SFVMA News — Fall 2023

Latest Newsletter


Happy summertime to all my San Francisco veterinary colleagues,

I hope all is well for everyone during our often cold summer months as we ease into our warmer months here in the City by the Bay. Some find this a good time to escape for summer vacations but I am kind of liking our cooler climate. I recently had to spend a few days in Ohio with 95 degree air and 80% humidity. It felt so good to step out of the airport into a 70 degree climate back at SFO. It is easy to take our weather for granted when humans and animals are literally dying by the hundreds in other parts of the country. I mention this because we are likely to get some really hot days here in the weeks to come. As the Central Valley cools off and air stops rising there, we lose our coastal breeze here (i.e. the city’s natural air conditioning). From my years in the E.R. I know there will be many dogs presenting to hospitals (mostly brachycephalic) with hyperthermia that will lead to their demise. Put up a poster in the lobby and especially for flat faced dogs, mention it during the exam. This season is a good time to warn owners of the risks. You can’t remind owners enough: “Don’t leave Fido in the car, even for a short period on warm days.”

So we have more than just hyperthermia to consider during the summer in our neck of the woods. Thanks to global warming, fertilizer runoff, and wastewater treatment discharge there is now a constant potential for spontaneous toxic algae blooms in the ocean and Bay. We are already seeing this occur in Southern California, resulting in more than a thousand documented marine mammals dying and many suspected cases in humans and dogs. There have been numerous warnings from our local officials that we are seeing small blooms now in the Bay. …