Serving Brooklyn's Off-Leash Community

Health & Medical Links

EMERGENCY Twenty Four Hour Veterinarian/Hospital Service

To Report an injured wild animal

Costs of Owning a Pet

Dog Tags/Licence

Emergency Evacuation

Environmental Toxic Pollution
Deadly Canine Virus
Toxic Plants

Service Dogs - Therapy Dogs & more

Aid for Low Income Pet Owners

Winter Tips
winter sidewalk electrical hazards
Hot Weather Tips

Leptospirosis - waterborne, sometimes fatal disease
Lyme Disease

Spay/Neuter Discounts

Rabies/tags - 2010 rabid racoons in Central Park
Dog Bites Dog

Your Aging Dog - pain relief

Animal Support/Suspension Devices
Handicapped Pet Stuff

Alternative Medicine/Therapy

Clinical Trials
General Health Information

Travel Safety - Vehicles
West Nile Virus (Spraying in park)

Need More To Worry About?

On-line medical help is no substitute for veterinary care...


From The Money Geek: Cost of owning a pet...


Does Your Dog Have a City Dog Tag/Rabies Tag?

New York City Health Department Dog License on-line registry - painless! Dog owners may apply and make payment online for a new dog license or renew an existing one.

go to: https://a816-healthpsi.nyc.gov/DogLicense/doglicense/founddog?

The annual fee to license your dog is $8.50 if your dog is spayed or neutered. The fee is $34 if your dog is not spayed or neutered

See your veterinarian for rabies tags. Know that a lost dog can be traced back to the veterinarian who issued the rabies tag.

Environmental Working Group
Our mission is to create a healthy and safe environment for all of us including our pets. Sign up for email updates on pet health, food, products as well as a guide full of tips to make the world a safer place for pets. www.ewg.org/

Sidewalk Electrical Hazards
Sidewalk grates; lamp pole bases; all have lethal potential when winter salt and ice melt corrodes electrical cables. If your dog refuses to walk over an area it may be energized. To report a suspicious locations: Call 800 75 CON ED

For more details, see Winter Health Tips below for accounts of Park Slope incidents or click electrical hazards


Anecdotal evidence gathered by an informal survey of a few Park Slope Veterinarians suggest that Lepto cases come in clusters; often one to three cases, then nothing for a year.

Drinking from small standing pools of water is a big NO, NO for doggie: leptospirosis, a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria, can result in severe illness, or in rare instances, death among dogs as well as people.  Rodents and other wild animals such as raccoons and opossums that are infected with Leptospira can shed the bacteria in their urine, potentially contaminating standing pools of water.  The bacteria can survive for weeks or longer in a warm moist environment.
Dogs and other animals can be infected through drinking contaminated water or contact with open wounds or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).  While some infections may not result in illness, symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs may include fever, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes, refusal to eat, weight loss, decreased activity, muscle pains, or stiffness.

While ridding the park of rats and other wildlife is impractical; dog owners can take preventive measures to reduce the risk of transmission to their pets such as bringing a supply of fresh water.  Some people use Gator Ade plastic bottles which have swivel-on caps that are "tooth proof".

Vaccines against leptospirosis are available, but you should consult with your veterinarian when deciding whether to vaccinate your dog. The vaccine does not cover all strains of leptospirosis and is not considered a core vaccine according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  In addition, anecdotally it has been associated with adverse reactions in toy breeds and young puppies.

If your pet is diagnosed with leptospirosis, the risk of transmission to family members and other pets is likely limited; but it is extremely important to discuss with your veterinarian what prevention measures to put in place in order to reduce this risk.

Note: Have humans contracted this disease either from contact with Dog Beach water or from dogs which frequent the park? While the Department of Health has seen a handful of human cases city-wide in the past ten year, none have been reported from Prospect Park - though it's always a possibility. The body of water associated with the Dog Beach is supplied by chlorinated city water, the source of which is located within a few hundred feet of the Dog Beach.

Adverse reaction to Lepto vaccinations?

Some have been reported... www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/leptospirosis/

You should make your own decision in conjunction with your veterinarian.

Other links:

Urbandhound section:



Lyme Disease

Anecdotal numbers from one Park Slope Veterinary Office suggest that they see "...about 3 per year of classic cases. It's almost always in dogs who've traveled to Lyme endemic areas and contracted it there. We get plenty of cases with a positive Lyme titer, but no clinical signs of Lyme disease (fever with acute lameness or kidney failure). Which just means they've been exposed to the organism and their immune system has prevented the illness. They don't have Lyme disease.

"...Recommendations to prevent Lyme disease revolve primarily around repelling or killing the tick vector. In dogs that stay in Brooklyn - Frontline or Advantix. If they travel to endemic areas of Lyme disease a Preventick collar is recommended in addition to Frontline or Advantix.

"The more controversial question is whether to vaccinate or not against Lyme's. In Brooklyn only dogs, I say no. In dogs traveling to endemic areas, I say maybe in a case by case basis. The controversy is about the effectiveness and safety of the vaccination."

Worth Considering...
if your dog does have an imbedded tick, DO NOT crush it. Remove it carefully, baggie it and send with a $50 check to the UCONN lab where they will identify it and test it for Lyme. Way cheaper and faster than a vet visit and numerous tests on your dog. They will call you and send you the report within a week, usually. If the tick proves positive for Lyme, then you MUST bring your buddy to the vet. Unlike Lyme Disease in humans, dogs can be treated quickly and effectively with medication. Jennifer DeFrank, City Pitties

Your Aging Dog - Pain Relief

This article was previously published in the January 2010 issue of the Versatile Hunting Dog (NAVHDA) magazine and permission has been granted by the author to reprint here.

Dr. Boyer was asked about giving medication for an older hunting GWP who was slowing down and showing evidence of being stiff and sore, whether he could give her human over the counter pain medication like Tylenol or Motrin to help with this pain.

Dr. Boyer's response:
Please do not ever give your dog human pain medications without consulting your veterinarian. Over the counter pain relivers like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve), and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver failure in dogs wth just a single dose. Aspirin, preferably buffered or coated can be given, however, there is a risk of gastric (stomach) ulcers with regular use.

There are many safe and effective pain relievers specifically formulated for dogs. There are several classes of drugs available for pain relief. Most commonly Rimadyl, Previcox, Deramaxx and Metacam are prescribed as non-steroidal anti-inflamatories. Other stronger medicaiton can be added to these to provide additional relief if your dog is still painful. In addition, there is a substance called Adequan that is used by injection or orally in dogs, cats and horses to provide additional relief from joint pain.

If medications are ineffective or you would like other alternatives, acupuncture and Chinese herbs are very effective in dealing with osteoarthritis or other pain. Cold laser therapy is a new modality available at some general practice veterinarians or those who specialize in rehabilitative medicine or holistic care. For severely affected dogs, Stem Cell therapy offers exceptional relief for osteoarthritis and although expensive, alleviates the need for the use of medication long term. Your veterinarian should be able to help you locate non-traditional options that are effective. In general, short courses of treatment with non-traditional options can offer your dog increased mobility and improvement of performance in the field.


Kennel Cough
Recommend remedy for kennel cough is Drosera, a homeopathic elixer. Give 3 pellets, 3x a day and the cough will miraculously disappear.

Winter Health Tips
Cold weather presents it's own set of problems when it comes to proper care of our canine companions. Check out Jennifer Brauer's cold weather advice (newly updated) at: Winter Health Tips.

Hot Weather Health Tips
Did you know that a dog needs one ounce of water per pound of weight on a hot day? Hot Weather Tips

Toxic Plants
This is more than seasonal - some indoor plants present a hazard to your pet!

Deadly Canine Virus.

As first reported in the New York Times...

Here's some important info regarding a dog virus going around for some time in the NYC area: www.diaglab.vet.cornell.edu/news.asp The more people informed and aware of the potential dangers, the better you'll be able to respond to the situation, if it arises.Symptoms resemble Kennel Cough, but can rapidly esculate to pnenomia and death. Has been observed in Kennels just outside the NYC area. Download the PDF

Merk Vet Manual
Two legged friends of four legged creatures should explore this online manual. Know what to ask the vet when going for check ups.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
To collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals as well as advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.

Adverse Reactions To Pet Products & Medications

Posting all of the relevant information and updates on this class action lawsuit website:

Canine Health Information Cente

We provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in breeding healthy dogs.

The Bobst Hospital of the Animal Medical Center
Caring for New York's Animals since 1910

Veterinary Cancer Society
Clinical research trials as well as Specialist location services

The Pet Place

Founded by Dr. Jon Rappaport in 1999 with the objective of developing an unbiased, authoritative, user-friendly website where pet owners worldwide could go for complete, up-to-date information on all pet issues.

TTouch Wellness


Pet Guidelines For People Living With HIV/AIDS
Guidelines For The Prevention Of Opportunistic Infections In Persons Infected With HIV

Therapy/Service Dogs ...

Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs... and more.

Service Dogs

Service dogs that are trained to specifically assist the individual needs of a person with a disability can provide the amount of physical and/or psychological support necessary to help that person lead a more functional and independent life.

New York Service Dog Information

Psychiatric Service Dogs Society


United States Service Dog Handlers
See their homepage

Service Dog Law in New York

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs and their owners are certified to visit hospital of health facilities where they engage patients by chatting about dogs and allowing their therapy dog to interact with them. Therapy dogs are for anyone who need needs a brief boost of emotional support.

Therapy Dog Screening

The Good Dog Foundation
Based here in Park Slope, Rachel McPherson's GDF screens and trains dogs for hospital visitation - pet therapy. Over a dozen dogs are presently working in New York Methodist Hospital. GDF also serves hospitals in Manhattan and Westchester as well. For details:

Pet Partners
Nationwide Therapy Dog Certification


2010 Update - Rabid Racoons in Central Park
By January, one dog and one human have been bitten and received treatment. The NYC Department of Health regularly update their website to reflect the current numbers of rabid animals and maps that show the approximate location they were found.

02/16/10 Note: there have been one reported rabid raccoon in downtown Brooklyn near the Atlantic Center - the first ever in Brooklyn

Don't want to vacinate your dog? Tags have expired?
Sally Slavinski DVM, MPH, DACVPM; Mental Hygiene Assistant Director zoonotic, influenza and vector borne disease unit, NYC Department of Health, explains your options.

Dog owner’s should know that if their dog (or cat) is bitten or otherwise exposed to a rabid or potentially rabid animal there are two potential outcomes depending on vaccine status. If up to date on rabies vaccine, the pet should be re-vaccinated within 3 days with rabies vaccine and confined for a 45 day period in the owner’s home. If not vaccinated or not up to date there are two options; either euthanize immediately or place the pet in quarantine for 6 months at a veterinary facility (this is very costly).

Every Human is Succeptable
The Department of Health has warning language for both pets and owners here: www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cd/cdrab-faq.shtml

Rabies Tags
Rabies tags come with the Rabes vacination - each tag number logged with your addressand the veterinarian's name; a plus, if your dog gets lost. New York City requires a Rabies shot every three years. Not so long ago it was every year! There's alternative thinking out there that every seven years is sufficient (see below) but New York law says EVERY three years!

The Rabies Challenge Fund
Chris & Peter Christine

Scientific data indicate that vaccinating dogs against rabies every three years, as most states require, is unnecessary. Studies have shown the duration of protective immunity as measured by serum antibody titers against rabies virus to persist for seven years post-vaccination. By validating the 'true' life of rabies virus immunity and moving to five and hopefully seven years, we will decrease the risk of adverse reactions in our animals and minimize their repeated exposure to foreign substances.

Dog on Dog Bites

Small Claims Court
Legally, no matter who is at fault, the dog owner whose dog who causes the documented injuries is libel for the expenses. If you pursue a legal claim, you must follow prescribed steps in order to satisfy a small claims court. Know that anything other than direct evidence, such as creating an on-line buzz about the dog owner or demanding pain and suffering may work against you.

Dog Runs -The Volunteer Manager of the Tompkins Square Dog Run created a pdf about how to handle dog fights that result in vet bills, and how to get the attacking dog's owner to pay if they don't do so voluntarily. Check Dog Court pdf for a Small Claims Court Guide.

Also more on this subject on the FAQ page

Animal Support/Suspension Devices/ and more

Comes a time when old age or recent surgery catches up with our dogs and they require assistance walking or navigating stairs. Here's the beginning of what we hope will be a list of service devices.

Stuff for handicapped Pets


Animal Suspension Technology
Manufacturers of the Get-a-Grip Harness and custom Pet Support Suit. View their products at: www.petsupportsuit.com

Horse Creations
Support devices and horse blanket styling coats custom made for very large dogs including dogs with missing limbs.


Need More To Worry About?
Toxic Algae.

The following is third hand, posted by a St Louis dog owner far from Prospect Park...

Subject: Algae in Ponds Kills Dogs
I am posting this as a warning to all dog owners. Do not run your dogs near stagnant ponds with Algae Yesterday morning I lost my daughters Irish Setter to Toxic Algae. Ena, a 1.5-year Red setter had jumped in a nearby pond, about 3 acres, to cool and drink after a short 10-minute workout.
My IRWS did the same but did not drink much. I found her dead in a pool of green less puke than an hour later.

I researched the cause, tested the water and compared the Algae types to the research and found toxic algae to be the cause. The weather here in St. Louis has been 95+ degrees
with no wind for several weeks now. Perfect conditions for an Algae bloom in a standing pond or small lake
Here are but a few links on the subject

Feel free to do several searches and cross post. I am
gathering and organizing more on this and will post as I can.

Date: Mon, 01 Aug 2005

West Nie Virus
See our link

Clinical Trials

Current clinical trials, grants
Dogs, cats, even lizards...oh my! Often clinical trials are free even for cancer studies.
Click on the active links for your state:

University of pennsylvania School of Veternnary Medicine


NYC - Animal Medical Center

General Health Information

Take the dog age test.

Take the DogAge Test and find out how young and healthy your dog is in people years! The DogAge Test measures your dog's biological age, based on your dog's health, breed, risk of disease, and behavior. The DogAge Test also provides answers to your dog health questions and valuable health information for dogs.

Medical Assistance for Low Income Pet Owners ...

Paws NY
PAWS NY is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides pet care assistance to individuals experiencing both physical and financial obstacles so that they can keep their pets and continue to benefit from the human-animal bond. We focus on helping seniors, individuals with disabilities, and individuals suffering from permanent or temporary illness.

Through our Housecall Program, our extensive network of volunteers visit clients in their homes and provide pet care assistance that clients cannot do on their own. Services include (but are not limited to) dog walking, litter box maintenance, grooming, provision of food/water, and transportation to the vet. PAWS NY also provides foster and emergency care for pets when a client unexpectedly finds himself in the hospital.

Pet Food Stamp Program
The Pet Food Stamps program, a registered NYS non-profit corporation, has been created to fill the void in the United States Food Stamp program which excludes the purchase of pet food and pet supplies. As more families struggle with difficult choices like paying the rent or buying food, some have to choose between keeping their pet and putting food on the table. See more at:

Vet Mobile...

Specializing in low coast services. With a staff of seven veterinarians, three veterinary technicians and volunteer administrators, the Vet Mobile is now parked in front of the Manhattan shelter of New York City Animal Control ("NYCACC") at 326 East 110 St. every Friday and Saturday at noon, and the Brooklyn NYCACC shelter at 2336 Linden Blvd. on Wednesdays at noon. Appointments are only required for elective surgeries. Other medical issues are triaged first come first serve.

Red Rover Relief Grants

Financial assistance grants so pet owners, Good Samaritans and rescuers can care for animals who need urgent veterinary care.
Resources for pet owners struggling with economic hardship
Resources for victims of domestic violence
An easy online application and quick approval process

Friends of Animal Rescue
Friends of Animal Rescue was founded as a direct response to the growing need of individuals and rescue groups to secure financial assistance for their efforts. We provide payment directly to veterinarians, medical boarding facilities, dog walkers, pet supply stores and more. We are able to support individuals and smaller rescue groups who may not have access to large grants or other financial aid. We help keep the dream alive that individuals can make a difference.

Additional Links...
Garo Alexanian's (the guy who started the low-cost vet program) web site: www.companionanimalnetworktv.org/index.html

He also started an excellent program for people who can't afford veterinary care. Please don't abuse it.

Here is info about the low cost vet care:


There is also a low-cost boarding program:

Mayor's Animal Alliance of New York
If you need financial assistance to help pay for veterinary care for your companion animals, you have several options:

NY S.A.V.E, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the aid and assistance of low-income pet owners residing in one of the five boroughs of New York City, whose pet is in need of emergency veterinary care.

Humane Society

Humane Society
Full Service Clinic: full-service veterinary hospital assists dog and cat owners with limited means, to receive quality treatment for their pets at affordable rates. Services range from basic wellness care and spay/neuter to advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures.


The Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital is located inside the ASPCA’s New York City headquarters at 424 East 92 Street. We are a premier AAHA-certified, small animal, medical, surgical and emergency facility, and have been providing high-quality specialized and general medicine to public and shelter animals since 1912.


Travel Safety for Pet Owners

FIDO Brooklyn Fan, Kylie, suggestys the followin travel safety site...

Driving With Pets: Car Safety & Travel Tips for Animals

This site answers the basic questions that most pet owners should ask themselves before taking any form of transportation, including their own cars. www.cheapcarinsurance.net/driving-with-pets-car-safety-travel-tips-for-animals/