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Category: Boston Veterinary Care
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.


Memorial Day Weekend Travel Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool and Calm

Things to keep in mind if you’re bringing your furry friend along for the ride

Memorial Day Weekend is just days away, and for many of us it means three things — Honoring our service men and women; spending time with friends and family and; travelling!

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) and Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) want to remind you that busy holiday weekends can be stressful and dangerous for your pup.

While temperatures during Memorial Day Weekend are expected to be seasonal, even when the outside temperature is 70 degrees, the inside of a car can heat up to more than 100 degrees in a matter of minutes — even with the windows left partially opened! That’s why leaving your pet inside of a hot car is the most common cause of deadly heat stroke — it’s just TOO HOT FOR SPOT! Remember, pets don’t sweat like humans do and cannot cool their bodies efficiently in hot temperatures.

If you plan on taking your best friend along for the ride this weekend, here are some tips to help keep your dog safe:

  1. Never leave your pup alone in a parked car if they must travel with you. Not only are hot cars the most common cause for heat stroke, but leaving an animal inside a parked car is ILLEGAL in Massachusetts.
  2. Just like us, dogs need bathroom breaks! When driving long distances, be sure to periodically find a safe area to pull over to allow your pup to do their business, and get a little fresh water and perhaps some food.
  3. Always keep your canine on a leash or in a carrier if they must be outside. Find a shady spot with plenty of air flow and lots of fresh water.
  4. Keep them away from dangerous objects. Secure your pet a good distance from sparklers, BBQs, and pools. Additionally, there are many plants and flowers that can be toxic to dogs, so make sure your pet is under constant supervision while outdoors.
  5. Loud noises can be spooky! Things like fireworks and other loud noises can make a dog “fearfully aggressive,” so monitor your dog and keep them calm, especially around children.
  6. Make sure your dog’s microchip and ID tag information is current. Many animal shelters report increases of “stray” animals during holidays due to the number of pets running away from the noise and excitement. Make sure your contact information is current and always on your dog’s collar to ensure an easy reunion should they be separated from you.

Prevention is responsible pet ownership. When in doubt, leave your pet at home in a quiet, cool room. Turn on a TV or radio to help distract from outside noises and leave them free to roam around so they don’t feel too confined.


Hot off the Press: Our Four-Footed Friends

Check out the many ways YOUR support helped animals in need in 2016

ARL-Magazine-fall2016-Magazine-cover-400x520

Click the image above to read the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends.

The Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Our Four-Footed Friends (OFFF) is here!

For more than 100 years, ARL has responded to the needs of animals and the people who care about them. In fact, we are often the first to respond, as seen in the recent Westport farm animal cruelty case, featured on Page 10.

All thanks to YOUR critical support, this year we served thousands of animals through our outstanding veterinary care, adoption, rescue services, special police investigation, and advocacy.

Read the incredible stories about what you helped make possible…

Today, we increasingly focus on prevention and the impact we can have on more animals; keeping them out of shelters and in the communities where they belong.

YOU make our important work possible – THANK YOU!

Stay in touch between editions: visit arlboston.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


ARL Focuses on Low Stress Handling for Felines

3 techniques used by Shelter Veterinary Services to keep cats happy and healthy during exams

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) our Shelter Veterinary Services provide high quality, compassionate care to a variety of species. Cats, however, continue to comprise the greater part of our shelter population.

In an effort to expand our Shelter Veterinary Services’ ability to provide care that not only addresses the medical health of our cats, but also their behavioral well-being, Jessica Wright, ARL’s Lead Veterinary Technician, recently became certified in “Low Stress Handling Techniques” via Dr. Sophia Yin’s online course. The certification process required a commitment of at least 20 hours, during which online lectures and labs were viewed and follow up discussion questions and exams were completed.

As an organization, the ARL strives to reduce the stress that our shelter cats inevitably experience while in our care. These efforts can be seen in the double sided cages that the cats reside in, and the hiding boxes that each cat is offered. Upon completion of the Low Stress Handling course, Jessica was excited to incorporate the new techniques she had learned into the Shelter Veterinary Services’ daily rounds.

The 3 Low Stress Handling techniques that the ARL uses for felines are:

  1. Picture1Adjusting the methods by which a cat is moved between the cage and the exam room. To avoid exposing the cat to any number of stressors that may be encountered while moving between spaces, cats are now wrapped in a towel for transport. Some cats prefer to have their head exposed allowing them to look about whereas others prefer to have their head covered. This use of the towel allows the removal of potentially stressful visual stimulation and provides the cat with the feeling of being adequately supported.
  2. Incorporating the use of towels for comfort. Rather than sitting on a cold metal exam table, the cats now sit on the towel they were brought to the exam room with. This provides a sense of comfort for each patient. In addition, depending upon the behavior Picture2of each cat, a second towel may be placed over the cat. This again removes any potentially stressful visual stimulation and allows for more ease of handling of the cat during examination.
  3. Introducing food during examination. As surprising as it may be, many cats will often eat a snack during an exam or vaccination. Providing food to the patient can act as a distraction from any potentially negative or stressful event that may occur. In addition, if the cat chooses to eat during these procedures, a positive emotional response is encouraged rather than the typical fearful or stressed response often associated with veterinary care.

As a result of the introduction of Low Stress Handling Techniques, our shelter cats are that much more happy and healthy!

YOU can help keep shelter cats low-stress too: Please consider making a donation of regular sized bath towels to enable the ARL to continue our Low Stress Handling efforts! Donations can be dropped off at our Boston Adoption Center lobby located at 10 Chandler Street in Boston, Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30AM – 6:30PM.