75 years of animal care

Animal Hospital celebrates milestone anniversary

Dr. Ronald Scharf with Hallie, an Animal Hospital of Niskayuna patient. The practice is celebrating 75 years of business.

Dr. Ronald Scharf with Hallie, an Animal Hospital of Niskayuna patient. The practice is celebrating 75 years of business. Submitted photo

— “It is not the just the animal we are taking care of, it is the loved ones in each person’s family,” he said. “You are not only able to help animals, you are able to help the people.”

Scharf said he enjoys being able to use his hands and his head, because he has always had an interest in science but liked working hands-on. Also, he never knows exactly how his day is going to play out.

“It is always a challenge and there is always something new,” he said. “There is never a time when you have seen everything.”

Early in his career he treated a 4-month-old golden retriever suffering from vomiting, which he said was common for puppies, but the puppy didn’t respond to a conservative approach. Then the puppy got sicker and started to have heart problems.

During another physical examination he said he felt the abdomen of the dog and could feel a long narrow object around 6 to 7 inches long with something he could “squeeze” at the end of it.

“I had to take the dog to surgery and remove half of a suction tip arrow,” he said.

The broken end of the arrow ended up poking through the dog’s stomach and into his heart. He said it was an example of how important a physical examination is when treating animals.

“Especially in these days, it is easy to get caught up in a lot of lab work and tests,” he said.

On the feline side, he said a cat came in once with an eye problem and he found there was something inside the eye — a 2-inch long piece of wood.

“Because of the way it went in it did not affect the cat’s brain,” he said.

During the holiday season it is important to make sure cats don’t ingest any tinsel, because it could act like a saw on the intestines that can lead to deadly holes being formed.

No matter what a pet is coming in for, though, Scharf is constantly pleased to see how important pets are to their owners.

“I’m never failed to be impressed by how important people’s pets are to them,” he said. “They are so a part of the family and they are so important to people and I always try to respect that and keep that in mind.”

The Animal Hospital of Niskayuna is located at 2764 Troy-Schenectady Road, and can be reached at 785-9731.

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