Vero Beach News Weekly
By Fran Foster, The Newsweekly
Medical emergencies are never convenient. But until this past summer, that inconvenience could have become a disaster for local pet owners who had to drive to Fort Pierce or Melbourne to find after-hours veterinary care.
Luckily, Dr. Angela Cail has opened the Treasure Coast Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospital to care for Indian River County's beloved pets 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
In the first week the practice was open, Cail was able to save two lives. She says the time saved transporting the injured animals made all the difference.
Cail moved back to her home town of Palm Bay when she was done with veterinary school, and began working in Fort Pierce and Brevard County emergency veterinary hospitals.
"I'm a local Florida girl who loves what I do and wanted to stay close to home," she said.
She also soon realized that she could help fulfill a need in our area.
"One day I was working on a cat at the Brevard hospital for someone from Indian River County and he told me how desperately they needed this type of practice in the county," she recalls. "It happened to be that a location on 69th Street was available and I decided to open my own practice."
Cail is joined by Dr. Toccoa Graves and a full staff to provide coverage for emergency needs. There is always one of them available at any time of day or night.
A big advantage at the hospital is that it's self-contained. They have state-of-the-art technology onsite including surgery services, radiology services and an in-house lab. They plan on adding a CT scanner within a few weeks.
Currently, they provide emergency care for dogs, cats and some exotics.
"I feel privileged to be part of the team providing this much needed emergency service to our community," says Graves. "We are ready for any challenge that comes through our doors."
They plan to expand their services to include horses, and are actively searching for board-certified equine internists and surgeons.
"Our facility is already equipped to handle equine emergencies with a surgery and recovery room, directly behind the small hospital, as well as the stables in the back," Cail said.
After Cail and Graves make sure their patient's condition is stable, they follow up with the pet's routine doctor for after care. They also are connected to various specialists who can provide further treatment, such as cardiologists and neurologists.
Dr. Slade from Sebastian Animal Hospital and Bird Clinic is a fan of the new hospital.
"Dr. Cail is charming, dedicated and very competent," Slade said. "Most importantly, this is the first time that Indian River County has had a 24-hour emergency facility, which is a great asset to the community. I'm delighted there is a place locals can go to for emergencies in their most desperate time of need."
The most frequent question Cail and Graves typically receive when the phone rings is from concerned owners who aren't sure if they should come to the hospital.
"I always tell those callers that if they were concerned enough to call, then they should come in," Cail replies. "Time is always of the essence in a true emergency so it's better to be safe than sorry."
One of their proudest achievements is the services they provide to local law enforcement K-9 units, such as the Indian River County Sheriff's Department, the Sebastian and Vero Beach Police Departments and the National Navy UDT-Seal Museum canines.
While it is not necessary to call before you bring your animal to the hospital, it helps the staff prepare for your arrival. Of course, in the case of major traumas, the most important thing is to be safe and get your loved one to them without further harm to the animal or the owner.
"We are really blessed to have this great place here in Indian River County and we really want the community to know we are here for them, day or night," Cail said. "We plan on being part of this community for a long time."
The Treasure Coast Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospital is located at 6580 E 69th Street, just off 66th Avenue in Vero Beach. They can be reached 24/7 at 772-569-4500. Visit their website for more information, including signs of animal distress, at www.treasurecoastanimaler.com