Nat Geo Wild posted to their Facebook page recently that Houston’s Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists handle an astounding 50,000 cases every year. With a staff of over 200, they are capable of performing spinal surgeries, amputations, dental surgeries, total joint replacements, and even hysterectomies. The doctors and staff have dedicated themselves to providing the very best, state-of-the-art medical care to animals big and small.
GCVS is often the last stop for animals who need advanced care that is often beyond the abilities of their regular veterinarians. Animal ER follows patients from the beginning as they are rushed into the hospital, and through their diagnosis and treatment. Broadway World shared that animals seen on any given day can range from the usual dogs and cats, to sea turtles and a white Bengal tiger in need of surgery.
“GCVS has the most fascinating and dramatic range of cases in the country, with everything from exotics and zoo animals to family pets crashing through their doors 24/7,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo Wild. “Combine this with an incredible cast of passionate vets, and you get some of the most innovative, expert and extraordinary animal care in the world. It will be like nothing else on TV.”
Animal ER follows the GCVS doctors as they tackle the toughest and most challenging cases across their respective departments and specialties. According to the GCVS website, there are approximately 15 departments ranging from surgery and orthopedics, to oncology, cardiology, dentistry, and critical care. Animal ER reveals that the hospital is constantly striving to improve services, and to develop new ways to care for and treat any patient who comes through their door.
Dr. Wayne Whitney is a partner and orthopedic surgeon at GCVS and he has been with Gulf Coast since the hospital first opened in 1988. Nat Geo Wild’s Animal ER bio page describes Dr. Whitney is the most “Texan” of the surgeons. His sense of humor is well known, and he likes to shake hands and make eye contact with owners before treating their animals. Animal ER follows Dr. Whitney as he pursues his interest in canine sports medicine including field trial, hunt test, and agility dogs. He is also known by others in the veterinary community as a pioneer in veterinary arthroscopy.
Dr. Brian Beale is another partner and orthopedic surgeon at GCVS, and his patients range from household pets to exotic animals. Animal ER follows the doctor as he puts his innovative treatment plans, extensive experience, and impressive surgical skills to use. He likes to stay busy, performing 10 to 20 surgeries a week, hosting a weekly radio show in regard to pet health, and lecturing all around the world.
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Dr. Heidi Hottinger is also a partner and surgeon at GCVS and she specializes in soft tissue surgeries. Animal ER follows Dr. Hottinger as she utilizes her considerable surgical skills removing cancerous tumors, performing amputations, and extracting foreign bodies. Viewers of Animal ER will quickly discovery that she is a ball of energy, and is often seen at the hospital in the company of her two whippets.
Animal ER also follows Brittany Neal, who is one of the newest surgeons at GCVS. She is an orthopedic and soft tissue surgeon. She is very personable, with an upbeat personality that makes her an excellent team player on Animal ER. She loves to run and is often training for marathons when not working.
Dr. Caleb Hudson specializes in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, and is very detail-oriented. His interests include minimally-invasive procedures, and he specializes in total joint replacements on Animal ER. Dr. Carley Giovanella specializes in neurology and neurosurgery, and on Animal ER she focuses on cutting-edge technology like artificial disc implants. Although on Animal ER her main focus is on dogs and cats, she has performed surgery on a monkey and used advanced diagnostic techniques on a Komodo dragon for the Houston Zoo.
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Dr. Laura Vasquez specializes in neurology and neurosurgery, and holds a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. She has a special interest in neuro-degenerative disorders. During her off time, she likes to read science fiction and comic books. Dr. Chanda Miles is a board-certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon at GCVS. Her extensive dental expertise allows her to treat animals ranging from household pets to meerkats and chimpanzees on Animal ER.
Dr. Natalie Antinoff is also a part of Animal ER, and she established the Avian and Exotics department in 1997. She sees a myriad of species including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. Outside of work, she enjoys biking and inline skating. Dr. Sue Chen also treats a wide variety of exotic and non-traditional pets including birds, reptiles, and small mammals. She enjoys photography, speaking Mandarin, and has spent time in Australia studying veterinary medicine. Danielle Inman also works in the Avian and Exotics department on Animal ER. She has traveled around the world studying reptiles and amphibians in their native habitats and is known as the resident expert on all types of exotic animals.
Nancy Doyle is the on-site physical therapist, and she works closely with all the doctors on Animal ER. Her job is to rehabilitate her animal patients, often by using the latest in cutting-edge technology such as laser treatments and water treadmills.
Animal ER is produced by Propagate for Nat Geo Wild, with Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Brett-Patrick Jenkins, and Richard Hall serving as the executive producers for Propagate. For Nat Geo Wild, Janet Han Vissering is the senior vice president of development and production, and the executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels, with Jenny Apostol serving as the executive producer.
Will you be checking out this new series? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Animal ER premieres on Saturday, September 10 at 10 p.m. ET on Nat Geo Wild.
[Image via Nat Geo Wild]