Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists » Uncategorized https://bevsvt.com Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.19 Helping Our Pets Age Gracefully – The Noninvasive Wayhttps://bevsvt.com/2016/helping-our-pets-age-gracefully-the-noninvasive-way/ https://bevsvt.com/2016/helping-our-pets-age-gracefully-the-noninvasive-way/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:53:20 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1898 Thanks to the art of modern medicine, we are all living longer and healthier lives. Fortunately, this is also true for our companion animals.  As a result of living longer, older pets often develop a number of conditions such as arthritis and obesity, which can cause pain, affect mobility, and alter their quality of life.  In veterinary medicine, we now have  a number of noninvasive options such as physical rehabilitation, laser therapy and acupuncture, in addition to conventional medical therapy, to help our pets live their best and most comfortable life.


Physical rehabilitation adapts human physical therapy techniques and equipment to increase function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals.  Using tools such as physioballs, balance boards, therapeutic floor exercise, and hands on techniques such as massage and joint mobilization, we are able to improve joint range of motion, muscular strength and endurance in our older companions and those recovering from orthopedic or neurologic surgery.


Therapeutic laser therapy (also known as “cold laser”) is another very helpful tool that has been shown to enhance healing and promote pain relief.  Laser therapy uses light energy to penetrate deep tissues to promote cellular changes.  The result is improved cellular energy and circulation, as well as enhanced healing and pain relief. This noninvasive treatment is very well tolerated by pets and can be highly effective in treating chronic conditions such as arthritis, intervertebral disc disease, as well as acute injuries (strains and sprains), wounds, and hot spots.  Laser therapy is available at some veterinary offices and has interestingly been used for many years by athletics trainers in many major professional sports teams such as the Boston Celtics and New England Patriots!


Acupuncture is an ancient art that has been used in both humans and animals for more than 3000 years.  Acupuncture is based on the belief that the healthy body is a perfect balance of “yin and yang” or Qi.  When there is illness or pain, there is an imbalance in the body’s energy.  Acupuncture seeks to restore this balance by the use of needles applied to specific points on the body. From a western perspective, research has shown that acupuncture triggers a number of changes in the spinal cord and brain that lead to the release of a number of chemicals such as endorphins- which are the body’s natural “pain killing” hormones.


Acupuncture is performed by veterinarians who have been trained and certified.  It is very well tolerated by most pets and is usually painless.  Many pets even fall asleep during treatment.  The needles are typically left in place for 20-30 minutes and treatments are usually done weekly for 4 weeks to start and then tapered as needed for maintenance treatment. Many long term acupuncture patients are seen every 3-4 weeks to manage their conditions. Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of disorders, but is most commonly used for painful conditions such as arthritis, as well as neurologic conditions (weakness, disc disease, degenerative spinal cord disease). Acupuncture is not a “cure- all” but we do see positive results in about 80% of patients.


We now have a much better understanding of pain in animals and have many noninvasive options to approach its treatment.  The best approach is most often a combination of several different modalities, but the goal is always the same – to promote the well being of our pets and help them to live long healthy active lives.


Written by:  Dr. Pamela Levin, DVM, CVA, CCRT


Dr. Pamela Levin is a veterinarian certified in Acupuncture and canine rehabilitation. She is available for consultations at Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists (www.bevsvt.com) in Williston, VT.

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Ruff Ruff Ruff! …My Knee Hurts!https://bevsvt.com/2015/ruff-ruff-ruff-my-knee-hurts/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/ruff-ruff-ruff-my-knee-hurts/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:37:54 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1863 Dr. Garrett Levin, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

As the winter approaches and the snow falls on the mountains, we look forward to spending time outside with our dogs. Whether you enjoy Alpine or Nordic skiing, injuries – in both us and our best friends are not unusual.

One of the most common orthopedic injuries that is seen in dogs is known as an “ACL” or cranial cruciate ligament tear.  The knee is a joint that is formed by 3 bones; the femur (“thigh bone”), the patella (“knee cap”), and the tibia (“shin bone”).  The bones are all held together by ligaments. The two major ligaments that join the femur to the tibia are called the cranial cruciate ligament (anterior cruciate ligament in people) and the caudal cruciate ligament (posterior cruciate ligament in people).  The knee joint also has two meniscus (“shock absorber”) called the medial and lateral menisci.  The major role of the cranial cruciate ligament is to prevent the knee from hyperextension and internal rotation.  The cranial cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus are structures in the knee joint most commonly damaged in dogs.

Cranial cruciate ligament disease can affect dogs of all sizes, breeds, and age.  Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Staffordshire Terrier, Mastiff, Akita, Saint Bernard, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Labrador Retriever breeds have a higher incidence.  Poor physical body condition and excessive body weight are risk factors for cranial cruciate ligament rupture.  Simply an athletic dog landing “wrong” when running or jumping in the snow or on ice or a collision with a person or another dog could result in a traumatic cranial cruciate ligament rupture.  Consistent physical conditioning with regular activity and monitoring of food intake to maintain lean body weight are factors within our control that can help prevent some of these injuries.

Dogs typically present to the veterinarian with either an acute or chronic history of weight bearing to nonweight bearing lameness (limping) of the hind leg.  A thorough history and physical examination is needed to diagnose an ACL tear.  Gait analysis and good palpation is required to localize the area of injury and determine if it is caused by orthopedic or neurologic disease.  A cranial cruciate ligament rupture will cause instability (“cranial drawer sign” and “positive tibial compression test”) of the knee joint on palpation.  Radiographs (x-rays) of the knee will often reveal joint effusion (“water on the knee”) and cranial or forward displacement of the tibia (“shin bone”), but can also evaluate the degree of arthritis present.

Depeding on the amount of instability and physical examination findings, it is possible to differentiate between a partial and a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture.  Surgical stabilization of the knee joint is the gold standard and the best treatment for a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture.  Surgery is the only way to permanently control the instability present in the knee joint as it addresses knee instability and eliminates the pain.  The goal of surgery is not to “repair” the cranial cruciate ligament itself with a graft unlike in human knee surgery.  Due to biological and mechanical influences, the cranial cruciate ligament has no ability to heal once tearing begins regardless of the degree of severity.  There are a number of surgical techniques available today.  The most common techniques include Extracapsular, Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (“TPLO”), and Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (“TTA”).  In addition, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery (often performed by board certified veterinary surgeons) and evaluation of the knee joint (as performed in people) will allow for a faster recovery and use of the leg postoperative.  A description of the common surgical techniques can be discussed with your primary veterinarian in order to make a decision which is best for your dogs size, activity level, age, skeletal conformation, and degree of knee instability.

A conservative treatment approach consisting of exercise restriction, medication to control pain and inflammation, and physical rehabilitation can be considered with a partial cranial cruciate ligament rupture.  However, it is common to see a partial cranial cruciate ligament rupture progress over time and eventually become a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture (using the analogy of the partially torn shoelace that eventually completely tears).  Knowing that a partial cruciate ligament rupture will most likely progress, surgical stabilization is often recommended sooner than later in order to prevent ongoing muscle atrophy, meniscal damage and arthritis that can develop as a result of chronic lameness.

Premature uncontrolled or excessive activities risk complete or partial failure of any surgical repair and healing process.  Proper postoperative care will be explained to you in detail by your dog’s surgeon before and after surgery.  As with people, physical rehabilitation can speed your dog’s recovery and improve final outcome.  Rehabilitation should start immediately and usually includes passive range of motion, balance exercises, laser treatment, and controlled leash walks.  Long term prognosis for animals for surgical repair of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture is excellent.


Enjoy the winter season and be safe when you hit the mountains and backcountry with your four legged companion.


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At BEVS, Owners Spare No Expense to Save Their Petshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/at-bevs-owners-spare-no-expense-to-save-their-pets/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/at-bevs-owners-spare-no-expense-to-save-their-pets/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 15:55:31 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1794
Gizmo’s eyes were whirling. The 2-year-old pug couldn’t focus on his mom, Wendy Beane, when she brought him to Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists in Williston on a recent Monday at the recommendation of her regular veterinarian.

About a month ago, that vet in Brandon treated Gizmo for an ear infection. But last week, Beane knew something was wrong. Usually playful and able to run “like a deer” around his Proctor home, Gizmo grew lethargic. He stopped eating, vomited, and lost control of his bowels and bladder in Beane’s bed. His black, bulging eyes darted back and forth, and he tilted his head sideways.

“He was staggering like he was inebriated,” Beane said.

So Gizmo came to BEVS, an animal hospital that opened a decade ago and treats dogs, cats and other small pets from across northern Vermont. The sole source for 24-7 emergency veterinary care across greater Chittenden County and part of New York, it also draws business-hour customers like Beane as one of the state’s best-equipped care centers.

When it comes to animal catastrophes, BEVS sees it all. Last week, a surgeon there removed a corn cob from a Labrador retriever’s intestine, repaired the mutilated jaw of a cat and examined the arthritic elbow of a golden retriever who is an obedience champion. Meanwhile, the internal medicine staff cleared a cat’s urinary blockage, tested a cocker spaniel with Cushing’s disease and monitored a gastrointestinal infection plaguing two sister Chihuahuas.

Dr. Bryan Harnett, BEVS’ medical director and one of two internal medicine specialists who own the practice, gave Gizmo a diagnosis. The pug’s ears had swollen shut, throwing off his equilibrium, he explained: “It makes it so the world is sort of spinning on you.”

Harnett wanted the pug to undergo a CT scan to rule out a polyp or tumor. The scan costs about $1,250 in most cases, including the mandatory anesthesia and vet consultation.

Dr. Bryan Harnett reading Gizmo's scan - MATTHEW THORSEN

  • Dr. Bryan Harnett reading Gizmo’s scan

Beane, a dental hygienist, said her boss — who has four dogs of his own — had insisted she leave work to take care of Gizmo. A couple of years ago, she and her husband lost their first pug in a terrible accident and brought home Gizmo and his brother, Truman, from the same litter soon after.

“They’re my children,” said Beane, 41 — her only ones, she notes. “So we will go to the ends of the Earth.”

She’s not alone: Many American dog owners spoil their pets with expensive bedding, home-cooked meals ,and vacations at resorts that dispense treats, toys and sweet-smelling plastics for poop pick up. And when it comes to pets’ health care, technological advancements in veterinary medicine make it easy to go to extremes.

“People who come to us are looking for that,” said Brenna Mousaw, a BEVS vet tech with a specialty in internal medicine. “They’ll do the surgery. They’ll do the chemotherapy. They want to give their pet the options that they can.”

Steffan DeFeo can vouch for that. His 9-year-old rat terrier, Mitzie, suffers from a host of problems. In November, she was diagnosed with bladder cancer and had surgery to remove most of the tumor.

A few years ago during surgery for a torn knee ligament, doctors discovered that Mitzie has high liver enzymes and can’t process copper. A lab in Virginia designed a special diet — for a very high cost — that DeFeo prepares for her and the couple’s fox terrier, Sadie. It includes fresh chicken, canned clams and minerals such as phosphate that he has to mail order.

The drug Mitzie took for her liver caused side effects, including an immune disease. She ended up on a steroid that recently led to diabetes and, now, cloudy cataracts in her eyes.

A veterinary ophthalmologist can remove the cataracts, a common procedure that costs about $4,500, DeFeo said. First, though, BEVS tested Mitzie’s blood sugar multiple times to ensure she could handle surgery — requiring a break in her insulin shots, which DeFeo gives her twice a day.

Emergency technicians Keely Doyle and Christina Surprenant doing tests on Luna, a Chihuahua who came in with a gastrointestinal problem - MATTHEW THORSEN

  • Emergency technicians Keely Doyle and Christina Surprenant doing tests on Luna, a Chihuahua who came in with a gastrointestinal problem

“I’d mortgage my house for her,” DeFeo said, as he sat on the floor in the BEVS waiting room beside the dog bed he’d brought for Mitzie.

In a way, Mitzie saved DeFeo’s life. An army veteran, he got Mitzie as a pup in 2005, a few months after returning from his tour in Iraq.

“She was inseparable from me for years,” he said. “It was just nice to have a companion who didn’t want to talk to you about everything.”

DeFeo and his wife, Hiata, are both 44 and live outside Waterbury, where she owns Bridgeside Books. They have easily exceeded $10,000 in vet bills, DeFeo said.

“It’s commitment,” he said with a shrug. “We chose to get a pet. This is what goes along with it. You don’t give up on them just because it’s a dog.”

Before BEVS, Burlington-area vets handled night and weekend emergencies with rotating on-call duty, eventually working out of VCA Brown Animal Hospital in South Burlington. In July 2005, BEVS became a standalone business with its own staff and moved to its current building on Commerce Street.

The facility remained solely an after-hours emergency clinic until Harnett’s arrival in 2007, when it began offering specialty internal medical care for weekday appointments and walk-ins. He and Tom Hecimovich, emergency and critical care services director, took over the business as co-owners. BEVS now has 10 doctors, including two in one-year postgraduate internships, and an additional surgeon on the way, plus 35 technicians and six support-staff members.

Late one evening last week, technician Keely Doyle wrapped one hand around all four paws of Missy Bob, a 7-year-old domestic shorthair tortoiseshell cat, and gripped the scruff of her neck with the other hand. Tortoiseshells, Doyle explained, are often feisty. Missy Bob had an infected cut over her eye from a fight, and Dr. Lisa Kiniry needed to clean the wound.

Jessica Haupt visiting her cat, Kitty - MATTHEW THORSEN

  • Jessica Haupt visiting her cat, Kitty

“We popped it and flushed it,” Kiniry told the owners, Judy Emerson and Jake Yanulavich, when she returned Missy Bob to them in her carrier.

The Winooski couple decided to make their emergency visit to BEVS when the cat’s cut still looked runny after three days. “It can go bad really fast, and we didn’t want to wake up in the morning with something really nasty,” Yanulavich said.

Most vets do basic surgeries such as spaying and neutering in their offices but send patients to a specialist for more complicated problems such as cancer treatment. General practices often cannot afford major equipment that they would use infrequently — such as an ultrasound or CT scanner, the latter of which BEVS added in 2013. The huge machine didn’t fit in the hospital, said Whitney Durivage, the hospital manager, but a tenant’s move freed up an office in the building across the parking lot.

Now BEVS offers Vermont’s first CT scanner for pets, Durivage said. “We used to have to send clients to Montréal, Maine and down to Massachusetts.”

Inside the giant tubular scanner on the Tuesday after he arrived, Gizmo lay prone and motionless under anesthesia. Harnett examined a bank of computer screens showing images of the pug’s head and ear canals. They were, as he suspected, completely blocked.

“This tells us in much better detail what the tympanic bullae look like,” Harnett said. “He’s probably going to need surgery to go in and open up these little structures at the base of the skull.”

A little while later, Beane arrived, still wearing her work scrubs, to visit Gizmo before he spent the night at BEVS. Harnett carried him to her wrapped in a blanket, because patients can get cold after anesthesia.

“He gave me some kisses, and it just melted my heart,” Beane said.

Dr. Helia Zamprogno was scheduled to do Gizmo’s surgery, known as a TECABu (sounds like “peek-a-boo”), for total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy. It involves removing the entire lining of the ear canal, then reclosing the ears. The dog will lose his hearing — but he probably couldn’t hear with the blockage anyway, Zamprogno said. She hoped to stop Gizmo’s nerve damage from progressing: “The goal is to control the infection, control the pain.”

The day Gizmo came in, Zamprogno operated on Diesel, a 12-year-old Australian cattle dog known as a blue heeler, whose head had been crushed by a truck wheel. She cemented his jaw in place and closed wounds on his underside.

Diesel’s dad, Jaret Pullen, came to pick him up after spending a couple of sleepless nights at home in Charlotte, calling BEVS continually to check on his “best friend.” Diesel goes everywhere with Pullen, 34, a horse farrier who hopes to attend vet school soon.

He told BEVS to do whatever was necessary, he said: “You break the piggy bank open. You shell out the credit cards.”

Doyle gave Pullen lengthy instructions on medications, cold compresses and meals. Then she brought out Diesel.

Pullen’s eyes welled as he hugged the dog, who slowly wagged his tail and drooled a little. Then Diesel’s dad stepped to the counter to pay the bill, which topped $5,000, handing over first a stack of cash and then a credit card.

“I’m as unemotional and coldhearted as you can be,” Pullen said, “except about my dog.”

Not every family gets such a happy ending at BEVS. Harley, a 13-year-old vizsla, came in one night last week with fluid around his heart. The next morning, viewing the Hungarian bird dog’s ultrasound, Harnett saw a mass in his heart tissue.

“That’s not the treatable kind,” lamented Dr. Amanda Rutter, who examined Harley when he arrived. Later the next day, Harley’s owners came to BEVS with their sons, who had grown up with the dog, to put him to sleep.

“If I start crying, I’ll never stop,” said technician Lindsay Hancock, who helped hold Harley during his ultrasound. “I work with techs who cry every time, but I’d be exhausted. Everybody deals with it differently.”

For his part, Gizmo will be fine — even without his hearing. Eventually he’ll return with Truman to the Beanes’ camp in Rochester, where he goes snowmobiling and ice fishing, his mom said.

Beane said she was grateful for BEVS, offering a pet owner’s highest praise: “I feel like they’re treating him like he’s their own here.”

The original print version of this article was headlined “Pet Causes”


Original Link: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/at-bevs-owners-spare-no-expense-to-save-their-pets/Content?oid=2773180

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Hiking Safety Tipshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/hiking-safety-tips/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/hiking-safety-tips/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 16:46:01 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1738 Looking to escape your hometown haunts for a wilderness hike? Don’t forget your pooch! Dogs love to explore our country’s vast natural resources as much their two-legged counterparts—not to mention, hiking is great exercise for all. But remember, a hiking trail isn’t your average walk around the block. The ASPCA offers some helpful tips for keeping you and your pet safe and sound on your outdoor adventures.

  • Extending leashes are great for wide open spaces, but if your romp is taking you through wooded areas, it’s best to leave the flexi-leads at home. Otherwise, you’ll probably spend more time untangling your dog’s leash from trees and brush than you will enjoying your walk!
  • If your pup is the trustworthy sort and you want to give him the opportunity to enjoy some untethered time on your hike, first make sure that dogs are allowed to be off-leash in the area you’re exploring. Second, be sure that he responds reliably to your recall command—even the most obedient dog might bolt after some fascinating new critter.
  • Hard to believe, but not everyone is as enamored with dogs as we are! Some people get very nervous around unleashed dogs. As a courtesy, have a leash on standby to clip to your dog when encountering other hikers.
  • Whether you’re using a leash or not, don’t forget IDs, please! Always make sure that your current contact information, including your cell phone number, is attached to your dog’s collar or body harness. If for any reason your pet gets lost, a collar and tags and a microchip will increase the likelihood that he or she will be returned to you.
  • You never know what you may encounter on a hike—so before setting out into the wilderness, check your pet’s veterinary records and make sure his vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Training tip: Teach your dog to come to you for treats whenever you pass by other hikers, especially if they have dogs, too. Your dog will learn to not interfere with passersby, and at the same time, you’re ensuring he associates new people and dogs with good things, like tasty treats from you.
  • If a poop falls in the woods and no one else sees it, do you get a free pass? NO! There’s no such thing as a victimless poop. Please have respect for your surroundings, native wildlife and fellow hikers by scooping up after your dog and toting the baggie back to civilization if there are no trash cans around.
  • Both of you need to stay hydrated, so bring enough water for two. Don’t allow your pup to drink from puddles, ponds, lakes or streams—in other words, “nature’s dog bowls”—as they may contain nasty parasites or toxins that could cause her harm.

When your hike is finished, give your pooch a thorough once-over for ticks and other creepy-crawlies. Pay special attention to her belly, ears, and any skin folds and crevices. If you do spot a tick, treat the area with rubbing alcohol and remove the parasite immediately by slowly pulling it off with tweezers. Be careful when removing a tick, as any contact with its blood can potentially transmit infection to your dog or even to you. Wash the bite area and keep an eye on it for the next few days—if irritation persists, contact your vet.

Written by: ASPCA

Find the article here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/hiking-safety-tips


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South African Sunrisehttps://bevsvt.com/2011/south-african-sunrise/ https://bevsvt.com/2011/south-african-sunrise/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 15:58:53 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=608 This past September I made the difficult yet exciting decision to leave the safe familiar confines of BEVS to embark on a 5-week Rotary International Group Study Exchange (GSE) trip to South Africa.  I had the privilege of traveling to rural places in South Africa including Viljoenskroon, Welkom, Ladybrand, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Queenstown, Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg.  I stayed with amazing host families, including fittingly enough, a retired veterinarian and his wife.  Our hosts immersed us in their projects, showed us around their towns and adopted us into their families.  They are a group of individuals who I will not soon forget!

I discovered that a number of veterinarians take an afternoon siesta and close up shop.  Unfortunately, for me, I had no control over my schedule and in two of my towns, this was my vocational day!  Not to fear, being a well-trained, productive BEVS’ employee I occupied every minute of that time by asking an arsenal of questions about how their patient load, procedure, and medication protocols differed from ours back home. Eighty five percent of these rural practices lack skilled veterinary nurses/technicians leaving most of the patient care to the doctors.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Dr. Gavin Rous in Colesberg, who will be the veterinarian for the equine endurance rides in the 2012 Olympics!  He and his wife Charmy are both veterinarians and they do their best to care for the town’s pets and that of the surrounding township.  After traveling around with them for a day and seeing the horrific state of these township animals first hand I see a need to organize a rotary/veterinary supply venture from home for that area with Drs. Rous.  There is so much that could be done with a little funding and some basic supplies. 

While in Ladybrand, my group stayed the night at a Rotarian’s lodge – Franshoek Farm.  I stumbled across one of the state veterinary nurses in the village (the state veterinary nurses have a license to work on their own) performing a free Rabies vaccination clinic.  I immediately asked if I could stay and assist him.  He asked if I could vaccinate, of course!  The instructions were simple: he did the paperwork, I vaccinated; one needle per five patients.  I vaccinated 25 dogs and 3 cats (in bags) against Rabies, which runs rampant in parts of South Africa.  This was the pivotal South African veterinary experience, which I had dreamed of, using my skills to help in this developing country and make a difference.  There was nowhere in the world I would have rather been at that moment.

 The final vocational day of my trip was with the captive breeding program in Bloemfontein called the Cheetah Experience.  Volunteers from all over the world work towards preserving the cheetah population and numerous other African species.  I had the chance to pet a cheetah and lion!  As amazing as that visit was, the Grahamstown club rivaled it by getting me behind the scenes of the Shamwari Game Reserve and the Born Free Foundation.  The Born Free Foundation (named after the movie/book) is one of many rescue sanctuaries that exist across the globe to rescue, rehabilitate and provide life-long medical and housing care to neglected, abandoned, and abused wildlife.  This particular Born Free Foundation specializes in large cats.  They currently house ten lions and seven leopards (three of which are a larger Somali species) at their two campsites.  Wedged between these two sites lies the Shamwari Game Reserve, which is the largest reserve of its kind.  It is also one of the most exclusive resort destinations (Brad Pitt and many other stars stay there).  While driving between the two sites we came upon a herd of giraffes, zebra and springbok at a large watering hole.  Signs warned not to leave the vehicle, as there were lions on the loose. I chuckled. If there was any doubt before I was truly in South Africa!  At the second camp site I played chase with a 4 year-old lioness named “Marina” (behind the fence of course).  Back at the Shamwari Hospital, I fed three baby Springbok, baby hippo, baby giraffe, and six baby jackals and now I know the formula make-ups for each. 

I will truly miss all of my new friends and adopted families and hope one day to return.  If you ever get the opportunity to explore South Africa, there is no doubt you will fall in love with this place just as I did! 


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