Pet Wellness:More Resources & Links
The veterinary resources featured on this page provide useful information to pet owners on a variety of topics related to veterinary medicine and pet health care.
Animal Breed Associations
Pet Grief Support
Pet Insurance / Payment Options
Pet Poison Control
Mary Lou Brongo, DVM — Co-Chief of Staff
Dr. Brongo, Co-Chief of Staff, is originally from upstate New York. Having been in New Jersey for a number of years, she received her bachelor of science degree in animal science from Rutgers University, Cook College, where she did some interesting thesis work with a rare species of pigs at the Bronx Zoo. After Cook, she headed west to Oklahoma State University (OSU), where she earned her DVM degree.
At OSU she concentrated on small animal internal medicine and surgery and was involved in numerous outreach programs. She received awards for promoting the human–animal bond, excellence in the field of small animal nutrition, and representing her class and school to the public at large. For three years, she was a class representative, acting as liaison between faculty and students.
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA — Co-Chief of Staff
Dr. Christman, Co-Chief of Staff, joined the Brick Town Veterinary Hospital family in July 2006. He is a true Jersey Shore guy. Having been born and raised in Brick, he was a veterinary technician with us while attending Brick Township High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and a minor in Spanish from Cook College, Rutgers University, in 2000. He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2004.
He received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 from Aspen University. He is currently attending a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) program.
Dr. Christman is a huge advocate for shelter medicine and animal welfare. He firmly believes in treating every animal with the respect and dignity it rightfully deserves. As a result, he devotes some of his work to the Jersey Shore Animal Shelter.
David Buist, VMD
Dr. Buist started his veterinary career with Brick Town Veterinary Hospital in 1984, after completing his veterinary training at the University of Pennsylvania. His special interests include surgery, orthopedic surgery, reproduction, and pediatrics.
He has been married to his wife, Mary Beth, since 1978. She recently retired from teaching at the high school in Lacey Township. Together they have three children: Rebecca, a high school teacher; David, a chemist; and Ryan, who is currently attending Rutgers in New Brunswick. Their family pets over the years have included various dogs, canaries, hamsters, rabbits, and, for brief periods of time, the odd snake or turtle.
Debra Fiorito, DVM, FAVD, Dip. AVDC
Dr. Fiorito obtained her Animal Science degree from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1979. She then attended Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1983. Dr. Fiorito became a Fellow of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry in 1988, and was the first in the state of New Jersey to become board-certified as a veterinary dental specialist with the American Veterinary Dental College in 1995.
Dr. Fiorito has been involved with veterinary dental referral practice serving New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for over 25 years. She has authored case reports and articles in various professional journals, including Canine Practice, Veterinary Practice Staff, The Compendium and Journal of Veterinary Dentistry. She has also lectured on veterinary dental topics to a variety of local, state, and national veterinary medical organizations.
Christopher Shapley, DVM, CVA
Dr. Christopher Shapley began working at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital in May of 2018. He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana but grew up in Toms River, New Jersey; he now resides in East Windsor. Dr. Shapley attended Montclair State University for undergrad and later went on to earn a DVM degree from the Western University of Health Sciences. He previously practiced at Freehold Animal Hospital.
Dr. Shapley is a specialist in veterinary acupuncture and herbal medicine. He has two pet dogs at home, Carrie and Bogey. In his spare time, Dr. Shapley enjoys Kung Fu, surfing, camping and archery.
Patricia Leff, DVM
Dr. Leff joined our practice after relocating from Florida, where she has practiced since her graduation from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She was born and raised in New Jersey until leaving to obtain her undergraduate degree, which she received from Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida. Dr. Leff then continued on with her education at the University of Florida, where she obtained both her Masters and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.
Dr. Leff really enjoys practicing small animal medicine and getting to promote the human-animal bond. Her main areas of interest include dermatology and internal medicine. She has also completed courses in small animal acupuncture at the Chi Institute in Florida and she hopes to start to incorporate this in her practice along with some herbal therapies.
Brian Calabro, DVM
Dr. Brian Calabro grew up and currently resides in Toms River, New Jersey. He received an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University: Cook College and earned a DVM degree from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Brick town Veterinary Hospital team, Dr. Calabro practiced in Toms River. His special interests include endocrinopathies and soft tissue surgery.
In his spare time, Dr. Calabro enjoys exploring NYC and spending time at home with family and friends. He also shares his home with two cats named, Bunker and Bandit.
Courtney Zinna, DVM
Dr. Courtney Zinna grew up in Somerset and currently resides in Barnegat, New Jersey She received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Rutgers University and earned a DVM degree from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Brick Town Veterinary Hospital team, Dr. Zinna practiced at Banfield Pet Hospital. Her special interests include wildlife rehabilitation, exotics, internal medicine, and preventive care.
Outside of the practice, Dr. Zinna enjoys hiking with her island rescue dog named, Quinn, reading, and traveling.
Lauren Korecky, DVM
Dr. Lauren Korecky was born and raised in Manalapan, New Jersey. She attended the University of Rhode Island for her undergraduate education, where she earned a degree in Aquaculture in 2009. Following graduation, she worked at the Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey for two years, followed by a year and a half at a small animal practice. Dr. Korecky earned her degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 2017, located on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
During her time at vet school, she completed an externship at the New England Aquarium, where she worked with fish, penguins, aquatic reptiles and marine mammals. Her professional interests include anesthesia, pain management, and exotics medicine.
Address / Hours
251 Chambers Bridge Road
Brick, NJ 08723
P: (732) 410-4144
F: (732) 477-9560
Construction is underway on a new satellite office location, an outpatient-style clinic, for Brick Town Veterinary Hospital. It will be located in the strip mall right next to our main facility.
Features will include three new exam rooms, which will help reduce wait times, offer additional parking, and allow us to see more patients!
Brick Town Veterinary Hospital to Host Free Pet Food Pantry
As you know, Brick has been affected by severe flooding. Some of our clients have been displaced and many others are in need of both pet food and other supplies.
Because of that, we're going to be hosting a FREE Pet Food Pantry which will most likely be held this Saturday, August 18th, at the satellite clinic next door to our main location at 251 Chambers Bridge Rd. Pet owners can pick up food and other donations between 9:00AM and noon.
Click here to learn more about the food pantry as well as what precautions you should be taking for your pet(s) during this time.
Save on Pet Dental Care Services!
Get 15% off all pet dental services through January, February and March 2018!*
Dental Health Month is rapidly approaching in February, and at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital our discount has been extended from January to end of March 2018 (excluding the dental referral specialty practice).
Learn about the The Why, Who, How & Where of Pet Dentistry and why your dog or cat's dental health is so important.
Make that bacteria-laden smelly breath a thing of the past! Come celebrate your pet’s smile with us.
Annual Benefit Event for Homeless & Sick Animals
Join Brick Town Veterinary Hospital for our 6th Annual Molly Marie Angel Fund Event on October 7th, 2017.
All proceeds from the event will benefit sick and homeless pets. The event will feature comedians Gemini and Patty Rosborough as well as special guest appearances by Lou & Liz, radio hosts of 94.3 fm Morning Show.
Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m; there will also be a cash bar available.
The event will be held at:
17 Stockton Lake Blvd
Tickets for the comedy show are $25 and only $40 when you include dinner. These can be purchased right at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital or by calling 732-477-944.
Updated Hours on Wednesdays
Brick Town Veterinary Hospital will be closed from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Wednesdays for staff enrichment meetings.
If your pet is experiencing an emergency during this time frame, please visit our Emergency Care page for a list of referrals and information. You can also visit our Hours page for additional information on our hospital's schedule.
Call us at 732-477-9440 if you have any questions.
Buy Local Artwork & Change a Shelter Animal’s Life
We have partnered with local Bricktown 5th and 6th graders to help them raise money for their charity campaign “Adopt for Love.” These talented kids have painted, sketched and framed drawings of shelter pets that need homes.
Our waiting room is now an art gala – you can view the artwork and even purchase a piece right at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital. All proceeds will benefit Jersey Shore Animal Center and Monmouth County SPCA. Please consider donating!
Thank you to our young and talented artists. We commend you on making a difference in the lives of shelter animals!
Learn more about Adopt for Love and Brick Town Veterinary Hospital's partnership here.
Pet Dental Special
Get 15% Off Pet Dental Cleanings January-March, 2017!*
|Take advantage of our
'Winter Whitening Sale'!
Did you know that dental health is an important part of your pet's overall wellness routine? It is estimated that nearly 80% of pets have some level of dental disease, a condition that can cause serious and expensive consequences if not managed properly.
The veterinarians at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital want to give you and your pet dog or cat something to smile about. Book a dental cleaning from January through March 2017 and receive 15% off.*
Call us today at (732) 477-9440 to book an appointment for your pet!
Social Media Helps Senior Pet Find Furever Home
As many of you know, Dr. Christman has a passion for helping better the lives of homeless pets in our area. Jesse, a 10 year old dachshund was surrendered because his owners were moving. This was incredibly traumatic for the dog as he would not eat or play in the hopes that his owners would come back for him.
Pets & Parasites Webisode
In this webisode, Drs. Adam Christman and Patricia Leff of Brick Town Veterinary Hospital, delve into a popular summertime topic for pet owners — Parasite Prevention.
Dr. Christman begins with a discussion of ectoparasites (parasites that live on a pet's skin, such as fleas and ticks) and endoparasites (parasites that live inside a pet, such as roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms). He also explains whether you should use a topical versus an oral preventative.
Finally, Dr. Christman gives a detailed overview of the most popular products on the market for the prevention of fleas, ticks, heartworms and other parasites, including:
- Frontline Plus
- K9 Advantix
- Scalibor (tick collars)
Refer a Friend Program
Give and get $10 off your next visit
We love having you as a client and always appreciate the confidence you show us by telling your friends and family about our hospital. We want to reward you for sending us new clients by offering a $10.00 coupon to you for each referral appointment booked. Simply tell your friends to mention your name when they book an appointment.
As an added bonus, the person you referred will receive a $10.00 coupon when they come in for their appointment — it's a win, win situation.
We hope you and your friends will continue to be satisfied with the quality of care that our doctors and staff provide. Please feel free to call us at (732) 477-9440 anytime to learn more about this program or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Listen to Dr. Fiorito on 'A Paws for Your Pet'
Dr. Fiorito of our Brick Town Veterinary Dental Referral Service has been asked to appear monthly as a guest on an NBC affiliate radio program, A 'Paws' for Your Pet with Lorry Young. The program airs on Sunday afternoons on WMVB 1440 AM.
In the segment, Dr. Fiorito details various topics in veterinary dentistry and answers questions from callers on dental problems that their pets might be experiencing.
The radio show is made possible and sponsored by Jersey Shore Compounding Pharmacy.
Click the Play button at left to listen to the broadcasts.
(Interview begins at 9 minute mark.)
(Interview begins at 11 minute mark.)
An Inside Look at an Animal Shelter with Dr. Christman
"The Doctor Christman Show" Takes You Behind the Scenes at a Local Animal Shelter
Wonder what it takes to care for animals in need? Our very own Dr. Adam Christman takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jersey Shore Animal Center in Brick, NJ. You'll get to meet some adorable dogs and cats that are in desperate need of their forever homes as well as several hard-working and dedicated team members, including volunteers, that keep the shelter up and running.
In this episode of "The Doctor Christman Show," you'll also get a glimpse at the many challenges facing animal shelters. Dr. Christman also discusses the benefits of adopting from a shelter — did you know that for the price of adoption, you are really getting about $600 worth of veterinary services? Most pets from shelters have been examined, microchipped, and spayed/neutered before you take them home.
Brick Town Veterinary Hospital's Dedicated Team
Our team of veterinary professionals is dedicated to delivering the best customer service and compassionate care to you and your pets.
Lead Veterinary Technician
Jen Pryor, LVT
Lead Veterinary Technician
Alanna Dillon, LVT
Vet Tech & Co-Inventory Manager
Focus on Felines: The Feline Dental Five
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, over 85% of dogs and cats are affected with some form of dental disease by the age of three. Many of these pets, especially, felines, suffer in silence. It is thought that cats routinely mask many of their physical complaints because they could potentially become an easy mark for predation in the wild. This is unfortunate, because dental disease, if left untreated, may become a source of infection for the body, and potentially affect the heart, kidney, and liver over time.
The Benefits of Veterinary Acupuncture
I am often asked "What is acupuncture?" or "Will it hurt?" and even, "Will it even help?". It would be very easy to give the standard clinical answers to these very valid questions but, instead, I would like to start with why I studied acupuncture and why I'm an Integrated Practitioner.
My path started at the age of six when I was first introduced to martial arts. As I grew older, I not only fell in love with the artistry and physicality but, the culture and tradition. I was introduced to Chinese acupuncture and herbal therapy in my early twenties after being injured. It was on the recommendation of my Sifu and agreed upon by my physician at the time to seek acupuncture.
I went to Chinatown to receive acupuncture for the first time. I will admit that even though I had essentially grown up in and around Asian culture, I was very skeptical. Despite my skepticism, I received multiple acupuncture and herbal treatments.
The results were amazing. The renewed vitality I felt made me question why everyone wasn't doing this and why Western physicians didn't make this part of their standard of care?
Stopping Preventatives in the Fall? Don’t Take the Break!
Traditionally, fleas and ticks have been thought of as a problem that we deal with in the spring and summer.
As we hike, BBQ, and enjoy our time outside we are constantly reminded of the pests that surround us. And once the early sunsets and pumpkin spiced lattes of fall set in, we tend to relax on our upkeep of some common preventatives. However, the fall and even winter can pose an equally great threat to our furry family if we do not remain vigilant.
Let’s look at a few of the critters and the harm they can cause to our pets:
Going Against the Grain
As veterinarians we commonly come across many clients who have misconceptions perpetuated by usually well-meaning but misinformed sources. It has often been said that the internet can usually give you enough information to get yourself into trouble but not enough to get out of it. This holds true for many things in veterinary medicine, and perhaps one of the most common misconception is that of food allergies.
For many people with an itchy dog food often becomes the first culprit for the cause, after all with all these grain free diets flooding the market and the blame being placed on grains as a negative or problematic ingredient it is an easy assumption to make.
However, food allergies account for only about 10% of dogs, with the most common being atopy (environmental allergies) or flea allergies.
Of these true food allergy cases the top 3 allergens are beef, dairy products, and chicken, with grains being much lower on the list.
The Why, Who, How & Where of Pet Dentistry
Teeth. They need them for their very survival in the wild. But did you know that (according to the American Veterinary Dental Society) more than 85% of our pet dogs and cats have dental health issues by the age of three? And that these dental issues have been potentially linked to heart, kidney, and liver disease, as well as other health problems?
Save on Pet Dental Care Services (excluding the dental referral specialty practice) through January, February and March 2018 to keep your dog or cat healthy all year long!
Dental disease starts with bacteria. The food that is eaten develops into plaque. Dental plaque, whitish to greyish in color, is slippery material which forms near the gum line. Plaque is made up of food particles, organic material, and bacteria. The bacteria feed on the food particles and, in so doing, produce toxic acidic wastes. These acidic wastes cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue), and periodontal disease (inflammation of the structures suspending the tooth in its socket).
At first, the toxic acidic wastes cause the gums to redden and become swollen. More plaque forms and the wastes dissolve away the ligament holding the tooth in the socket, creating a periodontal pocket. As plaque extends along the tooth root, the plaque nearer the crown becomes mineralized and is referred to as tartar. Tartar ranges from yellow to brown in color, is hard, and adheres tightly to the surface of the tooth. Eventually the ligament breaks down further and the tooth loosens in the socket.
Similarly, dental caries or cavities develop when the toxic acidic wastes dissolve away a layer of enamel. The bacteria can then eventually spread throughout the tooth and destroy it. Sometimes a tooth is worn (flattened) or fractured and bacteria can enter the inside of the tooth, infecting it. A tooth abscess (pocket of infection associated with the tooth) can form, causing bacteria to spread throughout the bloodstream, potentially affecting the internal organs. (Eighty-five % of abscessed teeth go completely unnoticed by the pet owner.) At this point, only tooth extraction will curtail the problem.
A Stinky Story
My personal journey through quality of life decisions and euthanasia.
Stinky Winston came into my life over 12 years ago. My husband and I had just purchased our first house, complete with a yard. Pugsly, as he was known then, was a two year old Pug that “just wasn’t working out” in his second home. The veterinary technicians at Brick Town Veterinary Hospital figured it was a match made in heaven and did their magic. Before I knew it, I was adding an obese dog with mange to our family of two cats and two humans. And with a combination of love, patience, consistency, good veterinary care and a name change, he blossomed into the best dog ever (I may be just a little biased).
As 2017 started, the years were really taking their toll on my old man. He was 14 & 1/2 years old, and during his senior years he had been through knee surgery, injured his neck and back falling down the stairs, had a bout of liver failure, and was facing kidney failure, senility and arthritis pain. As his veterinarian, I was balancing keeping his liver and kidneys happy with managing his pain. As his person, my head was starting to realize that his time here with me was coming to an end though my heart stubbornly refused to acknowledge anything of the sort.
Does Your Pet Need a Summer Slim Down?
As summer approaches and we all try to slim down to fit into our bathing suits, let's take a minute and look at our four-legged friends. The cold winter months have been hard on us all — confined inside for weeks with little to no outdoor activity or exercise. Often our fur babies are curled up next to us on the couch as we binge on the latest Netflix series and munch on whatever salty snacks are satisfying our craving. It is easy to see how we might have put on a little extra weight.
Keep your Pets Safe with These Summer Tips!
Summer months are a wonderful time of year for enjoying barbeques, swimming, relaxing with friends and enjoying the great outdoors. But it can also be a dangerous time for our beloved pets if we aren't careful.
Below are four concerns for our pets during these warm, lazy summer days:
Flea & Tick Season is EVERY Season
Happy Spring to both you and your pets! We tend to think that flea and tick season in our area is prevalent more in the spring and summer time, but actually it is every season. Fleas and ticks are pesky external parasites that have potential to cause serious problems to your pet and even yourself. Here is some information about these pesky pests and our recommendations for prevention.