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Innovative treatment at BluePearl saves puppy just in time for wedding

Planning a wedding can be stressful. But Wendy Tsang experienced a whole new level of anxiety after her beloved Samoyed puppy Alameda ate some prescription medication that threatened to kill her just a week before the nuptials.   

The medication could have sent Alameda into renal failure. But thanks to an innovative treatment offered by BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Alameda made a full recovery – just in time for Wendy to walk down the aisle.

The story begins on February 10 with a visit from Wendy’s brother-in-law, who was taking piroxicam, a common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The next day, the empty blister pack was found in Alameda’s crate. The puppy has a bad habit of gobbling anything she can find, Wendy said.

“She is crazy,” Wendy said. “She jumps off the walls and eats everything.”

Wendy and her soon-to-be husband Randy rushed the pup to the BluePearl hospital in Brooklyn. Dr. Yuki Tse, a board-certified critical care specialist, recommended Alameda be transferred to BluePearl’s Queens hospital so she could undergo a treatment called plasmapheresis.

Plasmapheresis is a process where a machine “cleans” a patient’s blood by removing diseased plasma and replacing it with healthy plasma taken from a donor. While this treatment has been used in human medicine for many years, it is still relatively uncommon in the veterinary world. In fact, BluePearl’s Queens hospital is currently the only veterinary facility in the New York City area to offer it, along with other forms of hemodialysis.

The treatment began just in the nick of time, Dr. Tse said. Alameda was already starting to show the early signs of renal failure, which can be fatal.

“Had she not pursued this method, she probably would have required dialysis,” a much more extensive and costly process, said Dr. Tse.

It took several days of hospitalization, but Alameda began to show signs of improvement. All the while, Wendy and Randy were anxiously monitoring her progress while juggling wedding preparations.

“I was a wreck,” Wendy said. “I was just so worried about her.”

Then, the day before the wedding, Alameda’s renal values began to stabilize. And as Randy and Wendy officially became husband and wife, the pup was pronounced healthy enough to be discharged from BluePearl.

When the newlyweds picked her up from the hospital, Alameda acted like nothing had ever happened to her. In fact, the doctors and technicians caring for the puppy said her appetite was stronger than ever.

“They said it was a really good sign that she was eating everything,” Wendy said. “She was a little tired but otherwise she was completely fine.”

Dr. Tse said she was glad to see a successful outcome and hopes that Wendy’s story will help raise awareness about plasmapheresis and other forms of hemodialysis for pets.

“It shows that therapy like this can be very effective,” she said. “We’re so happy that Alameda is doing well and is back where she belongs – with her family.”