Pet Health

Burlington Vet Blogs

Everything you need to know about your pets happiness!

New Help for Canine Heart Disease

Congestive heart failure is a lethal condition. For many years veterinarians have sought for means by which we could delay or prevent the onset of this disease state. Classically, once a dog has developed heart disease, life expectancy has been measured in months. Until recently, studies have not found a medication that once dogs had developed valvular heart disease could either prevent the onset of congestive heart failure or at least delay its inevitable onset to any meaningful extent. This recent study revealed that the medication pimobendan (marked as Vetmedin) reduced the prospect of cardiac related death or developing congestive heart failure by nearly half. Veterinarians need to be cautious though not all dogs with valvular heart disease warrant this therapy, and the study was confined only to those patients that demonstrated left ventricular and left atrial heart enlargement as identified by radiographs and cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography). The appropriateness of and when to start this medication should be carefully considered and addressed with clients as to the benefit and suitability to the individual patient. It is very promising to finally have a medication available to our heart disease patients that can delay or eliminate the onset of congestive heart failure.

Please give us a call here at the BVC to schedule an appointment to discuss the prospects of protecting your heart disease affected pet with Vetmedin.

R K Esherick DVM, Lisa Trevino DVM

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Powassan Virus Is Here! Lethal Tick Virus Now Reported In The State Of Connecticut

​Perhaps you have heard of Liam Phillips, the young toddler that acquired Powassan virus at 5 months of age in Griswold, Connecticut, apparently from a tick that his father inadvertently introduced into the home upon return from a deer hunt. Blessedly, Liam appears to have survived his infection and resulting viral encephalitis as he recovers at home. 

The good news is that the Powassan virus is considered quite rare as on average only 7 cases a year are reported within the United States with the Northeast and Great Lakes regions being the apparent home to this infection. Powassan virus was first discovered in Canada and is transmitted by the same tick that transmits Lyme disease, the Deer Tick (aka lxodes scapularis). Unfortunately, it is believed that unlike Lyme disease which requires 24-48 hours of tick attachment to transmit the bacteria Borrelia responsible for Lyme disease, Powassan virus can be transmitted in as rapidly as 15 minutes of tick attachment time. In addition, given that many infected individuals will remain asymptomatic, it is suspected that this disease is largely under reported and is likely more prevalent than realized. 

To the doctors of the Burlington Veterinary Center, this further underscores the importance of tick control measures for our clients, their pets, and family. Powassan may be the newest player in the region but we are fraught with several potentially severe tick transmitted diseases, the most famous being Lyme disease, but others are also prevalent in this region including Anaplasma and Ehrlichia. In 2015, we conducted a review of our own hospital database and found that 55% of our canine patients that we tested had been exposed to Borrelia borgderferi (the organism that causes Lyme disease), Anaplasma, or Ehrlichia (note: our heartworm 4Dx test assesses for the exposure of 3 tick borne illnesses; i.e. not just sick patients were tested!). We urge our clients to do all they can to insure thorough tick protection for our patients, our owners, and their families. We have several excellent tick prevention products available to our patients at the BVC, or through our website where you can order products and have them shipped directly to you home. Please exercise caution regarding tick control products and our feline friends especially regarding over the counter tick product use as each year we are presented with cats that have had complications with the administration of over the counter tick prevention products. 

We encourage our clients to reach out to us with any questions regarding Powassan virus or any of the other tick transmitted diseases, as well as any questions you may have regarding you and your pets. 

Here is some additional information from the Centers for Disease Control:

Powassan (POW) virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks. Approximately 75 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long term neurological problems may occur. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain. You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors. If you think you or a family member may have POW virus disease, it is important to consult your healthcare provider.   

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Frostbite in Cats and Dogs

Snow and cold can be just as difficult for our furry friends as it can be for us! Frostbite refers to the damage of body tissue that has been exposed to freezing temperatures for an extended period of time. In addition to hypothermia (low body temperature), all warm-blooded creatures including dogs and cats can fall victim to the damaging effects of frostbite when exposed to low temperatures. In cats and dogs, the feet, tail, and ears are at highest risk for injury because of reduced blood flow to those parts of the body.

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Arthritis and Cold Weather: Degenerative Joint Disease in Winter

Enter your text here ...Arthritis and Cold Weather: Degenerative Joint Disease in Winter What is DJD? DJD arthritis affects joints making them stiff and painful to move. DJD can affect any dog and almost any joint, including the spine. How will DJD affect my dog? Different breeds, and differently sized dogs, may often feel the effects in different joints:

  • For a smaller dog, DJD is often most prevalent in the spine or knees. Small dogs, who are much lighter on their feet, may not show signs of DJD as obviously as large dogs. Watch small dogs carefully; if you see them occasionally hopping, have them checked out by your veterinarian.

  • For a larger dog, the knees can still be involved, but we often see DJD in the hips or shoulders.

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Burlington Veterinary Center

 17 Covey Rd. Burlington, CT 06013 / USA  1-860-675-6009

Office hours

  • Monday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Thursday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed


Emergencies during office hours will be seen right away. Please call ahead. After hours please contact either:

Avon Veterinary Emergency Referral
9 Avonwood Road Avon, CT 06001
Open Monday – Thursday 5 pm–8 am
Friday 5 pm – Monday 8 am
24 Hours on Holidays