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New York's Finest

New York's FinestDescribing them as some of the best veterinary specialists in the country, the New York Magazine profiled three Tufts graduates for its compilation of New York's "Best Vets." New York City.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.22.02] In New York City alone, there are over 5 million dogs and cats -- proof that New Yorkers love to have pets. And they don't want just any veterinarians treating their animals. This week, New York Magazine profiled the city's top veterinarians -- profiling three Tufts graduates among its listing of New York's finest.

"New York's veterinary specialists are top dogs in everything from oncology to acupuncture," reported New York Magazine -- which described Tufts graduates George Kramer, Andrew Kaplan and Laurie Hess as some of "the top veterinary specialists in the country."

A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. George Kramer is one of the top specialists in his field.

"Since 1989, he has been summoned to handle special cases at virtually every veterinary hospital in New York, treating dogs and cats -- even the occasional Bronx Zoo gorilla -- for conditions like arrhythmia, valvular disease and cardiomyopathy," reported New York.

He was among the first veterinarians to arrive at ground zero to treat search and rescue dogs in the days following Sept. 11. But most of his work centers around treating pets with a wide variety of heart conditions.

"[Kramer says] technology has evolved so that an animal with a new pacemaker can spend just one night in the hospital," reported the magazine.

Like Kramer, internist Dr. Andrew Kaplan treats pets with a wide variety of illnesses.

"Tall, dark and humane, Andrew Kaplan is like a refugee worker, compelled to be wherever the need is greatest," reported New York.

A recent transplant from the West Coast, Kaplan "considers his specialty to be 'puzzling' diagnoses and hard-to-manage diseases such as diabetes," reported the magazine.

Compared with his old home city of San Francisco, New York has a pretty large problem with animal control and overpopulation. Between 40,000 and 60,000 animals are killed each year by accidents or euthanasia, reported New York Magazine.

So the Tufts-trained veterinarian soon plans to launch his own shelter project in the city.

But not all of New York's veterinarians treat dogs and cats.

Dr. Laurie Hess, who graduated from the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994, is among the Magazine's picks for New York's top exotic animal specialist.

Immediately after graduating from Tufts, Hess got a taste of the wide-range of cases that can involve exotic animals.

"A man burst into the Animal Medical Center at 3 a.m. with a large, exotic cat and one-armed baby monkey in a coma," reported New York. "The monkey's seizure had scared the cat into attacking it."

Those kinds of cases aren't all that unusual for Hess.

"Since [1994], Hess and the three other staff doctors in the Animal Medical Center's exotics department have treated an average of 3,000 animals each year -- not counting emergencies," reported the magazine.

One of just seven avian veterinarians in the state of New York to be certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Hess has produced a lot of research on the impact of different diets on pet birds. Her work was recently highlighted at the International Symposium for Pet Bird Nutrition in Germany.

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