes. There are thousands of published studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of Laser Therapy. Among these, there are more than one hundred rigorously controlled, scientific studies that document the effectiveness of Laser Therapy for many clinical conditions.
Laser Therapeutic Effects
During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation and draws water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates an optimal healing environment for your pet that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasm, stiffness, and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, the function is restored and pain is relieved.
Wellness & Preventive Care
At Bayshore Animal Clinic, our goal is to keep your companions healthy and happy. Just as prevention is the best medicine for us, so it is for our pets. We believe in working with you to determine the individual needs of your pet. We recommend a program of essential care including complete physical exams, diagnostic tests, dental care, proper nutrition, parasite prevention and immunizations. As your pet ages, we recommend more frequent examinations for earlier detection of health problems that older pets may develop. We accept care credit and will provide necessary information for pet insurance carriers to help provide the best care for your pet.
Our goal is to have the healthiest pets in Hillsborough County. By educating our clients on nutrition and wellness care helps us put our best paw forward!
Examinations are critical to
Vaccinating your dog or cat protects him or her against a wide variety of infectious diseases. At Bayshore Animal Clinic we do not believe that one vaccination program is correct for all pets. Therefore, our vaccine protocols are as individual as your pet itself. During your exam, our veterinarian will discuss with you a vaccination program that is based on the particular lifestyle of your pet.
Heartworm and Parasite Prevention
All dogs in the state of Florida should be on an effective heartworm preventive year round. The administration is easier than ever with once-a-month tasty chews. Cats should be treated for heartworm, internal and external parasites on a regular basis. Up to 85% of animals that go outdoors will become heartworm positive if they are not on prevention. The heartworm medication recommended at Bayshore Animal Clinic is also effective in preventing other parasites such as hookworms and roundworms – so each month you are protecting your pet against multiple parasitic infections. For more information go to www.capcvet.org
Hillsborough County Rabies Licensing
We offer 1 year and 3-year rabies vaccines based on your pet’s age and overall health. Hillsborough County requires yearly renewal of rabies tags. This can be done yearly at your wellness exam.
At Bayshore Animal Clinic, we recommend all pets have a form of identification on at all times. A microchip is a permanent ID that will ensure your pet can always be identified if lost. The microchip is roughly the size of a grain of rice and is placed just under the skin of your pet (between the shoulder blades) and is a quick procedure. It provides priceless peace-of-mind for you.
We are very proud to offer the most advanced anesthetic safety and pain-reducing protocols. We use human grade anesthetic protocols and equipment. Prior to anesthesia, we test every patient’s blood for any underlying disease conditions. Every patient receives intravenous fluids during the procedure and into recovery. Throughout the procedure, every patient is closely monitored by a qualified veterinary nurse trained in anesthesia and pain management. Our monitoring devices include ECG, pulse oximetry, capnography, blood pressure monitoring and temperature. A warming unit (bair hugger) circulates warm air to maintain body temperature and a nurse sits with every patient until completely and comfortably recovered. We will call you as soon as your pet is in recovery. We have pets of our own and want to do our best to educate you and to ease any anxiety you may have about anesthesia.
Concierge Veterinary Services
All our veterinarians provide the same comprehensive and compassionate care in the comfort of your home when it is most convenient for you and your pet.
Home visits allow for decreased stress and provide convenience for you. Home visits can be helpful for fearful cats and dogs, senior pets with limited mobility, multiple pet households and for those who are too busy to come to in for an exam or have difficulty transporting their pet.
We provide full physical exams, wellness care, vaccinations, preventive medications, blood-work, and laboratory services in your home. We are able to transport your pet, if needed, to our hospital for radiographs, dental or surgical procedures, laser therapy or any other modality that requires our facility.
Most of our Concierge Veterinary Services are for healthy pets needing routine care. However, home visits are also a blessing for hospice care, pain management, and gentle and compassionate euthanasia.
Our hospital is equipped with a complete laboratory and radiology department to evaluate and respond to your pet’s health condition. We have a state-of-the art in hospital laboratory that provides us with rapid results to treat patients promptly. We partner with Idexx laboratories to provide more extensive diagnostic panels if needed. Idexx provides consultations with clinical pathologists and internal medicine specialists. We have a board-certified radiologist available to review radiographs.
Dr. Panzarella is excited to announce that she is now officially certified as a
Fear Free certification has provided us with a number of techniques to keep your pet’s visits to BAC as stress-free as possible. We have a number of highly tasty food treats to keep our patients occupied during examinations, vaccinations and blood draws. Our exam rooms are equipped with species-specific pheromones, scientifically proven to have a calming effect on stressed dogs and cats.
Our technicians and Dr. Panzarella have undergone hours of training in gentle, calm handling techniques that minimize stress. If these techniques are not enough to reduce your pet’s anxiety about the vet, our veterinarians can recommend natural supplements and/or prescription medications to help!
Our Fear Free Practice mission closely aligns with our Cat-Friendly Practice mission. BAC has separate waiting arrangements, hospitalization and exam rooms that are designated solely for our feline friends. This helps keep our kitty patients calm and fear free!
For more on what Fear Free means, please visit: www.fearfreepets.com.
Internal Medicine and Surgery
Dr. Chris Ludlow is a specialist in veterinary internal medicine. He is available for
Dr. Colby Burns is double boarded in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery and sports medicine and rehabilitation. She is available for surgical animal emergencies or scheduled surgeries on site in our surgical suite. Patients needing overnight care will be cared for by Drs. Panzarella and Drewes. Dr. Burns achieved the national teaching excellence award in clinical sciences in 2009.
We work closely with internal medicine specialists at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa and in Brandon. We are happy to refer you and your pet to a board-certified internal medicine specialist at either location.
We will provide you with the guidance to select the most appropriate diet for every life stage of your pet. We strongly believe in maintaining a healthy weight to reduce the development of arthritis. We also believe oral health starts with choosing a diet helpful in reducing plaque and tartar in your pet’s teeth. These diets have been proven to aid in the mechanical removal of plaque before it becomes calcified tartar and chemically through special enzymes to reduce the formation of the organized layer of bacteria known as plaque. It has been our experience that certain physical problems with our pets stem from the types of foods they eat.
For your convenience, we maintain a complete inventory of pharmaceuticals, medicated shampoos and parasite preventatives to meet the needs of your pet. You can also take advantage of our online pharmacy. Please allow 72 hours notice for all prescription refills to ensure you receive your prescription without delay.
Our animal hospital includes a state-of-the-art surgical suite and advanced surgical equipment that enable us to perform a wide range of surgical procedures including elective surgery, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery. All patients are carefully screened for anesthetic risks, and the anesthetics used are specifically tailored to your pet. A dedicated surgical technician continuously monitors each patient during anesthesia and elective surgeries such as spays and neuters are performed with the same care and dedication as more complex surgeries.
All surgical patients receive a physical exam prior to anesthetic induction, pre-surgical medications to eliminate any possible stress, and intravenous fluids during their surgical procedures. Pain management protocols are an important part of every surgical procedure. We pride ourselves on our detail and safety-oriented approach to anesthesia and intra-operative surgical support.
During surgery, your pet will be continually monitored with the same techniques used in human medicine. Intravenous fluids are always given during surgery to support blood pressure and support the body through anesthesia and surgery. You can rest assured that if your pet needs to stay overnight they will receive proactive pain management and around the clock monitoring for immediate detection of any postoperative complications.
Dr. Colby Burns, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgery, is on staff for difficult surgeries where a Board Certified Surgeon is requested or recommended.
This noninvasive, state-of-the-art technology uses sound waves to painlessly examine your pet’s specific internal organs. Ultrasound can help diagnose disease and other health problems quickly and efficiently. With ultrasound, we can biopsy intra-abdominal structures without surgery. Ultrasound is especially useful in examining the function of the heart of your beloved pet and can be helpful during pregnancy exams.