Animal ER equipped to treat all sorts of sick and injured pets

WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - It is the largest, most modern animal emergency care facility in Mississippi, and it's located just south of Interstate 10 in Woolmarket.

WLOX News recently spent some time inside the Animal ER by visiting the Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital.

Doctors Jeff and Jennifer Sutton have been providing emergency animal care for more than 10 years. They opened their new, nearly 10,000 square foot animal hospital just a few weeks ago.

Steve Phillips visited the Animal ER on Easter Sunday and watched the emergency team at work.

"That's a little bit of pain medicine," said Jeff, as he tended to a small dog who apparently lost a fight with a kennel mate.

The Chihuahua was suffering from bite wounds.

"She's got another one on the other side," said the vet tech, as the animal was closely examined.

As we would soon find out during our visit on this Easter Sunday, dog versus dog emergencies are quite common.

"In the springtime weather, people are out more with their animals. Animals are visiting with each other, getting to meet each other, and sometimes they have disagreements," said Jennifer.

While the wounded Chihuahua got the care she needed, there was action in X-Ray.

"Easy, easy sweet pea," said the tech, as she prepared Ryan for some X-rays.

The large, older dog has recently been having some pain walking.

"Okay, you've got to be brave handsome," said the tech encouraging the animal.

After a few minutes in X-Ray, Ryan was ready for an owner reunion.

"Let's get you out of here," said the employee, as the dog was led to his waiting family.

Jeff delivered the diagnosis.

"Right here, this is spondylosis of his spine. See how these things are fusing," Jeff said, pointing to a black and white X-ray image of the dog's back.

Ryan is prescribed some anti-inflammatory medication and should be just fine.

Tootsie the boxer isn't feeling so fine at the moment. She had a run-in with a truck in Biloxi's Hiller Park this Easter Sunday afternoon.

"She had some minor lacerations on her back leg. We were able to fix them. We used a local anesthetic and were able to suture them up and send her home to be home for Easter," said Jeff.

Tootsie was a most cooperative patient, and didn't even seem to mind wearing "the cone." Still, after her stitches, she was anxious to get back to her family.

"Who's that? There she is," said the tech, as the big dog reunited with her owners.

"Well, we were at the park enjoying the nice weather. We couldn't see the truck, and we called for our dog. She ran out and the truck hit her. We immediately ran over and brought her here. Great experience here. It's a blessing for sure," said Brandon Barrette.

"I love the satisfaction of having an animal get better. I know a lot of people think that a lot of animals pass away here or it's a lot of sad times. In fact, most animals that come in do really well in a very short period of time," said Jennifer. "It's really satisfying to come in and have an animal, the people are upset the animal is not doing well, and in just a few hours time have it do so much better. It's really rewarding."

Emma is among the success stories.

"She was actually brought in as a stray. She had a fractured femur. We pinned it and kept her here because she was a stray. She's going to search and rescue to be a search and rescue dog. She's growing and she's running and she's doing well," said Jeff.

A terrier is getting prepped for surgery. Bites from another dog left some serious injuries.

"It was an attack wound that came over, had open intestines. By the time we got into surgery, its intestines had been ruptured in two locations. So we had to do what we call an enastenosis to re-join the intestines and then fix the hernia," said Dr. Jeff. "A little bit more than we thought it was, but she's doing well. Surgery went well."

Although bite wounds and car injuries might be the most prevalent cases, the Animal ER team has seen it all.

"We get dogs in here that have been bit by alligators and have had legs torn off. We've had an animal with an arrow in it. We have them eating all kinds of things, from jewelry to socks to money, to a whole wallet. Just a gambit of things," said Jeff.

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