National Veterinary Technicians Week: October 13-19
Veterinary technicians are an essential part of the work done at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. They work in our shelters, on the Spay Waggin‘ and at Boston Veterinary Care. As advocates for pet health, veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in providing care to the animals in our care. The National Veterinary Technician Association has declared Oct 13 to 19 National Vet Tech Week. The ARL applauds the message from NVTA, “Lifelong Commitment. Lifelong Care.” as it echos our own sentiment for pet ownership.
We are proud of the work our vet techs do so professionally, and we are grateful that they have chosen to work at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Jessica is our vet tech extraordinaire at the Boston shelter!
Although we value our vet techs (listed below) every day of the year, we take this week to especially honor them for their commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care for all animals! Thank you for all that you do!
Boston Veterinary Care
Spay Waggin’/Shelter Medicine
Be sure to let your veterinary technician know how much you appreciate him/her next time you’re at the vet with your pet!
Boston Veterinary Care is Currently Hiring a Veterinary Technician
We are seeking an experienced technician who is certified and/or has at least two years of experience in a small veterinary practice. This position is key to Boston Veterinary Care’s operations because it involves every aspect of the Clinic.
A high level of professionalism and strong customer service skills are mandatory. Working in a small busy environment make strong interpersonal skills and a willingness to be a team player absolute requirements. This position has to be flexible in the duties and responsibilities to best fit the changing needs of the Boston Veterinary Care and the mission of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. The duties of the position cover any part of the veterinary practice and does not include diagnosis, prescription or surgery. The duties do not entail any activities prohibited by the veterinary practice act of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The technician performs all functions under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
If you’re looking for a fun, yet challenging work environment with some amazing veterinarians, consider applying!
For more information about this position or to apply please visit the careers section of our website.
All three of our shelters and Boston Veterinary Care are closed today in observance of the 4th of July holiday. Please note that even though we are closed to the public a dedicated group of staff members and volunteers are with our shelter animals today.
BOSTON VETERINARY CARE is currently accepting new clients! If you’re looking for a quality vet clinic with friendly staff you should visit Boston Veterinary Care at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. The BVC team of highly-skilled and dedicated veterinarians and technicians share invaluable experience in treating animals with challenging medical conditions. They pride themselves in serving primary care for privately owned pets.
They offer the following services:
- Preventative Medicine
- Wellness Vaccines
- Feline/Canine Nutrition Counseling
- Digital Dental Radiography
- Outpatient Surgery
- Orthopedic Surgery
Most importantly, when you bring your pet to Boston Veterinary Care you are supporting the League’s mission to rescue domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect!
To make an appointment, call 617.226.5605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours of operation:
Monday – Wednesday – 8am to 7pm
Thursday – Saturday – 8am to 4pm
Sunday – Closed
BVC also offers free on-site parking!
Danielle d.W.: We just had a terrible scare with our dog and the disease HGE! I had never heard of this before and I think it would be great to let people know how serious, but treatable this is!
Answer: BVC Relief Veterinarian Dr. Vo explains Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) as an acute condition that leads to inflammation and bleeding of the intestines. This disease can also cause systemic infection, this means that bacteria can be absorbed into the body. Dr. Vo tells us that HGE presents with bloody diarrhea and vomiting. When this illness is present the stool is described as “raspberry jam.” When diagnosed by a veterinarian the treatment includes, hospitalization with fluids and pain management. Depending on the cause of the disease it may be treated by antibiotics as well. Symptoms of this illness can be severe and even fatal if not treated. Causes are still unknown, but may be due to abnormal reactions to food, bacteria or drugs. Dr. Vo reminds us that many other diseases can cause similar symptoms. If your dog suddenly displays bloody diarrhea you should seek medical attention immediately.
Erin: My 4-year old male cat (8.5 lbs) with a formally small appetite is suddenly, over the past few months, seemingly starving about an hour after eating and bugs me for the rest of the night. He also wakes me up in the morning now wanting food (which he never did, that was left to my other (fat) cat). I took him to the vet and they did a fecal and found nothing wrong, or no physical symptoms like weight loss, etc…is it worth getting blood work? They didn’t’ think so, unless his weight changes.
Answer: Dr. Vo explains that changes in dietary habits can be caused by both medical and behavioral issues. Endocrine problems, parasites and intestinal disease are some common medical causes of these symptoms. At 4 years old it would be rare for a cat to have hyperthyroidism. Blood work can indicate other issues and it is never a bad idea to check because doing this will also help in ruling out certain medical problems. Dr. Vo notes that if behavior is the cause of her increasing food demands, then it may be helpful to evaluate her environment and your own behavior to see if you may be enabling these changes. To learn more check out http://indoorpet.osu.edu/. Here you can find tips to help you identify sources of un-wanted behavior.
Have a question for one of our Boston Veterinary Care vets? Leave your questions in our comments section below!
So you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution for yourself, but have you thought about making a resolution specific to your pet? Here are 7 resolutions for pet lovers for 2013, because our four-legged companions always deserve a little more love! Take a minute to read through these and tell us which one you’re choosing for your New Year’s Resolution.
- Spend more time with your pet. Your cat or dog wants to be with you! After you’ve been at work all day, they can’t wait to see you! Pledge to spend an extra ten minutes with your pet every day. Get up ten minutes early and play with your cat or extend your dog’s walk by 10 more minutes or just take a few extra minutes to snuggle with your pup and scratch him behind the ear when you get home from work.
- Microchip your pet. We strongly recommend micro-chipping your pet. A microchip is an electronic device placed under the skin of an animal. The chips are about the size of a grain of rice and emit a low-frequency radio wave when detected by a special scanner. Pet microchips aren’t a tracking or GPS device but simply a way of storing a pet owner’s address and phone number if the pet is lost. For more information about pet microchips contact your vet, local animal shelter or Animal Control Officer. HomeAgain, a microchip and pet recovery service, is responsible for reuniting more than 1,000,000 lost pets with their owners.
- Bring your pet to the vet. The League‘s very own Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore, DVM says “a checkup with your veterinarian can help you determine how healthy your dog is…. even healthy looking dogs can have hidden problems.” Take your pet to the vet at least once a year to keep vaccinations current, get heart-worm prevention renewed and make sure your pet is healthy.
- Take better care of your pet’s teeth. Dental Disease affects dogs and cats, just as it does humans. There are several ways to prevent dental disease in your pets. Give them treats that clean teeth. Brush their teeth on a regular basis, if you can’t use a toothbrush, use your finger and apply special toothpaste as suggested by your vet. If tartar buildup occurs, your pet’s teeth should be professionally cleaned by your veterinarian.
- Give your pet the proper nutrition. Poor nutrition can lead to poor health. There are many great dog food brands out there. Tell your vet what type of food you’re looking for, holistic, organic, all-natural, dental, weight control, etc… and ask your vet what brands s/he would recommend. An unbalanced diet can result in poor skin, hair coat, muscle tone, and obesity.
- Put an end to your pet’s behavioral problems. If your dog is misbehaving or if you want to teach him basic commands, enroll him in a dog training class. Dog training classes start at our Boston Headquarters on January 5. We offer a 10% discount to BVC clients and a 50% discount to ARL Alums!
- Allow your pet more opportunities to exercise. Most animals like to play, so find an activity that you both enjoy and go for it. Exercise is good for your pet and you! If your dog likes to run, try jogging a few times a week. If your dog likes to play fetch take him to the park and throw a ball around. For cats, try finding a toy that they like to chase.
One of the biggest issues with animal obesity is that owners themselves simply don’t recognize it. After all, our pets are our best friends; we see them every day, so naturally a few extra pounds can easily go unnoticed. This is until of course the dreaded weigh in at the Doctors office. When it comes to our pets being over weight there is much more at stake than just good looks. Some of the many health risks resulting from pet obesity include diabetes, joint stress, arthritis, blood pressure issues, heart disease and most importantly, longevity. Maintaining our pets everyday quality of life in later years becomes much more difficult when they are overweight. Obesity in our animals is not only important to recognize, but to control and prevent.
So how can we really tell if our pets are over weight? As DVM Kasja Newlin puts it, when feeling over our dogs ribs it should feel similar to the way our knuckles do when our hand is laid out flat. On the contrary, if your pets ribs feel the same way your knuckles do when forming a fist then they are under-weight. An easier way to tell might be simply standing over your pet, when looking down at them you should be able to see a waist. If you see a tank, your pet is too heavy. Keep track of your pets weight just as you would your own, this way any gains or losses can be easily detected. It is important for pet owners to understand that though your pet being a few pounds over weight may not sound like very much to you, it is to them. In our defense, our pets constant eagerness to eat is easily confused for actual hunger. As DVM Dr. Davis likes to remind us, the important truth is that our pets are a lot like us, we eat because we like to and not necessarily because we are hungry.
If your Veterinarian has advised you that your pet is over weight, or under weight, it’s important to take control of the issue. We don’t want to see rapid weight gain or weight loss in any pet so it is important to cut back or add on to equate the ideal calorie intake. Proper calorie intake varies between each animal. Consult your veterinarian to learn your pets ideal weight. With your pet’s Doctor you can calculate a proper diet in accordance with the recommended calorie intake. After all, we want to see our loyal companions live forever, so lets start feeding them that way!
Kim K. O.: What is the best way to prevent hair balls in felines?
Answer: For hair balls Dr. Davis recommends an over the counter hair ball remedy diet. Another alternative is a product called Laxatone. This is a supplement that can be purchased at your local veterinarian’s office and used as directed by your pet’s Doctor to help reduce hair balls.
Lindsey S.: It sounds like my pup has kennel cough from what I have read, but I would like to know the recommended healing method. Thank you!
Answer: Dr. Davis suggests that with any persistent cough, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian. In regards to kennel cough, if diagnosed it is treated by antibiotics as prescribed by your pet’s Doctor.
Have a question for one of our Boston Veterinary Care vets? Leave your questions in our comments section below!
Photo Credit: Maria Uribe
While part of the fun of the holidays is decorating – part of the fun for pets may be UN-decorating, and holiday decorations can be dangerous. Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore and Dr. Amy Marder offer some suggestions to help keep your holidays from ending in disaster.
“Many a Christmas tree is felled by a rambunctious cat,” notes Dr. Marder. To prevent accidents, she suggests supporting your tree with a sturdy stand and wires. Try to hang ornaments (especially the more fragile ones) high on your tree to make them less accessible to pets.
“Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats (they can end up in your pet’s intestinal tract, causing string foreign body blockage), and chewing on electrical cords can cause severe oral burns and even fatal shocks for dogs and cats. To help prevent this, try to cover the cords with a bad-tasting, non-toxic substance like Tabasco sauce or a bitter-tasting product from your local pet supply store.”
Decorative plants are also a source of danger. “Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and lilies are often deadly to cats,” warns Dr. Smith. “Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly but can cause blisters in the mouth and mild stomach upset.”
If you think your in-laws are stressful for YOU …
The holidays are traditionally a time for families to get together, but if your pet is uncomfortable around new people or people they rarely see, it may be best to separate him or her from company, says Dr. Marder. “Make sure that your young guests know to let your pet rest when in bed or while eating. And your cat may appreciate a new ‘kitty condo’ or merely cardboard boxes or paper bags in which to hide.”
Dr. Smith also advises monitoring people going in and out of the front door as pets might take advantage and try to escape.
“In addition, be sure to make time to spend quality time exercising and playing with your pets. The holidays can be stressful for all of us, a little play can be a great stress reliever (for both pets and owners alike!), and tired pets are less anxious pets. She concludes, “Our pets are family members too, we have to be sure they don’t get lost in the holiday shuffle!”
Keep your vet’s and local animal emergency hospital’s numbers handy.
Last but not least, keep your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital handy in case your pet should become ill. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER.
by Randell Jay
Catie Copley, canine ambassador at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, is a Boston Veterinary Care client and she wants all pets to receive the same quality care that she does. She has generously donated a fabulous dog gift basket to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and encourages everyone to donate to the Whitney Fund. Everyone who donates by October 31st will be entered into a drawing for this gift basket or a cat gift basket. The Whitney Fund helps to provide emergency care for pet owners in need at BVC.
PLEASE HELP THE ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE BY GIVING TO THE WHITNEY FUND TODAY!
Donate between now and October 31st to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket of your choice. Catie’s dog gift basket is filled with everything “man’s best friend could want” and the cat gift basket is filled with kitty essentials.
TO SUPPORT THE WHITNEY FUND PLEASE VISIT:
Catie in front of the Copley Plaza Hotel.