Welcome to the Big Easy Animal Hospital!

Welcome to the Big Easy!

Welcome to the BIG EASY Animal Hospital, the only Hispanic veterinary hospital in Pittsburgh, located in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville.  We are a full-service hospital with modern in-house diagnostics and surgery facilities.  The staff at the BIG EASY understands the special bond you share with your pet.  Our friendly and professional team is caring, knowledgeable and accessible.  Our goal is to provide a different kind of experience for our clients and their pets.  Along with providing medical and surgical expertise and exemplary customer service, we are also committed to treating you and your pet with utmost care and compassion.

Dr. Aileen Ruiz’s story

Flooded out of Big Easy, veterinarian builds new life in Lawrenceville
By Katelyn Ferral
Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, 11:48 p.m.

Ten years ago, Aileen Ruiz arrived in Pittsburgh, sleep deprived and weary from waiting hours in the car to get out of Louisiana, then driving north as Hurricane Katrina approached.

Ruiz, 42, fled the floods to stay with a friend in Pittsburgh. She slept during her first hours here, awaking to watch on TV as New Orleans flooded and her home was destroyed.

“I knew that the city was in deep trouble,” she said. “I knew that I had no home. I had no job. I figured I’d give Pittsburgh a try — and the rest is history.”

Ruiz is originally from Miami. She went to veterinary school in New Jersey, then did an internship in New Orleans and lived there for two years.

Ten years later, she’s met and married her husband and opened a Lawrenceville veterinary clinic named for the city that still has half her heart.

Ruiz opened the Big Easy Animal Hospital in 2005. The clinic focuses on affordable care and aims to always care for the animals first, rather than make lots of money, she said.

The Big Easy’s decor is New Orleans-inspired, with wrought iron on the wall, beads hanging and black-and-white photos of her work rescuing animals in New Orleans after the hurricane. Her house nearby in Lawrenceville also reminds her of New Orleans.

“Everything had to kind of remind me a little bit of New Orleans for me to be OK,” she said.

Her veterinarians don’t wear white coats, and she plans to open a dog-friendly cafe on the side of the clinic, so people can stop in with their pets and enjoy a cup of coffee. It has doggy day care, boarding and grooming services.

The Big Easy Animal Hospital is hosting an anniversary party from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday to give thanks to Pittsburgh and celebrate the spirit of New Orleans. The hospital is bringing in NOLA on the Square to cater food and will have live jazz music.

Ruiz credits Pittsburgh for helping her to rebuild and enabling her to run a successful business. She was depressed for much of her first two years in the city but said she’s learned to be resilient, just like New Orleans and the people who still live there.

“Don’t be stuck in that depression, just move forward,” she said.

She visits New Orleans about twice a year and hopes someday to be able to have homes in both cities.

“I’m fond of Pittsburgh … my home is here,” she said. “My heart is in both places.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8995303-74/orleans-pittsburgh-easy#ixzz3o5mvqv6c
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Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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