Dr. Feeney Receives the Good Neighbor Award
We're proud to share that Dr. Jennifer Feeney has received the Good Neighbor award from Henry Schein for her dedication and service to the Bridgewater community!
Henry Schein is a distributor of healthcare products and veterinary supplies. Territory Manager Karen Travisano created the company’s Good Neighbor Award as a way to recognize veterinarians who give back to their community.
Dr. Feeney was honored for the many hours she has devoted to volunteering in the area, and the many contributions she's made in sharing the wonder and value of animals with the residents of Bridgewater Township and Somerset County.
Support the Somerset County K-9 Unit
|Dr. Feeney, Sue and Alicia with the Somerset County K-9 Unit.|
Buy an I Love My Vet T-shirt and Support Our Local K-9 Unit!
Somerset Veterinary Group's 'I Love My Vet' t-shirts are on sale at our Bridgewater office and at our Bark in the Park events at the Somerset Patriots stadium. All proceeds from t-shirt sales go directly to the Somerset County Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit.
Somerset Veterinary Group's Dedicated Team
Our team of veterinary professionals is dedicated to delivering the best customer service and compassionate care to you and your pets.
Sue Dermody — Hospital Manager
Sue has been with Somerset Veterinary Group since 1996. She was born with a natural affinity toward animals, and taking care of the many animals she brought home led to a keen interest in veterinary medicine. Sue studied animal science and has also worked as a veterinary technician and pet sitter. Having knowledge of many aspects of the veterinary world led her to her current position as Hospital Manager.
Sue currently looks after her children Gabby and Luke, plus Delilah, a Kerry Blue Terrier, Disher, an Indian Native dog rescued from the streets of New Delhi, Kobe, a German Shepherd, and her two Domestic Short Haired cats, Cosette and Ranger.
JoAnne Adamczyk — Veterinary Technician
JoAnne is a veterinary technician who has been with Somerset Veterinary Group since October of 2004, but began her career in companion animal care in 1994.
She is very good at calming some of our nervous or scared animals and says she enjoys working with our puppy and kitten patients. "Since first being employed here it has always felt like a family of compassionate doctors and staff," she says.
JoAnne has a Jack Russell Terrier named Madison, a Doberman Pinscher named Willow, and a Doberman Pinscher puppy named Jack. Her interests include doing agility training with her dogs, going to NASCAR races, horseback riding and scuba diving.
Erin Sweney — Veterinary Technician
Erin has lived in Hillsborough, NJ her whole life. She is attending Rutgers University for Animal Science, Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Research, and plans to apply to veterinary school once shes finished. Right now she is also minoring in Endocrine Physiology and Health Sciences and Companion Animal Science.
Ever since she was a little girl, Erin knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. She has always had a passion for animals, and growing up she's had many pets, including dogs, cats, birds and fish. Today she has a miniature pinscher named Cleo and two cats, Kali and Mia.
When she isn’t spending time with animals, Erin enjoys music, drawing, painting, taking photos, hiking and going to the beach.
Katie Peck — Veterinary Technician
Katie has been a veterinary technician with the Somerset Veterinary Group since February of 2008, but began her animal care career in 2003. In addition to her years of experience, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University.
Saying she has a calming effect on fractious cats, Katie adds that she loves all of the people she works with.
At home, she has four cats named Tigger, Julius, Timber, and Gordon; and one Guinea pig named Millie. Katie enjoys hiking, camping and going to concerts.
Alicia Calandra — Veterinary Technician
Alicia is a veterinary technician at Somerset Veterinary Group, joining our team in May 2012. She has been working in a veterinary-related field for the past seven years. Alicia is very organized and is also a calm and comforting presence for our patients. She's great at greeting our clients, administering medications and vaccines, and making sure our pharmacy is well stocked. Alicia has a Bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Delaware.
"Everyone is very nice and respectful and they are all great teachers," Alicia said. "The staff all gets along with each other and that makes working here fun and enjoyable."
Maryanne Pavlick — Veterinary Technician
Maryanne is a veterinary technician at Somerset Veterinary Group. She joined our team April 2014 and has over 10 years of experience in the animal care field. She holds a BA degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and an MS degree in Education Administration from Syracuse University.
"The doctors and staff make Somerset Veterinary Group a wonderful place to work," says Maryanne. "Everyone works as a team and each person is willing to help or teach. It's a great place to be!"
Karen Silverio — Veterinary Technician
Karen is a Veterinary Technician, but started out working in human medicine. She realized she didn't enjoy that field and found her true passion of working with animals.
Karen regularly donates food to local animal shelters and hopes to dedicate more time to volunteer.
Her hobbies include stained glass work, scrapbooking, painting and other crafts. She has a three-year-old boy named Cameron and a Pitbull terrier named Remy and two domestic short haired rescue cats, Flex and Macy.
Kaelyn Reed — Veterinary Technician
Kaelyn is a veterinay technician here at Somerset Veterinary Group. More info to come!
MaryAnn Boyle — Client Care Specialist
MaryAnn is a Client Care Specialist who has been with Somerset Veterinary Group since August 2009, but began working in the animal care field in 2003.
"Not a day goes by that I don't smile and laugh at our four-legged patients," she says. "Working for a veterinarian makes me happy. I love animals and the staff here is wonderful. We also have a wonderful office manager!"
MaryAnn has a mixed-breed dog named Dolce, and a Shih-Tzu named Roxie. Her interests include gardening, going to concerts, hanging with friends, hiking, and eating out.
Susan Malosky — Client Care Specialist
Susan is a client care speciliast at Somerset Veterinary Group and has been with us since 2010. In addition to her years of experience, she has an Associate degree in Communications.
At home, she has two White Boxers, Gerda and Casper.
Jodi Kopecky — Client Care Specialist
Having grown up as the daughter of a veterinarian, our Client Care Specialist Jodi knows a thing or two about animal care. She began working in this field when she was 13 years old and has experience in both private veterinary practice and emergency care.
Jodi has an Associate degree in secretarial studies and joined our staff in November 2013.
As the first person whom clients encounter at our veterinary hospital, Jodi has many responsibilities including fielding many phone calls, filing paperwork, scheduling appointments, and greeting and assisting clients with all their questions and concerns.
Rachael Hartline — Client Care Specialist
Rachael grew up in Hillsborough, NJ and now lives in Manville. She has been a Client Care Specialist with Somerset Veterinary Group since July 2015. In addition to having had animals her whole life, Rachael has gained experience volunteering for Open Your Heart and Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. She takes pride in knowing that she's helping to make a difference in our clients' lives!
Outside of work, she loves to play with her twin chocolate labs Jake and Tyson, her cats Nicky, Theo, Sully, Barnabus, and Pinky, as well as a constant stream of foster kittens. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and watching YouTube videos.
Pudgy Pooch - Diet Tips for Dogs
You work out, you sweat, you drink your electrolytes. You feel good, you look good, you’re healthy. You know what it takes to make a human body tick, to keep muscles strong and ligaments loose. But, have you taken a look at your furry friend lately? Is your beagle a butterball? Is your pekingese portly? Is your mutt a mutton chop? As adorable as they might look, fat dogs are unhealthy and prone to a host of health problems. But there’s a ton of stuff you can do to get your pup to drop, well, a ton.
Calories matter! Just like for humans, when dogs take in more calories than they burn, they will pack on the pounds.
But what makes this whole concept a lot more complicated is how difficult it is to know exactly how many calories your dog needs to eat each day to stay a healthy weight. There are multiple factors involved, including the size of your dog, the breed of your dog, and age, sex and activity level too. Does at 14 pound supercharged chihuahua need more calories per pound than a 78 pound somnolent shepherd? How do you know? Should you just follow the recommendations on the bag of dog food you bought? The answer to that question is definitely a “NO”. Dog food bag recommendations are almost always very high, most likely because they want you to buy many, many bags of their food and they’re less concerned if your dog becomes a footstool.
Let’s get technical for a minute. Dogs need about 30 calories per pound of body weight to maintain their current weight.
Smaller types need more calories, up to 40 per pound, and the gentle giants need less, closer to 20 calories per pound. Neutered and inactive dogs need a little bit less, and very active dogs need more. Most dogs need less calories in cold weather and more calories in warmer weather. Crazy, right? How can anyone really figure this out?
Choosing the Right Pet Food – What Does "Grain-Free" Really Mean?
It almost seems like you need a biochemistry degree to buy pet food these days. You get bombarded by the sales associates pushing "grain-free" diets in the pet store, there are images of lions and wolves on Fifi and Cooper's food bags, and television advertisements claim their diet is the diet of your pets' "ancestors."
Everything you see and hear pushes the idea that grain-free is the best thing for your pet, but what does grain-free really mean, and is it truly the best food for you best friend?
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) labeling guidelines for gluten-free foods state that for a food to be considered gluten-free, it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. A grain is the seed of something in the grass family, it may or may not contain gluten. Rice, oats, millet and corn are considered gluten-free grains. Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat, and barley and anything made with these grains. There are other seeds that are not considered grains, such as peas and quinoa.
The FDA does not have any guidelines for grain-free labels on pet foods. It is nothing more than a fancy buzz word used by marketing executives to sell their brand of pet food. The pet food industry is a whopping $29.5 billion dollar business.
Now that we have some basic knowledge about what grain-free means, let's talk about how it affects our pets. This may shock some of you, but there is no credible evidence showing grain-free diets are better for pets.
Fighting Antibiotic Resistance
Bacteria resistance to antibiotics is a serious and growing problem. Bacteria can develop resistance in several ways. Initial exposure to antibiotics can kill bacteria, but any that survive to reproduce can pass that ability by transferring "plasmids" to other unrelated bacteria and essentially teaching them how to be resistant. Over time, some bacteria have acquired resistance to virtually all of the antibiotics available- these are often referred to as "super bugs".
There are several strategies that doctors and patients can use to help minimize this:
1. Avoid antibiotic use where possible by using topical antiseptic therapies, such as baths, rinses or mousses with chlorhexidine or povidone iodine, or by using sugar or honey dressings.
2. Avoid using antibiotics when a virus or fungal infection is suspected since antibiotics only work on susceptible bacterial infections.
3. Maximize effective immune response with an optimal diet, probiotics, immunotherapy, and vaccinations.
Low Dose Naltrexone - An Alternative Therapy for Pets
An unusual alternative therapy called low dose naltrexone exists that can help with a variety of conditions for your pet.
Naltrexone is a drug that blocks opiate receptors. The theory behind low dose naltrexone is that by giving a tiny dose at bedtime, we briefly block the production of endorphins just when they are expected to peak. This causes extra secretion of endorphin stimulating factor and results in higher endorphin levels in the patient.
Endorphins help control pain and focus the immune response to better attack invaders while lessening the likelihood of attacking one’s own cells. We have used this therapy to help palliate chronic arthritis pain in pets who do not tolerate other medications, to assist in treating some immune mediated disorders, and to help slow the growth of some cancers.