Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists » Pet Safety https://bevsvt.com Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.19 Is pet insurance worth the upfront cash?https://bevsvt.com/2017/is-pet-insurance-worth-the-upfront-cash-2/ https://bevsvt.com/2017/is-pet-insurance-worth-the-upfront-cash-2/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 16:23:09 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=2119 The question of pet insurance is a common topic for our clients. Investigative reporter Jennifer Costa spent hours researching the top pet insurance companies and found out this is a pretty complicated topic with an overwhelming number of options. Not all pet policies are created equal so plan on spending time on the phone with each company before picking a policy. “Pet insurances are really different. Just like in human medicine, you have to read the fine print as to what they cover and there’s very specific things you should look for,” said Dr. Garrett Levin, BEVS surgeon.

Like broad coverage. Only a few insurers pay for wellness visits, while most will cover hereditary conditions, accidents, illnesses and injuries. Watch for exceptions. Exam fees run $50 for an office visit to more than $100 for emergency care. WCAX found Trupanion and Healthy Paws do now cover this expense. A hidden cost to consider if your pet is a frequent flyer at the vet.

Check coverage limits. For most, unlimited coverage is standard. But Embrace and Petfirst cap annual payouts at $15,000 and $20,000 respectively. Not a big dealunless your pet comes down with a chronic costly condition. Understand your deductible. Annual deductibles are the most common. But Petfirst charges you a “per incident” deductible that resets every year. Trupanion charges per incident too, but you only pay the deductible for that condition once during the pet’s life.

Experts say in most cases pet insurance will save you money.

Reporter Jennifer Costa: Should people shop around?

Levin: Absolutely. Ask questions.

WCAX found it’s easier to get answers when you call the companies directly.

For a 2-year-old cat, monthly premiums ranged from $17 to $51. You could pay less if you chose a higher deductible or opted to pay more out of pocket.

After her ordeal, Leahy wanted maximum coverage including wellness protection. She asked her vet about each insurer, compared a half dozen policies for Great Danes, considered Magnus’ frequent health needs and opted for a pricier plan.

“The last thing you want to do is make a decision about your pet based on money,” said Leahy.

After research, we can’t say whether this is a good insurance company and this is a bad one. Quotes for a cat varied by about $35 a month. The most expensive one didn’t cover any more than the cheapest. Remember you can always adjust your premium or your deductible to fit your budget.

Before you call for a quote, check out “What’s Not Covered?” to ensure you are picking the best policy for your pet:

Check out the full story here, Is pet insurance worth the upfront cash?.

By Jennifer Costa, WCAX




www.petsbest.com/coverage (exclusions are at the bottom)





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‘TIS THE SEASON…SANTA PAWS!https://bevsvt.com/2015/tis-the-seasonsanta-paws/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/tis-the-seasonsanta-paws/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:46:21 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1879 BY DR. GARRETT LEVIN, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities.  As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible.  Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria – if ingested could cause nausea or diarrhea.  In addition, avoid putting aspirin in the water (some people do this thinking it will keep the tree more vigorous).  Aspirin-laced water can be life threatening.

Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly and Poinsettias, when ingested, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems.  Varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested.  Instead choose artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.

That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lit candles unattended.  Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock the candles over.  Be sure to use appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface.  If you leave the room – put the candle out!

Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach.  A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock (especially if chewed on) and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus.  Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Beautiful Decorations: Keep other ornaments out of reach of pets.  Ingestion of any ornament, which might look like toys to pets can result in life-threatening emergencies and require emergency surgery to remove from the gastrointestinal tract.  Pine needles, when ingested, can puncture holes in a pet’s intestine.  So keep pet areas clear of pine needles.


Christmas Morning Presents: Put away toys after children open their gifts.  Small plastic pieces and rubber balls are common causes of choking and intestinal blockage in dogs.  Ingested plastic or cloth toys must often be removed surgically.

Provide your pets with a place to hide: Many pets get nervous, shy and scared around people that they are not familiar with.  A spare bedroom, office or basement with your pets’ favorite toys and food is a good idea during holiday gatherings.

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7 Things You Can Do to Make Halloween Safer for Your Pethttps://bevsvt.com/2015/7-things-you-can-do-to-make-halloween-safer-for-your-pet/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/7-things-you-can-do-to-make-halloween-safer-for-your-pet/#comments Thu, 10 Sep 2015 16:15:43 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1800
  • Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum);
  • Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case s/he escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters;
  • Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets;
  • If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume;
  • Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets. Although the liquid in these products isn’t likely toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely;
  • If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, put him/her in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide him/her with a safe hiding place;
  • Keep your pet inside.
  • Written by the American Veterinary Medical Association

    Original Posting: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/halloween.aspx

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    Pets in Vehicleshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/pets-in-vehicles/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/pets-in-vehicles/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 16:35:21 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1751

    Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles. We’ve heard the excuses: “Oh, it will just be a few minutes while I go into the store,” or “But I cracked the windows…” These excuses don’t amount to much if your pet becomes seriously ill or dies from being left in a vehicle.

    The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30º F…and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle!

    Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference.

    Want numbers? An independent study showed that the interior temperature of vehicles parked in outside temperatures ranging from 72 to 96º F rose steadily as time increased. Another study​, performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health, found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light gray minivan parked on a hot, but partly cloudy day, exceeded 125oF within 20 minutes.

    Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time
    Elapsed timeOutside Air Temperature (F)
    0 minutes707580859095
    10 minutes899499104109114
    20 minutes99104109114119124
    30 minutes104109114119124129
    40 minutes108113118123128133
    50 minutes111116121126131136
    60 minutes113118123128133138
    > 1 hour115120125130135140
    Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

    Watch an animated video about in-vehicle temperatures.

    This study also found that cracking the windows had very little effect on the temperature rise inside the vehicle. This is definitely a situation where “love ‘em and leave ‘em” is a good thing. Please leave your pets at home at home when you can…they’ll be safe and happily waiting for you to come home.

    …but wait, there’s more!

    The risks associated with pets in vehicles don’t end with heatstroke. Just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect you in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle. That means a secure harness or a carrier.

    A loose, small pet could crawl down in the footwell, interfering with use of the brake or accelerator pedal. A small pet sitting in your lap could be injured or killed by the airbag or could be crushed between your body and the airbag in a collision, and a large pet leaning across your lap can interfere with your view of the road and can be injured by the air bag in a collision. Unrestrained pets could be thrown out or through windows or windshields in a collision. And not only could your pet be injured in the collision, but it might also increase your risk of collision by distracting you and taking your attention away from where it should be – on the road.

    To learn more about the importance of restraining your pets, visit Paws to Click.

    Most of us smile when we see a dog’s face happily hanging out a window, digging the ride and the smells wafting on the breeze, but this is a very risky venture for the dog for three reasons. One, it means your dog isn’t properly restrained – and we’ve already told you why that’s so important. Two, your dog is at high risk of eye, ear, face and mouth injury from airborne objects when it’s got its face hanging out the window. Three, letting your dog hang any part of its body out of the window increases the risk that (s)he could be thrown out of the vehicle during a collision, lose its balance and fall out of the open window during an abrupt turn or maneuver, or jump out of the vehicle to threaten another dog or a person.

    And let’s not forget the severe dangers of driving with your dog in the bed of a pickup truck. Dogs can fall or jump from the truck bed and be injured or killed on impact, or be struck by other traffic. And just as letting your dog hang its head out of the window puts it at risk of injury from debris, a dog in a truck bed is even more exposed to airborne hazards. Using a appropriate-length tether may reduce the risk that your dog will exit the truck bed, but the tether could tangle, injure, or even choke your dog. If you must transport your dog in the bed of a pickup truck, use a secured and appropriately sized and ventilated dog kennel. (For more information, read our Dogs Traveling in Truck Beds literature review.)

    Before you put your pet in the vehicle, ask yourself if you really need to take your pet with you – and if the answer is no, leave your pet safely at home. If you must take your pet with you, make sure (s)he is properly restrained so the trip is as safe as possible for both of you.


    Original Post: AVMA https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/pets-in-vehicles.aspx


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    Emergency Tips for Petshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/emergency-instructions/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/emergency-instructions/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 18:47:44 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1649 If you are concerned or unsure if your pet needs emergency care, please call us at (802) 863-2387.  If your dog or cat ingested something poisonous please call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 for help immediately! The sooner a dog poisoning or cat poisoning is diagnosed, the easier, less expensive, and safer it is for your pet to get treated!

    Seek emergency care immediately in these situations:

    • Unconsciousness, collapse or extreme lethargy
    • Suspected ingestion of a foreign body, harmful chemicals, human medications, or toxic plants
    • Trouble breathing
    • Trauma from fall or hit by moving vehicle
    • Extreme pain causing whining or shaking
    • Swollen and tense abdomen
    • Straining to urinate
    • Hemorrhage
    • Disorientation or seizures
    • Uncontrolled or prolonged vomiting and/or diarrhea
    • Prolonged straining without delivery of puppies or kittens


    What to do if your dog or cat is poisoned:

    • Remove your pet from the area.
    • Check to make sure your pet is safe: breathing and acting normally.
    • Do NOT give any home antidotes.
    • Do NOT induce vomiting without consulting a vet or Pet Poison Helpline.
    • Call Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.
    • If veterinary attention is necessary, contact your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic immediately.


    First Aid Kits for Dogs—5 Key Items to Pack

    1. Saline – This is used to flush out wounds when dirt or debris is present. You may use the bottle alone, or carry a syringe without a needle to apply the saline.  Saline is sold over the counter.
    2. Triple Antibiotic Ointment -This may be used for minor scrapes and cuts that your pet may encounter. A common one used is over the counter Bacitracin.  Do not allow your pet to lick the ointment off of the cut or scrape.
    3. Gauze and Wrap – If your pet gets a cut that is bleeding, it is important to be able to control it until you are able to get to a veterinarian. Gauze is a soft material that you may place over the bleeding wound to help control the bleeding. A soft wrap (such as vet wrap) is then applied to keep the gauze in place. The vet wrap sticks to itself so that it stays on, but not to your pet’s fur. They will love you extra when it’s time to remove the wrap. When wrapping, make sure to place a thumb or finger underneath the wrap to ensure that you are not wrapping too tight.
    4.  Fresh Hydrogen Peroxide – This is not to be used for cleaning , but rather to induce vomiting if your pet ingests something toxic. ALWAYS consult with your veterinarian or poison control center before giving your dog Peroxide. In some cases, vomiting should NOT be induced (such as ingestion of Kerosene, sharp objects or many other chemicals)
    5. Muzzle – When dogs injure themselves, they are painful and this may cause them to want to bite. It doesn’t mean that you have a mean dog, just that he/she is telling you that they hurt. A muzzle will help to prevent bites to you and/or helpers.
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    Ruby’s Storyhttps://bevsvt.com/2014/rubys-story/ https://bevsvt.com/2014/rubys-story/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:00:09 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1582 Meet Ruby a  four year old dachshund who loves to run and play hard with her  corgi and 3 dachshund housemates. Ruby’s parents noticed that she was weak in her hind end when they went to bed in the evening and the following morning (approximately 10 hours later) she was able to bear weight on her hind limbs, but was not able to walk on her own. Her parents had a previous dog that needed back surgery, so they knew it was time to take her in to BEVS for emergency care.  They also noticed that she was not able to urinate and her symptoms were worsening quickly.  After a thorough neurological exam, it was noted that Ruby still had deep pain present (ability to feel and withdraw from pain in her feet), she was diagnosed with IVDD – Intervertebral Disc Disease and referred to our surgeon, Dr. Helia Zamprogno for CT/Myelogram and surgery. The CT and myelogram identify the herniated disc, allowing the surgeon to decide the location that requires surgery and the correct side to approach from. 85 – 95% of dogs that are taken to surgery with deep pain will walk again with surgical correction.  50% of dogs that do not have deep pain at the time of surgery will walk again with surgical correction within 24 hours of loosing deep pain. The longer a dog waits for surgery after losing deep pain the less likely they are to walk again, even after surgical correction. Recovery from surgery requires dedicated nursing care, physical rehab and time as it can take several weeks to regain the strength and proprioception needed to walk again. At home care involves a safe well padded area to rest, bladder management (regularly expressing the bladder when they are not able to urinate on their own) and giving daily medications.

    Here Ruby is recuperating with her brother Max.

    Ruby and Max

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    Meet Abbyhttps://bevsvt.com/2014/meet-abby/ https://bevsvt.com/2014/meet-abby/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:39:39 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1549 Meet Abby. Abby loves to swim and chill out on the dock. Unfortunately, sometimes these two activities can produce the horrid hot spot–those painful, raw, moist, oozing sores your dog can get on their skin. If your pet has ever had one, I’m sure you can relate when I say hot spots are serious. Although more prevalent in the summer months, hot spots can appear any time of the year, on any breed of dog, at any age because most often these wounds are due to some sort of irritant or allergen that causes your dog to itch, such as fleas, food or treats, swimming or environmental pollutants, or matted, ungroomed fur. Once the skin surface has been opened by the scratching and biting, bacteria enters and infection quickly sets in–a small wound can become a huge wound in less than 24 hours. Don’t delay in seeking veterinary medical attention. Miss Abby’s wounds were clipped and cleaned by our staff and she was sent home with topical treatment, antibiotics, and the dreaded E-collar. Abby is on the road to recovery and we wish her the best!

    To help prevent hot spots, keep your pet up to date on flea and tick prevention medicine, rinse your pet with a hose and dry thoroughly after a swim, speak with your vet about allergies, regularly check your pet for skin irritations and treat immediately.

    A. Coburn                                                    A. Coburn2

    Written by Aimee Gilfillan

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    Pets and Garden Veggieshttps://bevsvt.com/2014/pets-garden-veggies/ https://bevsvt.com/2014/pets-garden-veggies/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:55:19 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1558 How does your garden grow? Silver bells? Cockle shells? Ours doesn’t have any of these either, but with all the great sun and shots of rain here and there, it is showing great promise for some yummy vegetables. Some vegies can be good for your pets too, but we wanted to list a few common garden plants that are toxic and to keep your pet away from–

    Bulb Veggies: The basic rule of thumb is if a vegetable grows as an underground bulb, keep it out of Fido’s bowl. Onions, chives and leeks contain a chemical that can break down your dog’s red blood cells.
    Garlic contains the same chemical, but in smaller amounts. Some dog foods and treats contain very low doses of garlic, which are generally considered safe by most veterinarians.
    Potato and Tomato Plants: These two vegetables themselves are safe to eat, but the leaves and stems of the plants are very toxic to dogs.
    Rhubarb: The leaves and stalk of the rhubarb are the toxic parts. Both the stalk and leaves contain oxalate crystals (although the leaves are more toxic), which deplete the calcium in the dog’s body.
    Mushrooms: For dogs, all mushrooms are on the unsafe list.

    You and your pet can both enjoy carrots, green beans, broccoli, and cucumbers! (In small amounts, cut up in bite- size portions)

    Written By Aimee Gilfillan

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    Pet and Boat Safetyhttps://bevsvt.com/2014/pet-boat-safety/ https://bevsvt.com/2014/pet-boat-safety/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:18:34 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1568 PET AND BOAT SAFETY ALERT

    Please use extra caution when your dog exits your boat–This week, we have had two separate emergency cases where dogs have jumped from their owner’s boat attempting to land on a dock. In both cases, the dogs missed their landing, hit against the docks and ruptured their bladders. Both “Charlie” the Black Lab and “Wesley” the Mix required surgery to repair their bladders. “Charlie” was discharged on Tuesday and “Wesley” was discharged today!
    Keep having water fun, just be careful!!


    Written by Aimee Gilfillan

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    7 Summer Pet Safety Tipshttps://bevsvt.com/2013/7-summer-pet-safety-tips/ https://bevsvt.com/2013/7-summer-pet-safety-tips/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:53:56 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=886 Keep your pets safe this summer by reading the following 7 Summer Pet Safety Tips. Have fun and play safe!

    1.       Heat stroke and exhaustion:

       In the summer months, both people and animals can experience difficulty handling extreme temperatures and humidity. Unlike people, dogs have limited sweat glands and regulate their temperature through panting. Typically, we see occurrences of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in dogs who are outside for extended periods of time during the peak of the day’s temperature, usually between 11 a.m and 2 p.m.  Affected animals  become weak, dehydrated, and even collapse. Animals who are overweight, or those who suffer from underlying heart or lung problems are at an increased risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. During the summer it is important to exercise your dog either early in the morning or later in the evening, bring along plenty of water for them to drink during breaks, and consider dividing their total amount of exercise time into shorter blocks. It is NEVER acceptable to leave your animal in a parked car, even for a brief period of time. The temperature quickly escalates in an enclosed space, leading to an intolerable environment, markedly elevated body temperature, multi organ failure and death.

    2.       Summer Pests:

     Along with warmer weather, summer also brings an abundance of insects. If you ever note that your dog has suddenly returned from the outdoors with an abruptly swollen face or dime-sized raised bumps all over his or her body, an allergic reaction to an insect bite is potentially to blame. Your first step should be a call to your regular veterinarian or local emergency clinic, as these reactions do have the potential to be life threatening. The majority of cases respond to treatment.

    3.  Ticks and Fleas:

       During the summer it is important to ensure that you have your furry friend on a flea and tick preventative—there are a multitude of medication options that you can discuss with your regular veterinarian.  Having this conversation is important as ticks can carry infectious diseases and fleas can cause allergic reactions in animals as well as bites in humans.

    4.  Barbeques and Picnics:

      If you are planning to have your dog accompany you to a picnic, barbeque or other outdoor gathering be sure to request that guests refrain from feeding your dog high fat, high protein tablescraps such as fried meat products and bones, which can wreak havoc on the digestive system, potentially resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation of the pancreas. In addition, corn cobs are a common cause of intestinal obstructions which can require surgical intervention.

    5. Traffic Safety:  

       During the warmer months most emergency clinics see an increase in the number of patients who are hit by vehicles. When outdoors, always ensure that your dog is kept on a leash with a properly fitted collar or harness with identification. Any dog that is struck by a vehicle should be evaluated by a veterinarian even if they initially appear uninjured as shock and some internal injuries may not be immediately apparent.

    6. Seasonal Toxins:

        Ethylene glycol, the toxic ingredient found in antifreeze and brake fluid, is one of the most serious toxicities that we see in veterinary medicine.  Any suspected ingestion of this highly lethal substance should be taken seriously and a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.  The best plan of action for preventing such ingestions is to move all garage chemicals to an out of reach shelf and restrict your dog’s unsupervised access to the garage area. Other commonly seen toxicities requiring veterinary care include rat poison, ingestion of grapes and raisins, accidental ingestion of human medication, and consumption of moldy food or compost.  

    7.  Summer Travels:

          Traveling with your dog can be wonderful, and for the most part these trips are uneventful. However, there is always the chance that your pet may experience a mishap. Before leaving your home, it is always a good idea to have the phone number and address of an emergency clinic that is convenient to where you will be vacationing. If your dog has numerous chronic medical conditions and an extensive medical history, it is a great idea to bring along a copy of his or her medical record. If your dog takes regular medications and will be accompanying you on a trip this summer, it is important to ensure that you have enough to last for the duration of your travels together.


    written by Dr. Rachel Morgan

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