Vaccine info
Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet healthy and living a long life. It starts with early shots. Puppies and kittens are particularly susceptible to some dangerous diseases once they are weaned from their mothers. However, good wellness vaccines don't end there. 

Even inside pets need to have periodic vaccines to guard against diseases like rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and feline panleukopenia. More outdoorsy dogs may benefit from additional vaccines such as the Leptospirosis and Lyme vaccines. At Staten Island Veterinary Group, we can help you come up with a customized vaccine schedule for your pet, based on their exposure levels and age. 

If you have any questions about what types of vaccinations are appropriate for your pet, post a comment below. We want to hear from you. 

Wellness Care

Keeping your pet healthy and prepared for a long life takes a community and dedication. Just getting your pet neutered or spayed and having them vaccinated against common feline or canine diseases isn't enough... although it's a really good start! Good pet wellness care includes annual (or more) wellness visits, good pet dental care, annual screening blood work, and preventative medications, such as heartworm and flea/tick applications.


At Staten Island Veterinary Group, we offer all of these services as well as nutritional and behavioral advice, and pet boarding. If you have any questions about keeping your pets safe and healthy, post a comment below. We want to hear from you!

Reptile illnesses

The majority of reptile illnesses stem from poor husbandry. It is very important to know exactly how to care for a reptile before taking the leap of purchasing one. It's also important to know how long and how large they will grow to ensure that they will continue to fit into your home and lifestyle, because reptiles are a long-term commitment that can become overwhelming to unprepared owners. Our own Dr. DiGiuseppi is a great source for information on reptile husbandry including temperature, humidity, lighting, substrate, diet, supplements, and much more. All reptiles require different care and husbandry. The below link is one of the many great resources for reptile husbandry, but is not a replacement for seeking Veterinary attention. 

Metabolic Bone Disease is one very common husbandry-related disease in many lizards, especially Bearded Dragons. Calcium & Vitamin D supplementation and UV Bulb lighting are essential for Bearded Dragons and other lizards care in order to prevent Metabolic Bone Disease. Without proper supplementation, the body breaks down its own bones to release calcium into the bloodstream, raising the blood calcium levels to a normal level. This severely weakens the bones, to the point where they can break easily. The muscles, including the heart muscle, are also affected by the low calcium levels, becoming very weak. Ultimately, affected reptiles are very weak, have soft, "bumpy" bones, and may die of heart disease if not treated quickly and appropriately.


Welcome Dr. James DiGiuseppi to the SIVG family!
Dr. DiGiuseppi grew up on Staten Island and received his Bachelor's degree in Biology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Ross University completing his clinical year at University of Florida.

Dr. DiGiuseppi special interests include reptile medicine, medical oncology, and dentistry. Dr. DiGiuseppi currently lives on Staten Island with his Goldendoodle Rocco, his pet snake and two bearded dragons.





As a pet owner, you and your furry friend will experience many firsts: some experiences will be exciting and fun; and some may be stressful. One of the more potentially stress-inducing first experiences that you and your pet must face is the initial visit to the veterinarian: your pal might feel anxious and scared when being examined by a newly-met stranger. In order to help you both out; we're here to give you some tips for making your visit a relatively stress-free experience:

  • Give your dog some car-riding practice and take trips to the park, then to the vet. Be sure to properly restrain your friend.
  • Allow your cat to become comfortable in their carrier. Leave it out randomly, and feed them in the carrier to help them associate the carrier with safety and comfort. Cover cat carriers with a towel sprayed with Feliway pheromone prior to leaving the house.
  • Before the visit; take you dog for a walk. Collect any stool in a plastic bag, as your vet may ask for a sample. Bring a sample from the litter box for your cat.
  • Bring along all of your pet's medical records for easy reference.
  • During the visit, stay with your pet and converse with him/her in a calm, reassuring voice. Stay calm to help keep your pet calm.
  • Be at your friend's side and help restrain (IF OK'ed by your vet) and comfort him/her during the procedures, injections, and examinations.
  • Be sure to give your pet yummy treats before, during, and after the visit to make it a pleasant experience for them. Bring some from home, or use what we have at the office- peanut butter, whipped cream and spray cheese!

Your pet's first visit is essential for their health and well-being: it will allow you and your vet to see just how healthy your friend is; and can help you detect potential health issues and conditions as early as possible.

Staten Island Veterinary Group is a full-service facility that provides expert veterinary care and additional services for dogs, cats, and small mammal exotics. Call us up at 718-370-0390, 718-370-0391, or email us at for all of your questions about our services and for more information.

Staten Island Veterinary Group has its own APP!

App & Client Loyalty Program

Our app allows us to extend even further the care and service we provide to our clients and their pets. We know your pets are an important part of your family and being able to manage their care and veterinary needs more efficiently would make your life easier. The SIVG app provides that efficiency for you! Downloading the app is easy with the links and QR codes provided.

With the SIVG app you can:

  • Access the Loyalty Program with your virtual punch card
  • Quickly view all of your pets' vaccine and blood work due dates
  • One touch call and email
  • Request appointments
  • Request food and medication
  • Receive monthly reminders so you don't forget to give your heartworm and flea/tick prevention
  • Check out our Website, Facebook and YouTube pages
  • Look up pet diseases from a reliable information source
  • Find us on the map
  • Find contact information for Pet Poison Control
  • And much more!


The app features a Client Loyalty Program ...

On the app is a virtual punch card. When you earn a punch, an SIVG receptionist will scan a QR Code onto the virtual card on your smartphone. For clients who are less tech-savvy, or for those that would prefer to use a paper card to keep track of your earned punches, we have those available too.


How are punches earned?
Earn one punch each when you...

  • Download the App
  • One punch for every $100 spent, per visit, i.e., if you spend $260 - you will receive 2 punches and the $60 does not get added to your next visit's punch calculation. Every visit is calculated separately and never includes money spent retroactively or spent in the future.
  • Refer a new client

Program Rules:

  • Earned virtual "punches" never expire
  • Cannot redeem during the same visit a reward is earned
  • Grooming by Dawn not included
  • Loyalty Program rules are subject to change at any time


How to Download the App

If you have an iPhone, go to the Apple iTune app store and search for SIVG, or click on this link.

If you have an Android phone, go to Google Play and search for SIVG, or click on this link.



Staten Island Veterinary Group welcomes Dr. Lisa Fiorenza to our practice. Stop in and say hi

Dr. Lisa Fiorenza received her Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University- Cook College, and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. She went on to complete a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Brooklyn. Her professional interests include pain management, hospice care, and immune disorders.

Lisa hails from Staten Island and is excited to be returning home. In her free time, she enjoys movies, sports, yoga, and snuggling up with her handsome cat, Regis, and crazy pup, Amelia.

Laser Therapy

Now offering a surgery-free, drug-free noninvasive treatment for pain relief and inflammation
We offer the latest technology in health care for your pet. Our Companion Therapy Laser is an FDA-cleared deep penetrating light that allows relief of pain through the release of endorphins and stimulates the injured cells to heal at a faster rate. It can make all the difference in the world for your best friends suffering from any number of conditions including treatment for acute pain, chronic conditions, and post-operative pain. For these pets, laser therapy at Staten Island Veterinary Group can mean living in comfort instead of learning to handle the pain.

What can be treated with laser therapy?
If your pet is feeling pain, has inflammation, or a wound, the laser is a sterile, pain-free, surgery-free, drug-free treatment. The laser is used to treat a variety of injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, and pain. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, the laser has been shown to provide relief and speed healing.

How does it work?
The Companion therapy laser system sends photons, or packets of light energy, deep into tissue without damaging it. These photons are absorbed within the mitochondria of the cells and induce a chemical change called "photo-bio-modulation". This light energy then inspires production of ATP in the cell. ATP is the fuel, or energy, cells need for repair and rejuvenation. Impaired or injured cells do not make this fuel at an optimal rate. Increased ATP production leads to healthier cells, healthier tissue, and healthier animals. 

What to expect during a Companion Laser Therapy treatment session for your companion?
Simply put, it provides relief. The fur does not need to be clipped. Eye protection will be worn by the laser operator and anyone in a close proximity to the laser probe. The eyes of the animal will be directed away from the treatment area or covered with a towel or eye wear. The clinician will move the probe over the area of treatment to assure the laser is being delivered to the area which needs improvement. Patients do not need to be sedated or restrained, and your pet will likely not feel the laser treatment. Soon after the first treatment, your pet may move with less pain or have a more relaxed stride and better range of motion.

What's involved with treating my pet?
Treatments are unique to each patient and condition. When choosing treatment options with your veterinarian, laser therapy may be an alternative to or used in companion treatment with pharmaceuticals. It can provide immediate results without dangerous side effects.
Typically, the laser light is delivered through a non-invasive handpiece to treat the affected area. Your pet will feel a gentle and soothing warmth. As the laser is administered, many pets will relax, much like you would experiencing a good massage. The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experienced will dissipate. Occasionally, angry cats will start to purr and dogs will fall asleep during their therapy session.

How long does the treatment take?
Treatment protocols are unique to each patient and condition. Therefore, treatments will vary in time, complexity and cost. For some chronic patients, multiple joints will be treated during one laser treatment session. Most treatments, however, take from 3-30 minutes, and are frequently conducted in conjunction with other forms of rehabilitation therapy. When appropriate, laser therapy can be used as a complementary adjunct to other treatment plans.

Are there any side effects?
There are no known side effects with this treatment.

Is there anything my pet should or shouldn't do, or take, while on the treatment?
Just follow normal treatment protocols as outlined. You do not need to be overly cautious nor should you overdo any activities. Just business as usual.

What can I expect at home?
You might see a change in activity when your pet comes home. For some it might be increased activity and others may be more relaxed. This is due to the pain relief and reduction in inflammation.

How should I support this treatment at home?
There are no specific things you need to do at home, other than follow normal restrictions, dietary needs, and additional treatment protocols as you pet's condition dictates and is outlined by your veterinarian. 

When can I expect to see an improvement? What might I see?
You may see relief in the first treatment or so as pain and inflammation are reduced. For example: better mobility for joint conditions, drying and healing of dermatological issues, faster healing for wounds and incisions, or your pet just seeming more relaxed and comfortable . For some conditions, a series of treatments may be necessary before you see results due to the severity or complexity of the condition. Each pet is different, and treatments are unique for your pet's specific needs.

Help your pet heal with laser therapy. Drug Free. Surgery Free. Relief for your pet. Therapy Lasers have been scientifically proven and successful in treating post-surgical pain and many acute and chronic conditions.


What is canine flu?
Canine influenza is a newly identified respiratory illness of dogs. It is caused by a virus which is closely related to the horse flu virus. Because canine flu is an emerging disease, dogs have no natural immunity to it. Nearly all dogs exposed to the flu virus will get infected, but not all will have clinical (that is, visible) signs of the flu. Therefore, even dogs without clinical signs can pass the virus to others because they may be infected with it.

Why haven't I heard about canine flu before now?
Canine flu is new. Initial cases of respiratory disease outbreaks were reported at U.S. greyhound racetracks in 2004. It took many months for the researchers to isolate, identify, and characterize the virus and to prove that the virus was the cause of the respiratory illness in the greyhounds. In early 2005, the disease was identified in pet dogs in Florida. Cases have now been found in several states.

How can my dog get canine flu?
The virus spreads most easily where a number of dogs are kept in close proximity, such as boarding kennels, doggie day care, and dog parks, but it can also be passed dog to dog "on the street." The virus is present in respiratory secretions of infected animals--that is, secretions from the nose.

How would I know if my dog has the flu?
Dogs with flu have a fever, runny nose, and a cough. Unfortunately, these symptoms are very similar to those of a well-known disease called "kennel cough." However, kennel cough is a bacterial infection for which there is an effective vaccine. They are alike in that both the flu and kennel cough can progress to pneumonia, and both must be treated by a veterinarian. Since the flu looks like kennel cough, you cannot assume these symptoms are signs of kennel cough. If your dog displays evidence of a fever, runny nose or cough, call your veterinarian immediately.

Can my dog die from this disease?
Most dogs make a full recovery from the flu within a few weeks, but there have been some cases reported in which the flu has progressed to pneumonia. There have also been a few fatalities reported as a result of this virus. Because this is a new disease, veterinary medicine does not yet have adequate information to predict the outcome in all dogs. Therefore, we cannot stress enough the importance of getting veterinary care at the first sign of respiratory disease, as early care does seem related to recovery.

Is there a blood test for the flu?
Although a blood test has been developed to determine if a dog has been exposed to the canine flu virus, it is not available for rapid diagnosis. Knowledge of exposure to the virus will not change how a sick dog is treated, since there is no antiviral drug available to shorten duration of the illness.

Can humans get flu from their dogs?
The equine flu virus has been around for more than 40 years ago, and there has not been any documented transmission of this disease to humans. Since the dog flu virus is so closely related to the equine virus, CDC researchers do not expect transmission to humans.

Can my cat get flu from my dog?
There has been limited testing of cats exposed to dogs with flu. No cats have developed this illness.

Is the canine flu related to the bird flu we hear so much about?
This virus has been identified and scientifically named H3N8. It is a different virus from the one that causes bird flu.

Is there a dog flu "season"?
Since this is an emerging disease, we don't know all of the answers, including whether there is a "flu season" for dogs.

Is there a vaccine for canine flu?
A vaccine is not currently available against canine flu. There is a vaccine against kennel cough which we recommend for all dogs who have even minimal contact with other dogs, but that vaccine will not immunize your dog against canine flu. There is no cure for canine flu. but there are some antibiotic medications that some dogs may benefit from taking for secondary infections as a result of the flu, as well as IV fluids in extreme cases. Discuss these with your veterinarian if your dog becomes sick.

What should I do?
Because of the ease of transmission, we recommend that you keep your pets away from dogs with cold-like symptoms, and do not allow them to share toys, food, or water bowls with other dogs. Owners should keep any potentially sick dogs away from other dogs and public situations.

December 22, 2009

On December 21, IDEXX Laboratories confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in a dog in Bedford Hills, New York. A 13-year old dog became ill after its owner was ill with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza. The dog was lethargic, coughing, not eating, and had a fever. Radiographs (x-rays) showed evidence of pneumonia. The dog was treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, nebulization and other supportive care, and was discharged from the hospital after 48 hours of care. It is currently recovering. Tests submitted to IDEXX Laboratories were negative for canine influenza (H3N8) but positive for 2009 H1N1 influenza. The results were confirmed by the Iowa State Laboratory.

At this time, the messages to clients remain largely the same.

  • This is not cause for panic, but underscores the importance of taking pets to a veterinarian if they are showing signs of illness. This is especially important if someone in the household has recently been ill with flu-like symptoms.
  • Pet owners should remain vigilant.
  • To date, animals infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus have shown the following clinical signs: lethargy, inappetance/anorexia, coughing and difficulty breathing. Some of the animals have developed pneumonia. Any animals showing these signs of disease should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • Proper hygiene and sanitation measures should be followed to limit the spread of the influenza virus.
  • There is no evidence to suggest that pets have or will spread the virus to humans or other animals. To date, all of the sick pets became ill after a person in the household was ill with flu-like symptoms.
  • Proper hygiene and sanitation measures should be followed to limit the spread of the influenza virus.
  • Turkey and pork are still safe to eat. Nonetheless, proper food hygiene and preparation are very important when it comes to protecting your family from any foodborne illness.

Schaumburg, IL

- A cat in Iowa has tested positive for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, state officials confirmed this morning, marking the first time a cat has been diagnosed with this strain of influenza.

The cat, which has recovered, is believed to have caught the virus from someone in the household who was sick with H1N1. There are no indications that the cat passed the virus on to any other animals or people.

Prior to this diagnosis, the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus had been found in humans, pigs, birds and ferrets.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) are reminding pet owners that some viruses can pass between people and animals, so this was not an altogether unexpected event. Pet owners should monitor their pets' health very closely, no matter what type of animal, and visit a veterinarian if there are any signs of illness.

See your pet on Petly – As your pet's personal health page, Petly is a special place for you and your pet. You're just one click away! – GO TO PETLY

At the Staten Island Veterinary Group you will find only animal lovers.

Our practice is committed to treating your pet the way we would treat our own.