By Matt Wiley
There are few things more difficult to watch than a suffering family dog or cat. However, there sometimes is a solution, and the first step is taking that family pet to Seven Oaks Pet Hospital in Wesley Chapel, where helping get pets back on their “paws”– and helping them stay healthy– is the name of the game.
Seven Oaks Pet Hospital, located on S.R. 56 between I-75 and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in the Cypressview Square shopping plaza, is a full-service veterinary medical facility offering everything from anesthesia-free dental work and laparoscopic surgery (or surgery using a small incision and a camera to see inside an animal’s body), to acupuncture and holistic medicine for every family’s four-legged friends.
The hospital prides itself not only on its customer service, but also on its patient care and focus on overall pet wellness. Seven Oaks Pet Hospital’s reputation precedes itself, thanks largely to the work of Dr. Sree Reddy, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), who has been a practicing veterinarian for more than a decade.
Dr. Reddy graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in India in 1997, before moving to the U.S. and earning his Master’s degree in veterinary microbiology from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. After working as a vet in Ames, IA, and in Clearwater, Dr. Reddy opened Seven Oaks Pet Hospital in 2007, where he currently specializes in laparoscopic and bone surgery and acupuncture, taking a more herbal and holistic approach to pet medicine than most vets.
“This isn’t a profession to me,” Reddy explains. “This is my life. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
Reddy is so dedicated to his four-legged patients, in fact, that he, personally, is on-call 24/7.
“I usually work 70-80 hours per week,” he says. “I’m always thinking about my patients, even when I’m at home. If there’s an emergency, no matter what time, day or night, I’m here.”
In March, Dr. Reddy welcomed another full-time veterinarian into the fold at Seven Oaks: Dr. Lisa Clifford, DVM. A Hawaii native and University of Hawaii alumnus, Dr. Clifford received her DVM degree from Iowa State University, also in Ames.
“It was a bit of a culture-shock,” she says of moving from the Hawaiian islands to the Great Plains.
Clifford has been working for Reddy since 2010, but now alternates between three and four days per week at Seven Oaks Pet Hospital.
Together, Drs. Reddy and Clifford take care of pets from all across Tampa Bay, some from as far away as Apollo Beach and St. Petersburg.
“Most of our clients hear about us from other clients,” explains Reddy. “We’ve had between 25-to-30-percent growth in our client-base in the past year. People just keep coming back.”
Dr. Clifford agrees. “It’s more of a personal experience here,” she says. “We focus on quality of care, instead of quantity of patients. We know the clients and the pets well. They’re not in and out the door.”
In addition to the dedication to pet wellness of Seven Oaks’ vets, patients also keep coming back for the practice’s competitively-priced “pet wellness plans.” Seven Oaks Pet Hospital offers clients a choice in different levels of wellness plans, which allow a client to pay a one-time fee for a pet-care package and bring their pet in as many times as needed for an entire year, whether it’s for a checkup or just for vaccinations, depending on what is included in the plan. Seven Oaks offers plans for both dogs and cats that range from complete care packages to dental plans. Puppy and kitten plans also are offered until the animal is six months old.
The value of many of these packages can total more than $800, but the cost to the client is offered at almost a 50-percent discount, because you pay for the visits in advance.
Seven Oaks’ dental care works similarly to the care a human receives at a dentist; no anesthetic is used, up to a certain point. If a pet’s teeth haven’t been cleaned for an extended period of time and need extensive work, a sedative may be necessary, but, if possible, pets receive anesthesia-free dental work.
“It’s cheaper, less invasive and easier on the animal,” says Dr. Reddy. “Pets come in every six months and have their teeth cleaned, just like humans.”
In addition, the facility also recently introduced digital X-rays, allowing imaging to be done in a matter of minutes, rather than having to come back, or wait for an extended time to see what ailment is affecting an animal. And, beginning in January, the facility will feature an in-house ultrasound machine, which will allow Dr. Reddy to see inside a pet to help diagnose a problem more accurately before performing surgery.
Speaking of surgery, Reddy also takes pride in Seven Oaks Pet Hospital’s use of laparoscopic procedures. Using a small incision and a tiny camera, Dr. Reddy is able to do biopsies and even spays without having to open up an animal’s abdomen. Neuters, however, are still done the traditional way.
“I truly believe in (laparoscopic procedures),” Dr. Reddy says. “Technically, I’m losing money on (laparoscopy) because we really don’t charge enough for it. It’s so much better for pets. The incision is only about the size of a dime.”
Reddy explains that with this sort of procedure, pets can be back on their feet in a matter of days, as opposed to weeks. he notes that some pets don’t even require pain meds.
Another area that he specializes in is acupuncture.
“I was seeing a lot of paralyzed dogs,” he says. “A lot of my colleagues were treating paralysis with acupuncture, so I was intrigued.”
Dr. Reddy says that he joined the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) in 2006 to see what acupuncture was all about. After six weeks of training, he became certified and began offering acupuncture as an alternative to traditional medication.
“With paralyzed dogs, sometimes within six or seven treatments, the animal will begin to show signs of recovery,” he explains.
Tampa resident Ken Timmins and Fenway, his mini-dachshund, experienced the wonders of Dr. Reddy’s acupuncture treatment first-hand. Fenway was in intense pain and Timmins feared that he would have to put the dog down, so he brought Fenway to Seven Oaks. Through an X-ray, Reddy determined that Fenway was suffering from a bulging disc and recommended acupuncture.
“I was skeptical at first,” Timmins admits, “But, within seven treatments, Fenway was much better, and he was back to his old self after the ninth treatment. If you have any doubts, I suggest that you put your faith in Dr. Reddy.”
Whether your pet is suffering, or just needs to have a checkup or teeth cleaning, stop by and see Dr. Reddy or Dr. Clifford at Seven Oaks Pet Hospital. The friendly and experienced staff will help make sure that your pet is well, and continues to stay that way.
For more information, please visit SevenOaksPet.VetStreet.com or call 929-4100. Seven Oaks Pet Hospital is located at 27227 S.R. 56 and is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.