Old Elephant Pharm becomes animal hospital

Adobe Animal Hospital of Los Altos relocates to El Camino Real, hopes to start animal blood bank

Adobe Animal Hospital moved over the weekend from First Street in downtown Los Altos to a 14,000-square-foot building on El Camino Real that used to house the holistic pharmacy, The Elephant Pharm.

The new facility will be the largest general-practice veterinary hospital in Northern California, with 23 veterinarians working there, according to Brian Maxwell, doctor of veterinary medicine at Adobe. The hospital will have 15 exam rooms, two ultra-sound machines, five surgical tables, a three-station dental room and a 24-hour ICU.

"We had outgrown the building we were in," Maxwell said of the 46-year-old business.

The new facility will be able to accommodate almost any animal from dogs and cats to lizards and goats.

"We don't do horses," Maxwell said. "The animals have to be able to walk in the door."

The group hopes to start a full-service blood bank for dogs and cats, according to Practice Manager Summer Holmstrand.

Blood is normally donated by the animals of the employees or received overnight from large animal-blood banks across the nation. Artificial blood substitutes available, but Holmstrand said they are not as effective as real blood.

"Clients are becoming more and more interested in having a higher level of medicine," Holmstrand said.

Currently, Adobe performs around one blood transfusion every two weeks, she said.

Other local hospitals also rely on outside blood agencies.

"We use blood banks all the time," said Marilyn Thelen, hospital administrator of South Peninsula Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Palo Alto. "We use them probably three to four times a week."

Thelen said that since there dozens of different types of blood for dogs and cats, a large supply is needed for care. According to Thelen, blood types don't always have to match up, but sometimes animals can experience bad reactions if the types do not match.

Thanks to new equipment, blood typing can be accomplished in minutes, however, Holmstrand said.

Adobe officials are hoping people will bring in their pets to give blood.

Donor animals must go through a screening process to see if there is anything harmful in their blood. Also, the owner and pet must be comfortable with the procedure; if there is any sign of fear or nervousness, the animal will not be allowed to donate at the time, according to Adobe.

Rescue groups and dog-walking groups currently bring in their animals to donate blood several times a year.

"When they see their pets as part of their families, they are willing to go to greater lengths for their health care," Holmstrand said.

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Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm

This is not a news article but an advertisement by Adobe. Inappropriate.

Like this comment
Posted by bambi
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I do not see why you would feel this is inappropriate. Community news includes items such as this. Seems more than appropriate. This is an important and valuable service to the readers and residents in this area and to local business. If this was an ad I know that it would have said so. I like knowing that Adobe is finally moving into that empty space.

Like this comment
Posted by agree with Bambi
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

I agree with Bambi..whenever a big "something" happens in a community, from an opening of a grocery store to the opening of a vet clinic, it is community news.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

Why not an article on the SuHong, or the new furniture store near the Adobe vet? If you want to support new business in PA, why not have a regular column with all of the new businesses?

Or, a story on all of the businesses who have had to shut down -- and why, and a discussion about what can be done for PA's sagging commercial base. That's a discussion worthy of the smart folks in the PA community.

Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

It's newsworthy to me. Especially the thought of starting up an animal blood bank.

Like this comment
Posted by pet citizen
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 14, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Adobe hospital is great. The fact they have moved has enlighten readers who may not know Adobe exists, but are looking for a new Vet or have a new family pet! The animal blood bank is really an interesting idea, who knew ? Adobe is not a new business, they are growing and staying in the local area, good for them ! If they moved to San Jose, now we would have 2 empty buildings instead of 1 small one. Go Adobe

Like this comment
Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

Hi neighbor,

You might be interested to read the Weekly's twice monthly ShopTalk column, which covers businesses that are opening and closing in the Palo Alto area. The latest column is here:

Web Link

Also check out the article (and discussion) on the hiring of Tommy Fehrenbach as Palo Alto's new economic-development manager. He starts Monday.

Web Link

You can find other coverage of Palo Alto's commercial sector in the Palo Alto Online archive, searchable at the top of this page.

Like this comment
Posted by Pen
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Well "neighbor", if a hospital, police or fire station moved locations, wouldn't you want to know? I sure would so I do not respond to the old building in need of emergency attention. Adobe is one of the few 24 hour, full service pet emergency locations in the area. If they moved, I want to know about it and Palo Alto Online is an appropriate place. People need to be advised of this since getting to the pet hospital in a timely manner could be critical.

As for finding that furniture store? If I go there and find a sign that it moved, it doesn't really matter. It might just take me a few more minutes out of my day.

Like this comment
Posted by George K.
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

For me this is news on 2 counts. It's good to hear that Elephant Pharm is finally occupied, might help me forget my favorite "holistic pharmacy." Plus, I didn't know that there was such a thing as blood banks for dogs and cats, so that's interesting.

Like this comment
Posted by catndogluvr
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 16, 2010 at 12:59 pm

We became Adobe clients over 10 years ago when our former vet retired.
Excellent care and often you can stay with the animal during the procedure. Not many other clinics permit that. The move is news since the clinic is now located closer to Palo Alto--not more convenient for all of its clientele, but for many of us. Additionally, I know there are clients who travel quite a distance for the services Adobe provides--like even Sacramento?

Like this comment
Posted by pet sitter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I appreciate the article, and I appreciate your posting it on your email news. I've seen the sign on the old Elephant Pharmacy building saying that Adobe Animal Hospital was moving to that location, and I wondered when and if the move was going to take place.

While I don't have a pet of my own, I recently did some pet-sitting and my instructions were to take the kitty to Adobe in Los Altos on First Street if a medical problem were to arise. Now I know that Adobe has moved.

I also have several friends who take their pets to vets at Adobe, and if a medical emergency were to suddenly arise, I wouldn't want them to waste precious time driving to downtown Los Altos only to find out that Adobe had moved, and then having to backtrack to El Camino. So thanks for the article.

Like this comment
Posted by Moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Four exam rooms? For 23 veterinarians?

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 17, 2010 at 1:05 am

Moi -- I also noticed that --- only 4 exam rooms for a facilty that size?? Looks like the long waits will continue, which kept me from ever wanting to go back. Am not an Adobe fan myself, nor are several of my neighbors. Did you know they do surgery without being board certified as in other clinics in the area? As would be expected, quality of service is quite dependent on which vet you see.

Like this comment
Posted by Employee
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Just to set the record straight, the new Adobe location has 15 exam rooms and two ultrasound rooms. There are 23 vets but all of them don't work at the same time.

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2010 at 9:38 am

There was a press release issued sent out about the new Adobe Animal Hospital. Here is the correct information on what has expanded, including the exam rooms:

Fifteen exam rooms are equipped for ear and eye exams with ultrasound systems in two of the rooms for performing echocardiograms, pregnancy checks and abdominal scans.

The new surgical suite has been expanded to three rooms with five operating tables, including a new orthopedic OR for knee surgery and the Bay Area’s first procedure using regenerative medicine to treat painful canine arthritis. Surgeries also include C-sections, splenectomies (removal of the spleen), mass removal, foreign object removal, and biopsies of the stomach, lungs and heart.

An 1,800 sq. ft. ICU separates dogs from noise-sensitive cats. The larger ICU has 23 runs to monitor small and large dogs, and large oxygen cages if dogs need respiratory emergency care and life support. The smaller adjoining ICU accommodates cats and exotic pets in special cages. An isolation room is available for both dogs and cats suffering from infectious diseases.

Hope that helps!

Like this comment
Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Aug 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

Thank you, Employee, for setting the record straight.

The new Adobe facility has 15 exam rooms, and I've corrected the article above to reflect that fact. We regret the error.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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