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Category: Boston Veterinary Care
April 8-14 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Education, Awareness are Keys to Prevention

There are an estimated 70 million dogs in the United States, and every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.5 million dog bites are reported – 20 percent of which require medical attention.

The CDC goes on to estimate that at least half of dog bite victims are children.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) wants to take this opportunity during National Dog Bite Prevention Week to remind dog owners that learning behavioral signs and properly training and socializing your animal can go a long way in drastically reducing these statistics.

When it comes to behavior, it’s important to recognize when a dog is becoming uncomfortable. Some of the signs include:

  • Panting
  • Yawning
  • Cowering
  • Holding its breath
  • Flattening its ears
  • Growling
  • Snapping
  • Curling upper lip

When a dog gives these cues, it’s important to back off immediately. Too often these signs are ignored and result in a bite.

Teaching Children

It’s important to teach children not to approach a strange dog; however, it should be noted that not only strange dogs bite. Even a family pet can bite if it feels frightened, threatened, or is in pain. Parents should consider supervising a child’s interactions with dogs, while teaching the aforementioned behavioral cues.

Training and Socialization

Training and socializing with people and other animals is vital to having a puppy become a well-mannered adult dog. Have questions? You can always contact ARL’s FREE Pet Behavior Helpline at (617) 226-5666.

ARL also offers a number of training courses covering a variety of areas including basic manners, commands, social skills and mental enrichment exercises. Courses are offered at ARL’s Boston location, and reduced rates are offered (first-time only!) to dogs adopted from ARL within the previous six months, and for Boston Veterinary Care clients.


Follow These 4 Pet Safety Tips for a Hoppy Easter

Keep your pets safe during the festivities

Spring is in the air (finally) and what better way to celebrate than with colorful eggs, bright flowers, and bunny-shaped chocolate– besides, perhaps, adding a new furry member to your family!

Spring Into Love and consider adopting an animal from the Animal Rescue League of Boston!

When you adopt, you give an animal a chance at a better life.  All adoptable animals at the ARL also receive:

  • Spay or neuter services
  • Health screening and veterinary examination
  • Behavior screening and evaluations
  • Vaccinations and flea/tick/mite treatment
  • Microchip identification and registration

Search adoptables now or visit our adoptable pets at our shelters, 1 pm – 6:30 pm.

With the Easter and Passover holiday upon us, remember that your pets will be curious about the new decorative items and delish goodies that you bring into your household. Be sure to keep these 4 pet safety tips in mind during the festivities:

  1. Leave lilies at the store. Although beautiful and iconic to Easter, a lily’s leaf, pollen, and flower are highly toxic if ingested by cats. Make sure to keep a special eye on cats as their excellent climbing skills can give them easy access to flowers and plants.

    say no to lilies

    Say no to lilies, chocolate, and harmful decorations this Easter and Passover!

  2. Keep fake grass, candles, and other decorations out of reach. When your pet ingests stringy objects like ribbons or Easter basket grass, they can become wrapped around the base of the tongue or stomach and cause serious intestinal issues. Ceremonial Passover candles should be monitored at all times to prevent pets’ fur from catching fire.
  3. Chocolate and candy are a no-no. Chocolate, especially the darker bitter kind, is poisonous to pets. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a relative of caffeine, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and death. Many candies and gums contain the sugarless sweetener Xylitol, which is also highly toxic to pets.
  4. Hide eggs from your pets too. Secure pets during Easter egg hunts or other activities where plastic eggs or other small objects can be ingested. Consuming real eggs can cause illness as well if they have spoiled. Keep your pet busy with toys and treats and don’t forget to pick up all hidden gems once the activity is over.

From everyone at the ARL, Happy Easter and Passover!


Boston Veterinary Care Monthly

Anyone who’s cared for a puppy knows how cute they can be – but they can also be mischievous and challenging! Curious by nature, puppies can get into things they shouldn’t and chew whatever comes in range of their mouths.

For Finn, an 11-month-old Boxer-mix, his curiosity almost cost him his life.

When he was brought to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), he hadn’t eaten for several days, was lethargic, dehydrated, and an examination showed some sort of obstruction lodged in his intestinal tract.

He needed surgery immediately, but the procedure was cost-prohibitive for Finn’s owner. His owner applied and was approved for the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund, and Finn was sedated and taken into surgery.

An incision into his stomach revealed a pom-pom from a winter hat was blocking the outflow tract from the stomach. While the pom-pom was removed, a second obstruction, likely another piece of the winter hat, was found further down in his small intestines. This blockage was more serious and had caused a 12-inch section of the intestines to die and rupture.

The section of intestines was resected, and due to the extensive surgery, when Finn awoke he was in pain and his body temperature was too low. Finn was transferred to Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties in Walpole for overnight care and pain management.

He was successfully discharged two days later, and Finn is back to his energetic self! The nearly $4,000 treatment was covered by the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund and Finn’s owner was overjoyed and thankful for the assistance and to have her beloved companion be healthy once again.

“It was a grueling surgery, but Finn showed his strength, and it’s wonderful to see how he’s recovered and will go on to lead a healthy life,” said BVC Lead Veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Breda.

The Alice T. Whitney Fund gives homeless animals and family pets the chance to heal — see how you can help today!

Dental Health Month at BVC

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and through the end of the month BVC is offering a free dental exam, toothbrush, and toothpaste with every wellness exam. Additionally, BVC offers a free pet exam for first time clients.

BVC is the clinic with a mission – as all profits benefit shelter animals of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL). BVC offers a number of high-quality outpatient services, click here to find out more!


Boston Veterinary Care Monthly

A life-threatening infection and a life-saving surgery

Recently, the family of three-year-old Mica noticed she was lethargic, not eating, and her abdomen was distended. Alarmed, they brought her to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), and just in the nick of time.

An examination and x-ray confirmed that Mica was suffering from pyometra — a uterine infection that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, a uterine rupture would spread the infection into the abdominal cavity, and spell certain death. While not an uncommon condition, Mica’s case was severe.

“This was the worst case of pyometra I’ve seen in a cat,” said BVC Lead Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Breda. “Mica was close to rupture and needed surgery to remove the uterus and the infection, and to save her life.”

Quick action led to a successful surgery, and in the process Mica lost a third of her body weight. Mica weighed nine pounds upon check-in, and the removed infected area weighed an astonishing three pounds! With the crisis averted, Mica has her life back and is back home where she belongs.

“She’s doing well, her owner is so grateful to BVC for saving Mica’s life, and she will go onto have a nice long and healthy life,” Dr. Breda said.

Discover BVC

Located in Boston’s South End, BVC is the clinic with a mission — all profits benefit ARL’s shelter animals.

Along with a FREE wellness exam for new clients, BVC offers a variety of high-quality outpatient services including:

Wellness examinations and vaccinations

  •         Surgery
  •         Dental care
  •         Senior pet care
  •         Advanced diagnostics
  •         Radiology/diagnostic imaging

Cat-Only Night

A trip to the vet can be stressful for any animal, but particularly for cats. That’s why BVC also offers a cats-only night every Tuesday! Schedule your cat’s exam for after 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and enjoy a dog-free waiting room — less stress for you and your feline friend! 

To schedule an appointment call (617) 226-5605, or email bvc@arlboston.org.


Emma Undergoes Life-Saving Surgery at BVC

Family Pet on the Mend Thanks to Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund

Emma, a sweet 10-year-old Chihuahua, was brought to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) because her owners noticed her belly had become bloated and assumed she was putting on some extra pounds. She was also lethargic and was not acting like her normal self.

Upon examination, it was discovered that Emma had a very bad infection in her uterus, called pyometra. The infection was now in her bloodstream, causing the belly bloat and making her extremely sick. Pyometra, if not treated quickly and aggressively, can be life-threatening.

Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund

Emma needed surgery — a $1,350 surgery. Her owners love her very much, but could not afford the supportive care and emergency surgery needed to remove the uterus and kill the infection. Fortunately, Emma’s owners qualified for the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund, which provides financial assistance to families with limited economic means in veterinary emergencies.

Despite some concerns, the decision was made to move ahead with the procedure.

“She was so sick, we were not sure she would survive the surgery, but everyone at BVC fell in love with her and wanted to give her a chance,” said Dr. Nicole Breda, BVC’s Lead Veterinarian. “Without the surgery she would not have survived much longer.”

Success

Emma showed her toughness, and the surgery was a complete success. During her follow up, Emma was alert, playful, and her belly bloat had somewhat subsided. She is healthy and back to being herself. Her owners have their beloved family pet back and gleefully exclaimed to Dr. Breda how happy and thankful they were for BVC and the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund. To see more of Emma click here!

Give homeless animals and family pets the chance to heal  

Animals with serious medical conditions as a result of illness, accidental injury, neglect, or abuse make their way into the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) every single day with no one to cover the hefty expense of emergency surgery, treatment, or rehabilitation.

When you make a gift to the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, to provide financial assistance for:

  •   Critically ill or injured homeless animals that come into ARL’s Animal Care and Adoption Centers with no one to care for them.
  •   Clients of Boston Veterinary Care, a clinic supporting the programs of ARL, who want to keep their family pets, but do not have the economic means to pay for their veterinary expenses.

Only with your support can animals in the most critical of need receive the high-quality veterinary care necessary to gain a second chance at life. Click the red button below to…

lendanimals


A-List Vote Proclaims ARL as Best Local Charity — Again!

ARL Claims Top Spot for Fourth Time

The Boston A-List, presented by WGBH, represents the best that the City of Boston can offer in 189 different categories, and once again the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has been chosen as Best Local Charity!

ARL also claimed the title of Best Local Charity in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

Nearly 32,700 online votes were tabulated to determine the winners, and for ARL, the A-List acknowledgement is a tribute to the important work that’s being done every day by ARL’s staff and volunteers to help animals in need.

“I am very proud of all the volunteers and staff whose compassionate care of animals was recognized by the Boston A-List,” said ARL President Mary Nee. “Their efforts, along with the thousands of donors who make this work possible, reached nearly 18,000 animals in 2016. We are all, animals and the people that love then, a better community because of this.”

Boston Veterinary Care (BVC), the clinic with a mission, claimed the number two spot in the Best Veterinarians category for the 2017 Boston A-List, this after being named number one in 2014 and 2016.

To everyone who voted to support ARL and its mission, we THANK YOU!


Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Help Keep Your Pet Happy, Healthy, and Worry-Free

BBQ’s, beaches, fireworks and gatherings with friends and family. For humans all these things add up to a picture-perfect Fourth of July holiday. However, for your dog, the sun, crowds, and loud noises can lead to over-stimulation, fear, and a potentially harmful situation.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston wants you to enjoy the celebration of our nation, but please remember these 5 simple, but important tips to create a safe environment for your dog if they must be with you.

  1. Keep your dog away from potentially hazardous objects. Keep your pet away from BBQ’s, fireworks and even sparklers. Think about fireworks for a moment. A sudden bang, a flash of light: these are ingredients for striking fear into your beloved dog, and some animals become “fearfully aggressive” due to loud noises, so keep a close eye on them, especially around children.
  2. Leave your pup indoors in a small, quiet, and cool room. Turning a TV or radio on at low volume can distract your dog from all the outside noises. Also allow them some room to roam around, so they don’t feel too confined.
  3. If they must be outside, keep your canine in a carrier or on a leash. Set your dog up in style with shade, ample air-flow, and access to cold water.
  4. Never leave your dog alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. When the temperature rises it’s Too Hot for Spot! Remember, animals don’t sweat like humans do and can overheat easily. Even with seemingly mild outside temperatures, the inside of a car can heat up to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, which can lead to deadly heat stroke. It is also illegal in Massachusetts to leave an animal in a parked car, owners can face fines or even forfeiture of the animal.
  5. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report an increase of stray animals after July 4th due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Be sure your contact information is correct and up-to-date, and always on your pup’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they become separated from you.

Play it Safe

Leaving your dog at home is always the best bet and the right decision for you and your pet. Prevention is responsible pet ownership.

 

 

 


City of Boston Cements Catie Copley’s Legacy

June 23 Declared “Catie Copley Day”

Since 2004, Catie Copley, a loveable black lab, served as the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel’s Canine Ambassador and became a Boston icon. Guests missing their own furry friend were encouraged to take her for walks, she was the subject of a children’s book and was known as a community liaison. Catie passed away in May at the age of 16, and this past week, the City of Boston ensured that her legacy will live on. The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) participated in a special ceremony celebrating Catie’s life during which a plaque was unveiled on the hotel’s iconic exterior to honor her, and the Mayor’s office also proclaimed June 23, 2017 as “Catie Copley Day” in honor of her meaningful impact in the city of Boston.

Strong Ties to ARL

For many years, Catie’s veterinary care was provided by Boston Veterinary Care (BVC). Attached to ARL’s Chandler St. location, it’s a clinic with a mission, with proceeds benefitting ARL’s shelter animals. Because of Catie’s strong relationship with ARL, the hotel generously donated $1,000 to the organization in her memory. ARL is grateful for the Fairmont Copley’s support, and also for trusting our organization with Catie’s care over the years.

copley2

L to R: Amanda Kennedy, Director of Animal Care and Control, City of Boston; Mary Nee, President of ARL; Joe Fallon, caretaker and Concierge, Fairmont Copley Plaza; and George Terpilowski, GM and Regional VP, Fairmont Copley Plaza.

ARL’s relationship with the Fairmont Copley Plaza continues to grow, as its current Canine Ambassador “Carly Copley” was adopted from ARL, and like Catie, is a client at BVC.

How You Can Honor Catie’s Memory

Whether you’re looking to take a vacation to Boston, maybe a staycation, or just want to head out for a cocktail, you too can honor Catie Copley’s memory. The Fairmont Copley Plaza has announced a special Remembering Catie Copley package that will be available through the end of the year. The package includes a stuffed Catie Copley doll, a copy of Catie Copley’s Great Escape, a walk with Carly Copley, and $16 will be donated to ARL per night. The OAK Long Bar+Kitchen has also debuted the “Catie’s Cooler” cocktail, and $1 from each drink sale will be donated to ARL in Catie’s name. The drink will be available through the end of July.


Understanding Too Hot For Spot

Heat Stroke is NO Joke and Can be Deadly

The Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) Too Hot for Spot annual campaign kicks off this month, and this week we’re focusing on heat stroke. Heat stroke is potentially fatal, which is why you should never leave your animal in a hot car as temperatures can soar to well over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes. Here’s some Q & A on heat stroke basics.

Q. What is heat stroke?

A. Heat stroke is a serious condition caused by your pet’s body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Q. What makes cats and dogs susceptible to heat stroke?

A. Pets don’t sweat the way humans do, which makes them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat. If their core body temperature rises too high, they run the risk of going into shock or organ failure.

Q. Which symptoms should I look for when trying to diagnose heat stroke in my pet?

A. More obvious symptoms include: difficulty breathing, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure, and unconsciousness. More subtle symptoms include: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, excessive thirst, and lethargy.

Q. Is there anything I can do until my pet receives veterinary attention?

A. While you wait for assistance, apply cool wet towels to the groin and “underarm” areas. If your pet is alert enough, try having them slowly sip cold water.

Q. How can I protect my cat or dog from getting heat stroke altogether?

A. Prevention is always your best bet. On hot days, leave your pet at home in a cool room with an accessible bowl of cold water. If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow and limit exercise to the morning or evening hours.

Every Second Counts

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heat stroke, seek IMMEDIATE medical attention from a veterinarian.


When the Temperature Rises — It’s TOO HOT FOR SPOT

ARL Wants Your Pet to be Safe and Comfortable All Summer Long

In typical New England fashion, this week spring suddenly turned into summer, with heat, humidity and near record-setting temperatures forecasted. As part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s (ARL) annual safety campaign, “Too Hot for Spot”, ARL wants to remind pet owners about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car.

As temperatures rise, so do concerns about animal safety. Even with temperatures below 80 degrees, the threat for heat stroke still exists. Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do, making them unable to cool their bodies efficiently in the heat.

Keep your pet safe and healthy by following these important guidelines:

  •      Prevention is always your best bet. Whenever possible, leave your pet at home in a low humidity and temperature-controlled room.
  •      If your pet must be outdoors, find a shady spot with ample air flow to prevent overheating.
  •      Hydration. This is key, so keep a bowl of cold water accessible at all times.
  •      Exercise wisely. Limit exercise to the morning or evening hours when temperatures are at their coolest.
  •      Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. When the outside temperature is just 80 degrees, inside a parked car, the temperature can rise to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, leaving your pet susceptible to deadly heat stroke. It’s also illegal in Massachusetts, thanks to the passage of S. 2369.

Prevention is Responsible Pet Ownership

By following these simple guidelines, you can help your pet limit the possibility for any heat-related health issues. However, if you notice excessive panting, weakness, rapid breathing or balance issues, and suspect a heat-related problem, bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately.