Veterinarian - Melbourne
1029 Sarno Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
(321) 254-1754

Read 2012 Tails From The Vet

Dec 8, 2011

Water, water everywhere!

That is one of the reasons we and our pets live in Florida.  A
number of our pets love to be in or drink from any of the 7,700 lakes, 27
springs, 1,191 miles of coastline and 11,000 miles of rivers!  Living in these waters lurks a cross between
a bacteria and a plant called cyanobacteria, also known as pond scum or blue
green algae.  Some of these cyanobacteria species can produce skin, liver, neurological, and cellular toxins.  In the ocean, these creatures are called red
tide and have been known to cause seizures and G.I. symptoms in dogs.  If you suspect the water is contaminated,
i.e. bright green, brown, red, orange, purple or other color, do not let your pet drink or jump in this water.  If they
do, wash them office immediately and if they ingest the water, call your veterinarian as soon as possible for advice.

Nov 23, 2011

Tis the season to be jolly and for our pets to get into foods that are unsafe for them. Some foods for humans can even be dangerously toxic to our furry buddies. Foods that have become moldy can lead to neurological toxins that will affect the nervous system causing tremors, convulsions and uncoordination.

Chocolate is also toxic to dogs and cats. Cats, however, usually don’t like sweets! Dark chocolate and bitter chocolate are the most dangerous to your pets, while white chocolate is fairly safe. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include hyperactivity, tremors and increased heart rate and can lead to death. Inducing vomiting right after ingesting the chocolate can help eliminate the toxins from the body.

Onions have been the cause of severe anemia in dogs and cats. Once again, inducing vomiting as soon as possible after they ingest the onion or onion product is best.

Other toxic foods that should be avoided are Macadamia nuts, rising bread dough, grapes and raisins, tobacco products and sugar free gum containing Xylitol.

Please call your veterinarian for advice if you suspect that your pet has ingested any of these foods.

Nov 3, 2011

Have you ever seen your large breed puppy or young adult do the “bunny hop” or seem like his/her back legs are kept well under the body? This can be a sign of hip dysplasia, a disease of the hip joint where cartilage forming to bone is abnormal. This can lead to the hip joint becoming lax and then further leading to severe arthritis! The disease carries a genetic and environmental stress factor. Certain breeds are more susceptible, such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Samoyeds, and Rottweilers , to name a few.

Keeping the calories cut 25% while they are growing pups, and not feeding adlib, will reduce the incident of hip dysplasia by 50%. If pain is evident in the hips, especially after manipulation, it is definitely warranted to take hip x-rays while under anesthesia. There are a number of treatments available for dogs with hip dysplasia, including surgery. Please call your veterinarian for further information on this abnormality.

Oct 19, 2011

It’s trick or treat time again with Halloween fast approaching.
Our pets love to do trick for their treats.  Just the word “treat” makes their ears pop up!  So let’s try to keep their treats to healthy choices and we will help keep those unwanted extra pounds off of our pets. There are many types of treats we can choose from.  Talk with your veterinarian, as many treats can be harmful, especially chocolate.  Some pets have health issues and cannot have a lot of salt in their diet and treats. Stay away from bones and rawhide as they can cause G.I. issues and harm. Our pets are very special to us, so remember to brighten their days and relationship to us with a treat now and then.  Please call your veterinarian to consult about your pet’s diet and those special treats.

Sep 27, 2011

There are times when our feline buddies get a little bored or annoyed with the environment that we provide for them. Some, when the opportunity or chance is seen, bolt on us and may or may not return home. Cats, being both predators and prey, like to have an enriched yet secure environment. Their food, water and litter box should be placed in an area away from machines that start unexpectedly or where they may be startled or feel trapped. Scratching posts and their own climbing areas should be provided.

Make sure you interact with your cat(s) on a routine basis, especially when leaving or returning home. Pet or groom them or use toys to play with them at these times. Each individual cat will let you know which one of these interactions they prefer. Audio/visual stimulation with them is also very important. Keeping the radio or TV on or a DVD with animals moving about the screen are some ideas to satisfy your inquisitive cat. Also, catnip and feline pheromones are beneficial in keeping your feline friends feeling good about home sweet home. Please call your veterinarian for more information that will help your cat stay healthy and happy for life.

Michael J. Ponte, DVM
1029 Sarno Road
Melbourne, Fl. 32935

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754.

Sep 20, 2011

Check out our new television ad at Sarno Animal Hospital.

Keep up to date with all your pets needs and join us on FaceBook!

Aug 31, 2011

The first goal of Veterinary and Human medicine is to prevent diseases from happening.  You’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure.  Well, for our
kitty friends, vaccines against feline respiratory diseases, distemper in cats,
leukemia and rabies are all available at your local veterinarian’s medical office.  Also remember, a good physical exam will be
given by your veterinarian to help insure Fluffy can handle these immunizations!!

Just because your cat doesn’t go outside, doesn’t mean they should not be vaccinated.  Keep in mind, cats can sneak out, be spit at
through screens and wild animals can get into your yard and confront your
pet!  Some of these vaccines are approved for 3 years by the State of Florida and many counties, also.  Please call your veterinarian to find out
which vaccines are a good choice for your cat’s health.

Michael J. Ponte, DVM
1029 Sarno Road
Melbourne, Fl.  32935

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at

Aug 5, 2011

Not too long ago, canine distemper and canine influenza were making our dogs in Brevard County very sick and killing many of them!  Canine distemper is a widespread virus and can yield a high mortality in dogs.  Almost all dogs become exposed to distemper sometime in their life.  It attacks many tissues in the dog’s body and causes diarrhea, fever, nasal and ocular discharge, respiratory disease and neurological signs such as spasms and paralysis.    It is also called “hard pad” disease, as sometimes the foot pads become thickened and hard.

 Canine influenza, which was recently isolated at a shelter in Brevard County by the University of Florida, is also a very contagious respiratory virus.  It can cause severe pneumonia and can even lead to death.

 Fortunately, both of these diseases can be prevented by very good vaccines given at your veterinarian’s office.  Please call your veterinarian and get your pooches up to date on these and other important vaccines.

Michael J. Ponte, DVM
Sarno Animal Hospital
Melbourne, Fl.
If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754.

Jul 15, 2011

We are pleased to announce a new addition, Stephen Van Lue, DVM, ACVS and his veterinary surgical specialty mobile practice.  Dr. Van Lue has taught at veterinary medical schools and is a board certified veterinary surgical specialist.  He will be providing very affordable surgical procedures at our hospital, such as knee, hip and shoulder surgery, neurologic surgery and many more.  The surgical procedures will be performed at Sarno Animal Hospital and all follow-up care will be provided by Dr. Van Lue or Dr. Ponte, as well as our helpful medical nursing staff.  Having Dr. Van Lue performing surgical procedures at Sarno Animal Hospital allows us to provide your pets with affordable specialized surgery and their general veterinary needs all under the same roof.  Please call for more details.

Jul 15, 2011

The dog days of summer are upon us and the summer heat can kill people and animals.  Heat stroke, or hyperthermia, can cause numerous body system failures.  Even walking your dog at hot times of the day can lead to heat stroke.  Keep the walks short during these times or preferably, walk during the early morning or early evening.  Remember, asphalt can be very hot and even burn the pads of your dogs’ feet.  Try to stay on the grass or sidewalks during your walks.

 The signs to watch for in your dog or cat are excessive panting, drooling, redness of gums, a hard time breathing, walking funny, appearing to be drunk, and/or vomiting and diarrhea.  A rectal temperature higher than 105-106 (normal range is 100-103) without the presence of an infection or inflammation, is a sign of heat stroke.

All year round in Florida, one should never leave their pets in a car, even with the windows down or in the shade.  This is still very dangerous and can lead to heat stroke!!  Cool your pet down with water, not ice, and call your veterinarian immediately.

 Michael J. Ponte, DVM
Sarno Animal Hospital
Melbourne, Fl.

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754

Jun 27, 2011

Consider spaying or neutering your dog or cat.  For the female pet, spaying is the surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries.  This terminates the ability to have unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.  Spaying also eliminates those seemingly never-ending heat cycles.  Mammary tumors, infections of the uterus, and possible future anemia may be greatly decreased if this surgery is performed early.  The optimum age is 4-6 months. 

For the male pet, neutering is the surgical removal of both testicles.  This terminates the desire to find females in heat and also prevents unwanted litters.  It will help decrease aggressiveness and other behavioral problems.  Male cats should be neutered between 4-6 months of age to prevent the spraying of urine.  Once spraying has begun, you should neuter your pet as soon as possible.  Canines should be done at the same age. 

Michael J. Ponte, DVM
Sarno Animal Hospital
Melbourne, Fl. 

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754

Jun 7, 2011

Check out our new video at Sarno Animal Hospital!/photo.php?v=179377102116916

Join us on Facebook to view the video!

Jun 3, 2011

Ask us about “Doc In The Box”.  Flea products and heartworm preventitives mailed to your house.

May 6, 2011

It was another very cold winter for Florida, but the summer heat is already here and the fleas are back with a vengeance!  Our dog and cat patients are coming in with no pants (fur missing on back of thighs, the tail base, and up the back) and scratching up a storm.  Even if you don’t see any fleas on your pets, just remember the fire ant bites.  You were itching and scratching your feet and legs for weeks after the bite.   It’s the same thing with flea allergy in your pets.  It only takes one bite or injection of a flea antigen material and your pet is off to the itchy-scratchy show!   

Thank goodness for the new age of safe topical pesticides that you local vet has for this problem.  There are even some new oral pesticides you can use.  Sometimes, these products need a jump start and you may have to employ premise sprays for your flea infested environment.  Fleas also carry tapeworms and when the infected flea is ingested can lead to these worms developing inside your pet.  They can be seen as both white rice or sesame seed looking pieces in your pets’ rectal area or stool.  

Call your veterinarian today to help rid your pet and environment of these pesky bugs.

Michael J. Ponte, DVM
Sarno Animal Hospital
Melbourne, Fl.

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754.

Apr 13, 2011

Just the other day, I heard a survey that 50 million dollars a year of personal and household items go missing!  The culprit was our beloved “man’s best friend”.  A recent veterinary journal contest, “Your Patient Swallowed What”, revealed fishing hooks, rubber ducky bath toys, diamond rings, a telephone cord, and a 5 inch paring knife in the GI tract of dogs and cats.

When we as veterinarians see a vomiting and/or diarrhea dog or cat, one of the causes high on the list, is a foreign body that was intentionally or unintentionally swallowed!  Also, getting into the garbage and ingesting food or other materials can cause gastric and intestinal problems.  This can lead to a blockage and the need for endoscopy or emergency surgery.  Sometimes, the pancreas is damaged from these different, yet rich and delectable tidbits.  This disease, pancreatitis, can be fatal.  Your veterinarian will need to run a multitude of tests to help decide if a foreign material or infectious agent has caused these issues.

Try to keep garbage covered and close the laundry basket to avoid easy access to these tempting goodies.  You may offer many veterinarian approved toys to your pets to help curb their inquisitive and clepto tendencies.  Make sure you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for any uncontrolled vomiting or diarrhea!

If you have any general questions regarding your pet’s health, call Dr. Ponte at 321-254-1754.

Apr 5, 2011

Welcome to Sarno Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Florida. Our professional, friendly staff is dedicated to providing quality medicine, surgery and wellness programs for dogs and cats. We value every patient and therefore invest our time to listen, inform and answer questions thoroughly. Our goal is to keep your pet healthy and you pleased with our efforts and services.

We are also committed to promoting responsible pet ownership, with low cost spay and neuter surgery, and preventative healthcare through our annual pet vaccination plans. Being well informed to serve our patients is another important priority. Our staff annually attends AVMA conferences allowing us to stay on the leading edge of pet medicine. Please take a moment to contact us today, to learn more about our veterinary practices.

Mar 4, 2011

Your pet’s dental health is important.  Just like us, we have to get our pets started with dental hygiene at an early age.  Get your puppy and kitten used to you touching their teeth and gums early in life.  Pay attention to bad breath and your pet having a hard time eating, as these are signs of dental and gum disease.

Your veterinarian will assess their oral cavity for diseased gums (gingivitis and periodontal disease) and fractured or loose teeth.  Dental cleanings and polishing, with or without extractions, can be performed while your pet is under anesthesia.  Once their teeth are all cleaned up and polished, the veterinary team will show you how to keep them that way with various dental kits and mouth flushes, as well as various dental toys and dietary measures.

Read 2012 Tails From The Vet