- Always provide plenty of water
- Be careful when walking on tar or pavement- if it's too hot for your bare feet then it's too hot for their paws
- Never leave them in a car
- Be especially careful with dogs with flat faces like pugs and bulldogs- they are at a higher risk of overheating
Burlington Vet Blogs
Hi there, it's Becky one of your favorite technicians over at the Burlington Veterinary Center. Some of you may know about the love of my life, also known as the cutest dog in the entire world, also known as Blaze. He's a Golden Retriever/German shepherd mix. He's been coming in for annual check up's here for a while now and he check's out as one happy healthy pup from blood work and physical exams by both Dr. Esherick and Dr. Trevino. He loves to run around like crazy and I can never keep him out of the water. Everyone knows because my whole social media is FULL of Blaze pictures (sorry, not sorry). Well, just the other day he had me really worried. He ran to jump on my bed and he let out the loudest yelp. Everyone knows I baby him like no other so you could guess my dog mom instinct had me freaking out. So, he came to work with me the next day, of course he was so excited. He is in love with Dr. Trevino so when she went to do his exam he just thought she was trying to rub his behind. But when she went to palpate his hips he was like "no way doctor". My poor baby boy was for sure in discomfort. I knew right there he was going to need sedation and have some x-rays. Being a technician, we give sedation to dogs all the time, it's safe, they do very well, but being my OWN dog this was different. I was a nervous wreck! Luckily I got to be with him watching over and monitoring him and also got to take the x-rays myself… but the anticipation waiting for the pictures to come up and for Dr. Trevino to tell me what could be wrong with him, had me shedding some tears.
Okay, so now for the results….. Blaze has hip dysplasia. UGHHH my poor baby… This pretty much means his femoral head does not fit smoothly into the socket of his pelvis, so it is not held in tightly which causes it to slip. His joint is not stable and his body will try to stabilize it which will result in arthritis at the site over time. BUT this means that Blaze gets some yummy treats every morning now (on top of all the other treats he gets). He will be taking Dasuquin and Catalysts daily for the rest of his life and he really enjoys both of these supplements. After we did cold laser therapy on both of his hips, he was already feeling a lot better.
Thankfully going home that afternoon I felt relieved, he jumped into the backseat of my car and stuck his head out the window the whole way home and we cuddled up together that night. Being a technician I am in these sorts of situations all the time with clients and their pets. Sometimes I forget that my pet is not perfect and he will have problems over the course of his lifetime, and it's a lot for me to handle. My crazy dog mom self comes out. But I am thankful that I have such a great team at BVC and such great doctors. It's a huge relief to know there are many treatment options that I will be able to use too help him with his hip dysplasia and to help him live a long, comfortable life.
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
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.
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.