Upon coming into Bond Animal Hospital in White Plains, the first thing that the bipeds notice, according to Bond’s Dr. Douglas Aspros, is that it doesn't smell like an animal hospital. Without boarding (and the noisy chaos that can go with any crowded hotel), the lack of olfactory offence makes sense, but does the omission create even more urgency to the stressed out animal whose used to the scent. Analogous, for us, to a home without a heavy lived in odor, Dr. Aspros says, "it's calming," and that's a good start for the cat or canine who's quite far removedfrom their normal comfort zone and whatever duress brought it in.
That’s simple preventative measures like vaccinations or a new flea collar to complex neurological problems or severe traumas such as getting hit by a car. “Pretty much the gamut of things that can occur to living things that walk through the door,” says, Dr. Aspros, but Bond doesn’t limit its care to just dogs and cats.
Founded in the early 1950’s by Dr. J Bond, he was originally a specialist in lab animals. Meaning, the doctor was fluent in anything that was non-traditional – unlike most of the vets of the days. “If it wasn’t a dog or a cat or a horse or a cow, veterinarians didn’t know what to do with it,” he says.
Hamsters, birds, gerbils, lizards and snakes were the order of the day – of course – along with the necessity of knowing the nuts and bolts of dogs and cats. Fascinated himself with birds at an early age, the exotics that Bond specialized in filtered down through the first few decades and enticed Dr. Aspros into joining Bond Animal Hospital in the late 1970’s.
But exotic or not, canine or feline, a lot of what Bond does is putting medical application in the hands of pet owners. “A big part of the practice is educating clients in how to take care of their animals,” he says.
Like the humans our animals possess, nutrition and overeating is a large part of “taking care,” and owners don’t always take the necessary oversight in relation to their animals as they would with their children. “One of the ways I think about this is that clients act towards their pets more like grandparents than parents,” he says.
“Food is love, the sort of grandmotherly – here eat,” he says, and it has the same ill effects as it does in humans.
Otherwise, piece of mind goes a good distance toward good animal health as denying them that extra piece of pork. With situations like separation anxiety that can cause howling or thechewing couch covers and bedroom slippers, he says, “We give clients behavioral advice like teachers or psychologists do in helping parents do right by their kids,” he says.
Beyond that, their website provides ample advice outside the office but Bond helps outsource problems that can be so readily solved. Referring out to specialists, a strategy of behavioral and drug therapies can put a pet back on track, and that is significant. “A lot of problems can be averted and you look at the reasons that animals wind up in shelters – it’s often because of behavioral problems,” he says.
Of course, Bond is there in the more immediate aspects of life or death care. Emergency treatment is available in the standard nine to five timeframe, while around the corner their Emergency group is on call 24/7, he says.
Additionally, postoperative aftercare is up to speed, and Physical Therapy is also referred out, while the digital age has definitely extended to reach pets and their owners. Using digital X-rays, he says, “All of our X-rays are sent via the internet directly to our radiologist, who will read them and get us a report within a couple of hours,” he says.
That may seem excessive to the person who lacks an understanding of the human value of pets, but that goes in direct denial of the innate connection between humans and animals. With many people – especially the elderly – living alone, he says, animals become more and more important because having something that’s alive, that’s happy when you come home and that you can touch is really important for your psychological well being, and in the end, your physical well being.
For himself, his well being seems secure not only across species but generations. We have clients whose parents used to come and we saw them when they were kids. They grew up, they got married and now those kids come in with their pets and children, he says. “So it’s really gratifying to have that kind of relationship,” he says.
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