More about Dix Hills Animal Hospital
Welcome to Dix Hills Animal Hospital!
We treat your pets like family.
It is our mission at Dix Hills Animal Hospital, to bond with our clients and provide the finest veterinary care available for their pets. For over 40 years, we have been committed to offering exceptional, compassionate and personalized care. Our goal is to work closely with our clients in order to optimize their pets quality of life and their safety, as well as the safety of their family. We strive to accomplish this by promoting the best in medical, surgical, and preventative care. Through staff training and by continually keeping up to date with current advances in veterinary medicine, we will continue to offer great service and provide our clients with information on how to take the best possible care of their pets. We recognize that our pets are family members and we are committed to fostering the human/animal bond.
Alison G. Rhein, D.V.M.
Dr. Ali, as her clients call her, always knew that she wanted to become a veterinarian. Her father, Dr. Harvey Rhein, D.V.M. founded the Dix Hills Animal Hospital in 1967. As a child, Alison loved helping her father at work, assisting him, as he would tend to patients, watching and learning, knowing that she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Alison went on to graduate, with honors, from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995. She worked in N.Y.C. at the Tribeca-Soho Animal Hospital for 7 years, where she treated the pets of several celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert DeNiro, Drew Barrymore, Harvey Keitel, and the late J.F.K. Jr.
In 2002, Dr. Ali joined her father and became the director of the Dix Hills Animal Hospital. Together, they embarked on an extensive renovation to create a state-of-the-art animal hospital.
Dr. Ali has brought a new level of care, compassion and expertise to the practice. With a focus on preventative care and wellness, Dr. Ali and her team have instituted several screening protocols to make sure your pets stay healthy. She has a particular interest in toy and designer breeds, understanding their special needs and care.
Dr. Alis hobbies include biking, swimming, running, tennis, and spending time with her 4 dogs Pookie (Chihuahua), Mojo (Pit Bull mix), Audrey (Maltese/Poodle mix) and Scarlet (King Charles/Poodle mix); and her 3 cats Calvin, Malcolm and Marcel. Dr. Alison Rhein resides in Dix Hills.
Suzanne Ravitz , D.V.M
Suzanne always wanted to become a veterinarian. When she was just 5 years old, she proclaimed that it was her future vocation. She worked hard and accomplished her goal. She graduated from Syracuse University and when she was accepted to veterinary school, it was one of the greatest days of her life.
Suzanne graduated from Atlantic Veterinary College in 1995. She continued on to do an internship at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan where she handled and cared for several types of animals. Her true love, however, is tending for dogs and cats. After completing her training, she joined a busy, progressive animal hospital in Manhattan. Suzanne worked there for many years, but then had a difficult decision to make. Although she had built a busy and loyal following in NYC, her 2 beautiful children were growing up on Long Island, and she knew she needed to be closer to her family. She decided to relocate so she could work nearby.
At last, making that most difficult decision, she knows she did the right thing. She loves being back in Long Island and has found her place at the Dix Hills Animal Hospital. Suzannes personal interests include working out, playing tennis, and spending time with her family. Her professional interests are feline medicine, soft tissue surgery and preventative care. Suzannes loving and compassionate style has been a wonderful addition to the Dix Hills Animal Hospital family.
Allergy and Ear Treatment
All of our doctors are well versed in Allergy Treatment. Often times we can treat allergies with a combination of antihistamines, antibiotics, and medicated shampoo. Several dogs have food allergies. We have a variety of hypoallergenic diets to choose from. Occasionally, we will work with a dermatologist to aid in diagnosis and allergy vaccines for your pet.
Dogs sometimes present with ear infections (otitis externa ) as a manifestation of their allergy. Some dogs require deep ear cleaning under sedation to adequately remove debris from deep within the ear canal. This is very important so that the medication is able to penetrate into the tissue for better absorption in the ear canal.
All dermatologic and ear infections are monitored by our doctors to make sure these issues are resolved and to prevent recurrence. We have had a lot of success with our treatment protocols.
Several older dogs and cats suffer from arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. As dogs and cats age, it is common for their joints to become less flexible which impacts their mobility and quality of life. We have the ability to diagnose (with digital x-rays) and medically treat these dogs with a variety of anti-inflammatories and nutraceuticals . If you notice your dog or cat is limping, has a change of gait, difficulty walking up stairs or jumping on the bed, or is just slow to get up bring him/her in for a consultation to discuss your options. It really can change their quality of life and bring a new spring to their step.
Boarding and Grooming
We offer boarding for both dogs and cats. We have spacious cages for cats and small dogs, and more roomy runs for large breed dogs. The dogs are taken for a walk 2-3X/day, and are fed twice daily (unless otherwise specified by the owner). We board animals with medical needs i.e. diabetes, kidney disease, and animals who need daily medication. Your pets are kept in a clean, ambient environment. We encourage clients to bring their pets food so they dont get gastrointestinal upset from a change in diet. If not, we feed good quality food. You pet will be provided with a comfy blanket to lay on, and any safe toys (ones that cant be choked on). You are welcome to come view our boarding facility.
We require core vaccines for boarding animals. Dogs need DA2PP (Distemper/Parvo) , Rabies and Bordatella (Kennel Cough). Cats need FVRCP and Rabies.
We offer general bathing as well as medical baths and dips (if needed). We do have a groomer who will groom difficult animals which need sedation in order to be groomed. We require a brief physical exam within 1 month of sedation, to assure your pets safety. Additionally, we also do lion cuts for long haired cats. Most cats will need to be sedated to allow for us to position them to clip difficult places, such as under the arm and their belly. If you need a groomer, there are several in the area, and we can make a recommendation for you.
Canine and Feline Programs
Senior pets undergo changes in organs and tissues similar to aging/elderly humans. It is well known that older animals have a higher incidence of such conditions as major organ failure, benign and malignant tumors, arthritis, and loss of hearing and vision as well as dental disease. What is important to know as a pet owner that many of the chronic disorders and disease processes seen in older pets can be medically controlled, and in some cases resolved, if they are detected early enough. It is important that we shift the way we think from treating sick animals, to early detection of disease. This improves the chances that older pets will live longer, happier and better quality lives. Our goal, is to work with you to help your pets live as long and as comfortably as possible by offering the best in medical surveillance and preventative care.
We provide complete dental care for both dogs and cats. We have all the capabilities that your own dentist has (digital x-rays), so we can thoroughly clean your pets teeth. A high speed scaler is used to remove all tartar, and clean below the gum line. Then a polish is applied to the teeth, and finally OraVet is applied to the teeth. OraVet Barrier Sealant creates an invisible barrier that prevents plaque and tartar-forming bacteria from attaching to the teeth. Beginning two weeks after your pets dental cleaning, owners will then apply OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel once a week at home to maintain the barrier your veterinarian established (it only takes a minute or two to do).
If we identify diseased teeth, we perform extractions. If any extractions are performed, we always use pain medication afterward and send owners home with some to have if the animal seems painful.
We also have recently introduced a new periodontal disease vaccine the Porphyromonas (you can say that again) vaccine. This vaccine aids in the prevention of canine periodontal disease, the most common bacterial infection in dogs, which can lead to long term effects such a tooth loss if left untreated.
Exam and Vaccination Protocol for Dogs
Veterinary medicine is evolving. Over the last decade there has been a profound shift toward preventative/wellness care for animals. We are moving away from the idea that you only bring your pet to the vet for their vaccinations or when they are sick. Rather, we want you to view the Dix Hills Animal Hospital as a place to bring your pet to check their wellness. We also want to educate you on preventative care for your dog.
We have designed examination and vaccination protocols that will benefit your dogs health. These are listed below:
The Distemper/Parvovirus vaccine is now approved to last for 3 years. We will now vaccinate for this every three years after their adult booster.
We also offer vaccination titers for Parvovirus and Distemper, however there is still controversy as to whether these titers equate to protection. We can discuss this with you.
Rabies is given every three years (after their adult booster).
Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Kennel Cough vaccines still need to be given yearly for those at risk dogs (any of our health care team/nurses can discuss this with you).
For small breed dogs, we try to avoid these vaccinations unless there is a high level of exposure. Small and petite dogs can be more sensitive to these vaccinations. If they need these vaccinations, we separate their administration from other vaccinations to minimize reactions.
We recommend yearly testing for Lyme/Heartworm/Ehrlichia (small amount of blood) and intestinal parasites (stool analysis).
We highly recommend twice yearly exams since in one years time, a dog ages the equivalent of 7 human years. This way we can better monitor your dog for common illnesses and discuss preventative care with you.
Finally, in addition to the exams, we would like for you to consider a wellness blood test. This will help us to determine your dogs overall health. We will check their major organ systems and red/white blood cells (this is the same set of blood test that you get at your doctor!). National lab statistics show that 1 in 5 dogs (20%) will have the beginning of a treatable disease process not recognized on a physical exam alone.
Exam and Vaccination Protocol for Cats
With this new approach, your pet will undoubtedly benefit. Veterinary medicine is becoming more preventative, which follows the way we, as humans, are taking care of ourselves. We want your pets to be healthy and live long healthy lives.
Veterinary medicine is evolving. Over the last decade there has been a profound shift toward preventative/wellness care for animals. We are moving away from the idea that you only bring your pet to the vet for their vaccinations or when they are sick. Rather, we want you to view the Dix Hills Animal Hospital as a place to bring your pet to check their wellness. We also want to educate you on preventative care for your cat.
We have designed examination and vaccination protocols that will benefit your cats health. These are listed below:
We will now be vaccinating every other year for Feline Distemper, rather than every year.
We are now using safer, non-adjuvanted Feline Rabies and Leukemia vaccinations. Traditionally, chemicals called adjuvants have been added to Leukemia and Rabies vaccinations to enhance an animals immune response. More recently, concern over the potential risks, such as chronic injection site inflammation and allergic reactionsthat have been associated with these adjuvants has led to the need for effective vaccines that do not require adjuvants. These new vaccines are far safer.
We recommend Leukemia vaccination (and Feline Infectious Peritonitis) only for at risk catscats who go outdoor, or for people who plan on or tend to aquire other cats in the their household.
For cats who go outside, we highly recommend a yearly Feline Leukemia/Feline Aids blood testwe can have that test result while you wait! Additionally, we are now recommending an empirical de-worming for cats who hunt, as they generally acquire intestinal parasites from birds, mice, moles, etc.
We will now offer twice yearly exams since in one years time a cat ages the equivalent of 7 human years. This way we can better monitor your cat for common illnesses and discuss preventative care with you.
Finally, in addition to the exams, we would like for you to consider a wellness blood test. This will help us to determine your cats overall health. We will check their major organ systems and red/white blood cells (this is the same set of blood test that you get at your doctor). National lab statistics show that 1 in 5 cats (20%) will have the beginning of a treatable disease process not recognized on a physical exam alone.
With this new approach, your pet will undoubtedly benefit. Veterinary medicine is becoming more preventative, which follows the way we, as humans, are taking care of ourselves. We want your pets to be healthy and live long healthy lives.
The Dix Hills Animal Hospital is on board with preventative veterinary care.are you??
Please discuss these recommendations with any member of our health care team.
We have the ability to test for certain diseases within 15 minutes. In the event of illness, we can start treating your pet appropriately based on these tests (we used to have to wait until the laboratory tests results came in the next morning). We can also check for anemia (low red blood cell count), and hypoglycemia (low blood sugarcan be a problem in petite breeds).
We also use our in house laboratory to perform pre-anesthetic testing prior to any surgical or dental procedures.
In addition to blood panels, we have in house testing for Feline Leukemia, Feline Aids ( FIV), Canine Heartworm, and Lyme disease.
We perform stool analysis as well as testing for a protozoan parasite called Giardia.
With these tests, we can diagnose and treat your pet quickeragain, helping the health and well-being of your family member.
The reality: every two seconds a family pet is lost. It only takes seconds! Be Hip.MicroChip!
Tragically, most never make it back home because their owners didnt identify them. Identifying your pet is vital. With a Home Again microchip, your pet cant leave home without his/her identification. Scanners are provided free of charge to any shelter or animal hospital that requests one. Over 50,000 scanners have already been distributed since 2002. They are directly responsible for the recovery of thousands of lost pets.
What is the Home Again Microchip?
Developed by a veterinarian, the Home Again Microchip is the professional way to identify your pet and its proven safe and effective. A tiny microchip that contains a personal, one-of-a-kind ID number distinguishes your pet as a special member of your family. The microchip is so tiny that it fits through a hypodermic needle! Just like a vaccination, its injected under the skin of your pet where it remains safely for life. This inexpensive procedure can be done anytime and, best of all protect virtually any pet you love..dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles, exotics and evenare you sitting?.fish!! Everywhere your pet goes, the microchip is there. Its real protection that cant fade or fall off.
This is how it works.
If your lost pet is found and brought to a participating veterinary hospital or shelter, theyll check him/her for a microchip with a special scanner. When they find the chip number, they call Home Agains 24 hour hotline.. After a quick search of the database, you, your veterinarian or your alternate is contacted immediately and your pet comes home. Again, scanners are provided free of charge!
Only about 14% of dogs and 4% of cats taken to animal shelters are returned to their owners
30-60% of lost pets that end up in shelters are euthanized, since they cannot be identified and reunited with their owners
Fewer than 35% of animals in shelters are adopted
Collar ID tags are easily lost and can be removed
Microchipping is permanent, entirely unalterable form of pet identification
Shelters, humane societies and veterinarians are using microchip scanners in ever increasing numbers
Microchipping is inexpensive, safe, fast and virtually painless for your pet
Our doctors are well versed on all aspects of nutrition. The most common concern regarding pets is what should I feel my petwe recommend a high quality, natural diet, containing limited preservatives and by-products. There are several on the marketwe will help you select one that is right for your pet.
One of the most common medical conditions we see in our pets is obesity. Often time this is a result of overfeeding (usually treats and table food) and lack of exercise. We can help design a diet plan to help your dog lose weight. We will monitor progress with follow up weigh-ins. If diet and exercise are not enough, Pfizer (drug company) just came out with a drug called Slentrol to help aid in weight loss for dogs. We have had tremendous success using this safe medication. It is very beneficial with older overweight dogs who have arthritis, or those breeds susceptible to arthritis.
We carry a variety of prescription diets which are designed to help manage the nutrition of pets with a variety of disease conditions.
We feel pain management is very important for your pets during and after a painful surgery or other procedure. We use a combination of opioid and anti-inflammatory injectable medications to help your pet feel better postoperatively. During painful orthopedic procedures, epidurals are used to control pain and help lessen the amount of anesthetic your pet receives.
Local anesthetics are sometimes used if localized pain is predicted i.e. small mass removals, dental extractions.
Monitoring of pets postoperatively will allow us to determine if your pet needs additional pain medication. Giving pain medication early helps decrease the intensity and duration of pain post-op and encourage a more rapid return to normal behavior and comfort level. It also allows for less anesthesia during surgery, which is safer for your pet.
We generally send pets home with pain medication if we feel they may experience some discomfort.
Pre-op Blood Testing
It is our job to ensure that your pet can properly process and then eliminate the anesthetic he or she is given. Before we perform any procedure requiring anesthesia, we highly recommend pre-operative blood work. These tests check that your pets organs are functioning properly and may reveal any hidden health conditions that could put your pet at risk.
Most animals will get a blood test the day of their procedure. Other at risk patients i.e.pets with any previous medical problem, or aged pets, will get a more comprehensive complete blood panel sent to the lab.
While there is no guarantee, these tests are designed to maximize your pets safety, which is our biggest concern.
At Dix Hills Animal Hospital, we strongly believe in preventative health care. The environmental dangers surrounding our pets pose many threats to our beloved pets health. The doctors of Dix Hills Animal Hospital have designed safe and effective preventative protocols to allow your pet to live a happy and safe life. During your puppy and wellness exams, our staff will take the time to discuss with you our prevention philosophies, effective home care that will allow you to manage your pets general hygiene, and go over any concerns that you may have with regard to your pets health. Our prevention philosophies also include custom vaccination protocols based on your pets age, size, breed and risks. The doctors will work very closely with you to understand the environment of each individual animal and will then design a custom preventative schedule to best protect your pet.
As we all know our pets cant verbalize what might be ailing them. Our concept is Animal Wellness, a methodology that approaches our pets physiology from an early detection standpoint. Our hospital offers numerous wellness blood tests and senior packages tailored to various stages in your pets life. Dix Hills Animal Hospital believes that diligent health screening can prolong the life of your animal. We understand that veterinary bills can be intimidating or prohibitive in the decision process of how to monitor your pets health. With this in mind, we have developed wellness packages to hopefully accommodate your budget. Inexpensive junior blood-work allows us to gain a baseline view of your young pets general health and allows our doctors to see any underlying changes, or to compare their physiology as they age. At your pets seventh birthday they are considered to be a senior pet. Our wellness packages range from simple blood tests to increasingly more thorough examinations of organ function, cardiac health, and detect any neurological changes in your pet. Through these packages we can best help your pets live comfortably through their senior years with vitality (see Senior Wellness Packages).
Spay and Neuter Surgeries
We routinely perform spays and neuters. We recommend this be done at 6-7 months old, but can be done at any age. We do not do this procedure when an animal is in heat. A spay is a complete ovariohysterectomy. We make an abdominal incision large enough to visualize and ligate vessels in order to remove the ovaries and uterus. The abdomen is closed, and the skin is closed with a subcuticular patternwhich is the use of dissolvable sutures within the skin, so there are no visible sutures, the animals are unable to bite them out, and you dont have to come back to have the sutures removed.
A neuter is the complete removal of both testicles. There is a small incision made in the skin just in front of the scrotum. The testicles are removed and the vessels ligated. The skin is closed with a subcuticular pattern as described above.
We recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for all dogs and cats undergoing a spay or neuter (see Preoperative Bloodwork).
We monitor all animals heart, respiratory rate and oxygen level with the use of a monitor. There is always a nurse also directly monitoring these parameters. All animals also receive IV fluids to maintain normal blood pressure during surgery.
Some puppies have deciduous (baby) teeth at the time of their surgery. These teeth should have fallen out, and prevent other adult teeth from growing in correctly. We will extract these teeth after their surgery while they are still anesthetized.
All animals receive pre- and postoperative pain medication. They are monitored while waking up from surgeryvitals are taken every 5 minutes until they are sitting up. We recover all patients with a heat pad, so they are warm when they wake up from anesthesia (which drops their body temperature).
For small/petit puppies, we perform post operative blood sugar monitoring to prevent against hypoglycemia. We also give them oral dextrose (sugar) once they are awake and sitting up.
We recommend that your pet stay with us overnight so they will stay quiet. We check their vitals the following day and check their incision. When they go home, they are often difficult to contain because they feel remarkably well. We will have discharge instructions written out for you, and a nurse will review them with you.
If there are any problems or concerns when they go home, we are always available to answer questions.
Surgery and Orthopedics
Our doctors are trained to do all routine surgeries i.e. spays and neuters. We also do a variety of soft tissue surgeries, including, but not limited to skin mass removals, abdominal mass removals (splenectomy), abscess repair (and wound management), bladder stone removal, urethrostomies.
We do perform cat declaws. Although we do not condone this procedure, we do offer it as a service. We understand that cats do ruin furniture, and people may otherwise not keep the petwe offer soft paws (a plastic glue on nail) as a first option. When performing declaws, we provide pre-operative and post operative pain medication, as well as sending the cat home with several days of pain medication. Surprisingly, cats rebound very quickly from this procedure.
We have a surgeon who performs orthopedic surgeries including ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), fracture repair, hip surgeries, patella luxation repair. Please call us to discuss and procedures and pricing. We are also able to provide second opinions with our surgeon, if needed. We have recently renovated our surgery suite to allow for more state of art monitoring and capabilities.
You are more than welcome to visit and see our surgery suite.
X-ray and Ultrasound
We have recently purchased a digital x-ray system. Now x-rays can be taken and processed in secondsminimizing the time and exposure (of your pet). These x-rays have optimal visualization and allow us to immediately send out for a specialist to review them if need be. We can also provide you with a CD if you like, or if you need the x-rays for a referral. This has dramatically improved our diagnostic capability.
We also have ultrasound capability. We have a specialist who comes to our facility regularly to perform ultrasound on our ill patientsboth abdominal and cardiac. We also offer ultrasound as part of a senior wellness package to help look for early disease processes.
Call us today!