Community Veterinary Partners Expands in South Carolina as Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry Joins its Hospital Community

PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 25, 2020) – Community Veterinary Partners (CVP) is delighted to announce Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry has joined its growing family, expanding CVP’s community in South Carolina with practices in Mount Pleasant, Myrtle Beach and Ladson. Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry raises the increasing number of ophthalmology specialty practices within the CVP community, including locations in North Carolina and Virginia.

“Like most specialty practices in veterinary care, animal ophthalmology is a small, tight-knit community,” said John Tramontina, Vice President of Business Development at CVP. “Knowing both Dr. Brad Nadelstein of Animal Eye Care Associates VA and Dr. Bob English, Animal Eye Care Associates NC, have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Anne Cook and her team makes us even more excited to welcome them into our CVP family.”

Dr. Anne Cook is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, and was the owner of Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry. In addition to Dr. Cook, as part of Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry CVP also welcomed board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, Dr. Kristin Fischer, and Dr. Hannah Visser to their community of veterinarians. Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry specializes in treating diseases of the eye. In addition to full-service client-based patient care, the trio of veterinary ophthalmologist work closely with the South Carolina Aquarium, The Center for Birds of Prey, the Charleston Animal Society, and numerous other local rescue organizations.

“After expanding our veterinary ophthalmology services along the coast of South Carolina, we wanted to place the practice into the hands of a partner that understood our long-term commitment to our relationships with our clients, referring veterinarians, team, and community,” said Dr. Anne Cook. “We appreciate that CVP honors our close-knit collaboration and ties to the local community. We are very excited to be part of Community Veterinary Partners and look forward to continuing to build our practice in the state of South Carolina in partnership with CVPs.”

CVP mirrors this enthusiasm as it welcomes Animal Eye Care of the Lowcountry with open arms and continues to embrace new hospitals who share the same core values of bringing joy to families by providing the best care possible to the pets they love.

COVID-19 and Animals – What We Know So Far

Published by Dr. Adam Denish, Dr. Bob Sarsfield and the CVP Medical Advisory Board

Updated on May 13, 2020

The CDC recently announced a small number of companion animals, including dogs and cats, have reportedly been infected with COVID-19 after being in close contact with infected owners. At this point, there is limited available information and further studies need to be conducted to understand how animals could be affected by the virus. So far, there are no reports of any animal dying from COVID-19.

We have been closely following the developments of this issue and curating information from credible resources. Based on review of information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and other industry leaders, we would like to share what we know so far:

  • Cats and ferrets seem to be most susceptible to contracting infection of the virus from humans and other animals.
  • Although there are reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in some animals, symptoms in animals seem to be mild and all animals without an underlying health issue have recovered. There is a report of an infected dog dying, however there were other underlying health issues with this patient.
  • At this time, we believe there is very little risk of a veterinarian contracting COVID-19 during treatment, even if the pet lives with someone who has the virus.
  • It is vital for veterinarians to continue to use the recommended PPE according to the CDC and to continue following safety protocols to prevent exposure.

The clinical spectrum of illness for COVID-19 remains largely undefined for animals and they may present with either respiratory or gastrointestinal clinical signs based on other more common coronaviruses found in animals. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Lethargy
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal/ocular discharge
  • Diarrhea

As of today, veterinary experts and state governments do not recommend screening non-clinical pets for the virus unless recommended by a public health authority. However, we would like to offer the following guidance for those pets presenting with symptoms:

  • IDEXX Reference Laboratories has developed a real-time PCR test to detect SARS-COV-2 based on the genetic sequence in the human outbreak. This test may be considered for cats or ferrets in consultation with a public health authority when investigating respiratory disease after common issues have been ruled out.
  • An Upper Respiratory Disease Panel should be considered for those cats or dogs presenting with symptoms who reside in a COVID-19 household before testing for SARS-COV-2.
  • Ferrets and cats presenting with respiratory signs should be evaluated with an influenza virus panel first and then tested for SARS-COV-2
  • Nasal and oral swabs are the preferred mode of testing and the swab must be a plastic tipped, polyester sheath swap and must be sent in brain/heart infusion (BHI) media. Note, for the IDEXX real-time PCR test they require swabs to be submitted in dry sterile containers. For IDEXX, you can use a white blood tube with no additives.
  • We encourage checking with your state veterinarians or public health departments prior to testing for COVID-19 as some states will perform the test and are waiving the $50 specimen fee.

We strongly encourage following the CDC’s recommendations for PPE based on the history of the companion animal.

The topic of COVID-19 and animals has been covered by numerous news outlets and online media sources. Below is a list of credible resources we have discovered through our investigation of COVID-19 and animals.

As with the pandemic, how COVID-19 is affecting animals continues to evolve. We will continue to monitor this issue and will provide updates as we understand more.

Community Veterinary Partners Launches University Relations Initiative

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 19, 2018) – Community Veterinary Partners (CVP) is pleased to announce the launch of the CVP University Relations Initiative to further prepare veterinary students for the successful transition from study to veterinary practice. Dr. Laura Strong, a 25-year veteran of the veterinary industry, has been chosen to spearhead the initiative.

The CVP University Relations Initiative includes developing partnerships with veterinary programs at some of the leading universities, engaging student ambassadors to administer student outreach programs, offering externship and mentorship opportunities within CVP’s hospital network, and identifying new opportunities for tuition reimbursement. Through the CVP program, students will be exposed to fast-paced, exciting and true entrepreneurial work environments alongside veterinary professionals delivering unparalleled patient and client care with uncompromising compassion.

“We want to help grow veterinary learners into veterinary leaders. One of the ways for us to make an impact is to work with our university partners to offer students educational, professional leadership and career development opportunities while they are still in school,” Strong commented. “Through my years of practice, I felt it was our duty to prepare the next generation of veterinarians and am excited to be working with our hospitals and our students on this initiative.”

CVP’s mission is to be there for its clients by providing unparalleled medical care in a compassionate atmosphere so its patients can live long and healthy lives. CVP embraces the concept that clinical practices and pet care should remain with the veterinarians at the hospital level. The CVP University Relations Initiative will prepare its future veterinarians to make those decisions and deliver the highest quality of care to its patients.

“The veterinarians within our network of hospitals are some of the best in the industry. They are committed to providing quality clinical care to their patients. They are also committed to growing our family of veterinarians by preparing the next generation,” said Kevin Ruffe, CEO of CVP. “Through the University Relations program, we can begin to bring down the barriers related to the success of new graduates, including the lack of clinical experience, client communication skills and loan repayment. That’s a win-win for everyone.”

About Community Veterinary Partners

Community Veterinary Partners is a family of over 50 animal hospitals brought together to collaborate on the best way to deliver quality care to our patients and a first-rate experience for our clients. We are committed to investing in and partnering with leading hospitals, nurturing and developing the best people and providing support services that are paramount in our industry. Quality of care is always foremost and will forever remain at the hospital level with CVP. More information is available at