We’re Growing: Dr. Judit Szamos has joined our team!

Dr. Judit SzamosWe are excited to announce that Dr. Judit Szamos has joined our PBVC team!  Please help us welcome her back to the Central Coast and stop by to say “hi!”

Click here to learn more about Dr. Szamos>>

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Meet Martin, Our December Featured Employee!

Martin was born and raised in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. He started out as a receptionist at a veterinary emergency clinic before coming to PBVC in late November of 2016 to work as a technician. Martin has completed the R.V.T. program at Allan Hancock College and is now working towards taking his R.V.T. exam. He especially loves working with emergency cases, his favorite being fractures. He loves to see the process of healing over time and the progress with the patients.


At PBVC, Martin can be found helping with procedures and helping the doctors with appointments. He also takes pride in being our safety coordinator, ensuring the hospital is always up to date with the latest safe trends. At home Martin has two cats, Koba (from planet of the apes) and Picasso. Outside of work, Martin is an avid runner and also enjoys hiking.

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Meet Heidi, Our November Featured Employee!

Heidi is a lover of all animals. She has helped treat Pacific Wild Life animals and had hands-on experience with owls, eagles, pelicans, etc She has also spent time in the Philippines volunteering at a wild animal rescue for fruit bats, brown long tail macaques, and bear cats. Heidi’s favorite experience in the Philippines was a whale rescue she participated in and she spent 8 hours with a Dwarf Sperm whale! As exciting as this experience was, Heidi missed small animal practice.

Heidi is one of our registered veterinary technicians at PBVC and helps in the treatment area with surgeries. One of her passions is helping with dental procedures and educating staff on how to better help the patients. Heidi treats every single patient like her own pet, giving every pet a thorough brushing before they go home from their procedure. When she’s not at work, Heidi is spending time with her two boys, Brandon and Tristan, and husband, Bob.

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Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Like people, dogs are capable of experiencing “senior moments”. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is somewhat like a dog version of Alzheimer’s disease in people. CCD can occur for many reasons like an accumulation of proteins in the brain, or genetic factors. CCD occurs in many older dogs. A study from UC Davis found that 28% of dogs aged 11-12 years and 68% of dogs aged

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15-16 years exhibited at least one or more signs of cognitive impairment. These signs can be variable, but include disorientation, sleep problems, change in physical activities, and having accidents inside the house.


When we see a dog exhibiting signs of CCD, we recommend taking a look at this form from Purina to decide if your dog may benefit from a NeuroCare diet. Purina NC is a great food product to use for dogs who exhibit signs of CCD and can help with cognitive functions. If you have any questions about the NeuroCare diet or CCD in general, you can call to schedule an appointment with us at 805-773-0474.

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Halloween Tips for Pet Owners

Halloween is a favorite holiday of many because of the fun costumes, activities, and of course CANDY! During the festivities we can’t forget about our pets so keep these tips in mind this season.


  1. Check your costumes. Many people love dressing up their dogs and cats for the season. Some pets don’t seem to mind but others can become very uncomfortable. Take your pet’s costume on a test run before the big day to make sure it fits comfortably and your pet can move around easily without getting overheated. Never leave your pet unattended in a costume in case of tangling.
  2. Stay visible. Even with your pet dressed up, it’s important to keep their identification on them at all times. This means leaving their collar with their name and your phone number in easy view in case they should get out.
  3. Keep calm. During trick or treating, pets can become very anxious. It’s best to leave your pet at home while you take your kids out in the neighborhood. If you’re handing out candy at home, make sure your pet is in a safe spot in your house where they will not be able to get out while you answer the door. If your pet is afraid of knocking or door bells, make sure they are in an area that they feel secure.
  4. Keep your candy safe and secure. We all know chocolate is a big no no for pets! Make sure your kids aren’t stashing their candy anywhere that your pets can get to (like under their beds or in their closets). PETS Hospital is open 24/7 if your pet gets into any candy! You can also call Pet Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.
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Meet Laurie, Our October Featured Employee!

Laurie moved to San Luis Obispo in 1987 to go to Cal Poly as a Dairy Science major and lived at Cal Poly’s project dairy with her 8 Holsteins. She started working in veterinary medicine in 1994 at a small animal and exotic practice and developed a passion and affinity for working with parrots which gave her a nickname of “The Bird Whisperer”. At one point, Laurie was fostering 3 cockatoos, 7 macaws as well as several smaller parrot species. At PBVC, Laurie is one of our lead technicians and assists the doctors in our treatment area with surgeries and procedures. Laurie loves teaching our newer staff and giving great tips and tricks to help make the day go smoother. Laurie is also everyone’s “go to” when we have birds in the clinic!

When she is not at work, you can usually find her out and about in the music scene. Laurie loves playing guitar and Ukulele, travel (her next “Dream Trip” will be to the Tambopata National Reserve in Puerto Maldonado – Peru to see and study macaws in the wild), cooking, photography, knitting, painting and relaxing at home with her critters.

Laurie and her husband Matt’s furred and feathered kids include her trusty pooch Robbie, her five cats, Kiara, Little Sister, Breena, Grizzabella and Ivan and then there is Darlin’, her Congo African Grey parrot. Curly and Gaiden are her Green Wing macaws and Zorro is her Military Macaw.

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Meet Kacey, Our September Featured Employee!

Kacey was born and raised in Mission Viejo, CA and moved to San Luis Obispo in 2015. During high school she raised and showed Market Lambs at the Orange County fair. She recently graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science and plans to get her Teaching Credential and Masters in Agricultural Education from Cal Poly. Back at home Kacey has a 9 year old cat named Bear.

Kacey’s favorite part about working at Pismo Beach Vet Clinic is being able to help people and their pets. She loves when she is able to help solve a problem or make someone feel better in stressful times with their pets. When Kacey isn’t at the reception desk greeting and helping our human clients, she is in our treatment area helping out with the animals. No matter where she is, she is always smiling and ready to help out! Outside of the clinic, she enjoys being at the beach, hiking around SLO, or hanging out with her Mini Holland Lop named Peanut.


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Rattlesnake Season

Rattlesnake season (April – October) can be a scary time for pet owners. Here at PBVC, we urge pet owners to be vigilant and proactive during this time. There are many steps owners can take to increase the safety of their pets. Rattlesnake aversion training is the most effective method to avoid rattlesnake bites and is highly recommended as a proactive measure for pets with a high risk of exposure. Talk to your veterinarian to hear more about local training resources.

Although a rattlesnake vaccine does exist, PBVC along with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis does not advocate for its use because of the lack of independent verification to prove that it is effective and safe. Whether or not your pet has been vaccinated, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of a rattlesnake bite:
*DO take your pet to the closest hospital immediately. Call PBVC (7 days a week 8-5 Sat-Wed and 8-10 Thur-Fri) or PETS Hospital (Open 24/7)
*DON’T give your pets any type of medication like ibuprofen or aspirin. This could lead to a life-threatening clotting disorder during the bite.
*DON’T try to remove the venom by cutting or sucking it out.

“It is important for community members to be aware of how easy it can be for a snake bite to occur,” said Dr. Joel Conn, owner of PBVC and founder of PETS Hospital. “It can happen in a backyard without you realizing it. If you notice that your pet’s face, leg or paw seems swollen, painful or bruised, seek medical attention immediately. Snake bites happen to cats as well as dogs.”

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Meet Jennifer, Our August Featured Employee!

Jennifer was born and raised in Southern California. Growing up, she preferred stuffed animals over dolls and decided to pursue her love of animals.  Jennifer spent her summers working at an animal clinic in Indiana where they had an equine specialist.  She decided to pursue her passion for horses and changed her major to Equine Science at Colorado State University. For an internship she worked on a large cattle ranch high in the Rocky Mountains.

After graduation, her pursuit took her to Kentucky where she worked for Ashford Stud, one of the premier thoroughbred breeding farms in the world. This job allowed her to travel and work in Australia, New Zealand, England and Ireland. With some extra training at Hagyard’s Equine Medical Institute, she became their head vet nurse.

Missing the mountains and the ocean, she moved back to Colorado to work for her Alma Mater, managing the barns for the Equine Reproduction Lab.  She then got back to medicine at Little Equine Medical Center to tech. A year ago she planned to move to New Zealand to be close to her sister but after moving back to California to spend time with family, she met Mr. Right and has decided to stay in California and work with small animals. Through all this her trusty four legged sidekick Jax has stayed with her.

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Remembering Kitto

Last week we lost a great patient, Kitto. We wanted to share with some of our fellow animal lovers what a cool cat he was, particularly because his story is such a touching one. Kitto spent most of his life with the Cal Poly Cat Program, located on Cal Poly campus and run by volunteers (many being Cal Poly students). Some of our own technicians even remember Kitto from their time volunteering there! Being a long time resident of the shelter, he saw many faces come and go. He was a volunteer favorite for his happy head-butts and cuddling. Kitto had a condition called feline stomatitis that required him to undergo extensive dental work, including full mouth extractions and ultimate lifelong medication. Though this is an extremely painful condition, Kitto never complained. Kitto charmed many at the cat shelter but didn’t find his forever family until very recently. He was so thrilled to have a home, laps to sit in, faces to kiss, and a human bed to nap in. He started out as a foster kitty for them, but they knew he had to be theirs and adopted him and a fellow shelter mate, Reggie. They showered both of them with love, kisses, and cuddles up until Kitto’s final day. Kitto was able to pass away peacefully at home with his people. Though Kitto had different medical problems and a rough start in life, he was very loved by many and will be missed by all.

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Contact Us
Work: (805) 773-0474
Fax: (805) 773-5902
990 Price Street
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

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