Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists » Pets https://bevsvt.com Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.19 Today My Dog Had Surgeryhttps://bevsvt.com/2015/today-my-dog-had-surgery/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/today-my-dog-had-surgery/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 16:38:20 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1870 Yesterday, my rambunctious, three year old yellow lab mix Addison underwent a bilateral elbow arthroscopy procedure. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure orthopedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint. Addie was experiencing intermittent lameness that became more severe after exercise. Upon physical exam and joint palpation with Dr. Garrett Levin, DACVS it was suggested to move forward with radiographs and a CT scan to determine if there was elbow dysplasia and bone abnormalities. The CT report confirmed elbow dysplasia and elbow arthroscopy was performed on both elbow joints. A fragmented medial coronoid process was removed from both elbows which is like having a rock in your shoe! Addie is doing great the day after surgery, she is comfortable and walking well. She will continue to be on exercise restriction for 8 weeks and is looking forward to the 4 week mark so she can get in the pool for some exercise! 


Even though I see animals undergo procedures everyday I was still a nervous dog mom throughout the procedure. Being a ‘client’ for a day helped remind me what it’s like to be on the other side, which is sometimes easy to forget because treatments and procedures become so routine. As always, I was amazed at the level of support and compassion given to me by my co-workers. We are all animal lovers and pet parents so even though much of what we see is routine, we can always empathize with the stress of having a sick pet. I am fortunate that Addison will make a full recovery (she is contently munching on a bone in the office right now) and has many hikes, walks and runs ahead of her.

Whitney Durivage, hospital manager at BEVS


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Holiday Feast and Your Petshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/holiday-feast-and-your-pets/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/holiday-feast-and-your-pets/#comments Fri, 30 Oct 2015 13:45:28 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1867 BY Dr. Garrett Levin, DVM, Diplomate ACVS

As the holiday season draws near, we look forward to celebrating with family and friends.  Our homes fill with the wonderful scents of indulgent food and treats.  As tasty as these foods are for us, they can be problematic for dogs.

Dietary indiscretion describes gastrointestinal upset that occurs when a dog ingests something that its body cannot tolerate causing irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.  The most common cause is when animals get into the trash or are fed people food (“table scraps”).

Most cases of dietary indiscretion are mild and do not have lasting consequences.  However, some dogs can suffer severe illness that require more intensive treatment.  Pancreatitis is a painful and sometimes life threatening condition resulting from severe inflammation of the pancreas.  Dogs that consume non digestible items (such as bones) can develop intestinal obstructions or perforations that are surgical emergencies.

Common clinical signs of dietary indiscretion:

  • Diarrhea – small amounts of blood may be noted in the feces
  • Loss of appetite and nausea
  • Vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Loud intestinal noises
  • Pacing, panting, whining, or showing other signs of abdominal pain and discomfort

Many cases of dietary indiscretion are diagnosed based on symptoms and physical examination by a veterinarian.  In severe cases, veterinarians may perform blood and fecal tests, perform abdominal radiographs (x-rays) and abdominal ultrasound (sonogram), as well as other diagnostics to rule out other concurrent abnormalities associated with the clinical signs.

Many mild cases of dietary indiscretion resolve if the dog is fed a special, easily digestible diet “bland diets” such as boiled chicken and rice.  More severe cases of dietary indiscretion can result in dehydration and require hospitalization.  Please consult with your primary veterinarian if the clinical signs do not quickly resolve on their own.  If your primary veterinarian is closed, please call Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists (BEVS) at (802) 863-2387.  BEVS is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to advise you on the appropriate actions with regards to your pet’s symptoms.

Here are some additional tips how to keep your pet safe this time of year during your holiday feast:

  • Keep garbage in a secure container
  • Keep food in the cupboard or refrigerator
  • Don’t leave food on the counter or table
  • Don’t feed your pet people food (“table scraps”).
  • Don’t give your pet bones to chew on
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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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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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    Toxic Foods for Petshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/toxic-foods-for-pets/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/toxic-foods-for-pets/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 12:40:02 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1697 Ever wonder what foods you can safely share with your pets? They may swoon you with those big, sweet eyes and tell you any food is OK to share but don’t fall into their adorable and convincing traps! The Pet Poison Helpline has put together a 1-minute video on toxic human foods. It won’t take long to watch and could save you and your furbaby a trip to the vets office!


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    Poison Prevention Week for Petshttps://bevsvt.com/2015/poison-prevention-week-pets/ https://bevsvt.com/2015/poison-prevention-week-pets/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 20:54:24 +0000 http://bevsvt.com/?p=1661 by M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
    Vermont Veterinary Medical Association

    Poison prevention week for pets is March 15th through the 21st. This annual observance started in 1961 to highlight the dangers of accidental poisonings in children, and is a great time to discuss potential dangers to our pets, as well.

    In reviewing over 180,000 calls about pets exposed to potentially poisonous substances in 2012, the ASPCA’s Poison Control center reports that for the fifth straight year, prescription human medications were the top problem. 25,000 calls were taken in 2012: that’s almost 70 calls per day! The top three medications were heart/blood pressure pills, antidepressants, and pain medications. The next most common poisonous substance was insecticides, with 19,000 calls and over half of those were cats. Our feline friends are very susceptible to ingredients in many over the counter and veterinary products. Always read the label fully and check with your veterinarian before applying any topicals on a cat!

    Over the counter human drugs were third, including drugs such as aspirin and Tylenol and even herbal and neutraceutical products. Coming in fourth were veterinary products such as flavored chew tabs for pets. In many cases, the entire bottle was consumed! Rounding out the top five were household items, including cleaning products.

    Dogs are much more likely to get into trouble around the house than cats (nine of the top ten spots go to dogs), with Labrador Retrievers topping the list. They are followed by mixed breed dogs, Chihuahuas, Golden Retrievers, and Yorkies. Prevention consists of pet proofing your home in the same way you would child proof it: keep all potentially toxic substances up high or locked up.

    If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the above items, chocolate, foods with xylitol sweetener (gum), a rodenticide, or any lawn and garden product, call your veterinarian immediately. If you are not sure if the product is toxic, call. It’s better to be safe than sorry. The ASPCA’s Poison Center also has a 24 hour hotline at 888-426-4435. Since 1978, they have handled over two million cases.


    The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) is a professional organization of more than 330 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.vtvets.org or call (802) 878-6888.

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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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