Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Cancer Can't Keep A Good Dog Down Calander and Walk

One of our patients is featured in the calander for November 2010. This calander is a beautiful testiment to dogs and their owners.

Check out a heartfelt effort and link at


Go Hudson, Murphy, and Luke!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Precautions

The last thing any pet owner wants to do on Christmas or New Years is rush their pet to the animal emergency room! But, the truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned during these holidays. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster?

1) During the holidays, most animal related ER visits are due to eating something inappropriate. Some foods cause upset stomachs, some are poisonous, and some can cause life-threatening obstructions.

2) We know that 60% of us will share our holiday meal with our pets, but you should follow a few basic guidelines.

3) A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones! The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pet’s pancreas.

4) Poultry bones, especially cooked, have potential to both break off and cause a perforation of the digestive tract or, if large amounts are consumed, could cause an obstruction.

5) Other foods to avoid include: grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing Xylitol, and chocolates.

6) All leftovers should be secured behind a pet-proof door.

7) Remember, keep your trash can secure. Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous. A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.

8) Decorative plants are also a source of danger. Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting and lilies are often deadly to cats. Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly and often cause little more than mild stomach upset.

9) Some holiday decorations are also dangerous. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats. Keep an eye on electrical cords to insure puppies and kittens don’t chew on them.

10) During family gatherings, it might be best to keep pets confined if they are overly anxious. Also, monitor people going in and out of the front door. Pets might take advantage and try to escape.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Project Samana by Heidi Greene, CVT

Named for the rural town in which it is based, Project Samana is an animal welfare program that takes place on the Samana peninsula on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Thanks to our very own Dr. Robert Labdon, who founded Project Samana in 1992, twice a year, a team of veterinarians, technicians and students spend a week in this region operating both small and large animal clinics.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the November 2009 Project Samana Team. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had!

One would think that with only basic donated supplies and the lack of electricity and running water, the atmosphere would be one of chaos, tension and frustration. But, in fact, it was just the opposite. It was amazing to me that this team of 19, most of whom I had never met before, was able to come together and, within hours, work so well, it was though we had doing so for years.

Our first morning, we were greeted by our first 20 or so owners with their dogs on wire leashes and their cats in shopping bags and other creative carrying devices. We quickly set up our stations with our respective supplies and got right to work spaying and neutering four, and sometimes five, animals at time. With an injection of antibiotics and some pain medication, the animals were free to go home as soon as they were able to walk.

All of the surgical instruments were quickly scrubbed and disinfected between patients by a very generous local man who has volunteered at these clinics for years. We kept up this pace until we ran out of daylight. (Although, one afternoon, we finished up our last patients by flashlight!) On average, we performed between 25 and 35 surgeries a day, with a final total of more than 140 animals.

When I first found out that I would be going to Samana, I was nervous about being outside of my "comfort zone". I had never worked anywhere but in a hospital setting. The idea of being anywhere else seemed so overwhelming! But no sooner than when I began to shave or first patients surgical site, I realized that it didn't matter where I was. It didn't matter how hot, filthy or exhausted I was. What mattered was that I, and everyone else who has ever been a part of Project Samana, was able to help these animals and their owners when they needed us. Now I can't wait for the opportunity to go back!

2009 Project Samana Team

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Supporting our Senior Pets

Most people know when they get a new puppy there's a lot of things that need to be done. There's chew toys, beds, bowls, obedience classes, and of course getting all their vaccines and seeing they get spayed or neutered.

But what happens as our pets age? Suddenly their needs become great again, they can't jump in and out of the car without you putting their paws up first. Maybe they become diabetic, or develop other health problems like kidney failure, or hyperthyroidism. These things can be expensive for the average pet owner, leaving them in a difficult position of only doing what they can afford and forgoing the rest.

One thing we are doing at VACC to help with this problem is to offer our new Senior Silver and Senior Gold packages. Our hope is that by running routine tests we can help find problems early, making it easier on the owner and the pet to treat and do supportive care.

The Senior Siver Packages include :
  • Physical exam
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Chemistry Profile (liver and kidneys)
  • Total T4 (thyroid)
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal (canine) or Blood pressure (feline)

The Senior Gold Packages include :

  • Physical Exam
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Chemistry Profile
  • Total T4
  • Free T4
  • Urinalysis
  • Digital Radiographs (2 view x-rays)
  • Ocular pressure (canine) blood pressure (feline)
  • Fecal

Each package gives the owner a savings of almost 40% (37% silver, 39% gold) and provides an excellent overall picture of your pets health. If you're do for a visit, or simply have questions about your senior pet, ask your doctor about the senior pet care packages or give us a call at 508-394-3566.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What if you were being spayed?

A laparoscopic ovarioectomy means our patients will have less pain, greater safety and a faster recovery

The Advantages of Laparoscopic Spays:

  • The surgery is performed through two tiny incisions the size of a dime
  • It is less painful than a traditional spay
  • It provides the surgeon a much better view
  • Potential complications are reduced
  • The patient has a faster recovery
  • Using our advanced Ligasure Vessel Sealing System, bleeding is minimal to nonexistent
  • Gastropexy can be performed at the same time

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Alerts Veterinarians About Problems with Vetsulin® to Treat Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health are alerting veterinarians and pet owners that Vetsulin®, a porcine insulin zinc suspension used to treat diabetes in animals, may have varying amounts of crystalline zinc insulin in the formulation. Because this Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health product is out of specification it could cause a delay in insulin action and an overall longer duration of insulin activity. Products having significant problems with stability can affect the management of chronic diseases. Unstable insulin products can result in unpredictable fluctuations in the glucose levels of diabetic patients. Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is unable to assure FDA that each batch of their product is stable.

FDA and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health request that veterinarians closely monitor their patients receiving Vetsulin® for any changes in onset or duration of activity, or for any signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The classic signs of hyperglycemia include increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and lethargy. The classic signs of hypoglycemia would include disorientation, unsteadiness, weakness, lethargy, and seizures.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Morris is a very sweet, gentle guy who loves attention. He was recently surrendered to us at VACC when he was diagnosed as diabetic and his owners could not afford the cost to provide the best care for him. Morris is on one unit of insulin twice a day, and although he may need a little extra care, he'll return the favor ten fold. If you're interested in adopting Morris, or know someone who is, please contact us at 508-394-3566.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

WEST YARMOUTH — What looks like camouflaged PVC septic pipes are stacked in the back of U.S. Department of Agriculture biologist Brian Bjorklund's pickup. Next week, baited cubes of fish meal laced with raccoon rabies vaccine will be loaded into the 116 pipes and they will be strapped vertically to trees or other supports in wooded areas around the Cape.
Beginning last year, local officials adapted the idea of these feeding stations from a New York rabies program. The stations are more efficient than scattered bait and can be placed in high animal population areas identified by USDA biologists.
Volunteers, municipal workers and USDA researchers will also scatter baits by hand next week in wooded areas from Yarmouth to Provincetown.
The vaccine inoculates raccoons and other mammals against a raccoon strain of rabies that has swept up the East Coast from Florida over the past three decades.
While raccoon rabies was raging elsewhere in the state, the Cape Cod Canal protected the Cape for nearly a decade, until a rabid raccoon was discovered in Bourne in 2004. The disease quickly marched along the peninsula, showing up in Provincetown in 2006.
The state's contribution for the rabies vaccination program was cut completely from the budget last year, forcing those on the front line of the Cape's anti-rabies campaign to learn to work with less. So, they work smarter, said Karl von Hone, co-chairman of the Cape's rabies task force and director of the Yarmouth Department of Natural Resources.
For example, Bjorklund and his co-workers learned how to do rabies tests in the field on road kill since those samples were no longer being sent to the state lab.
The USDA continues funding its portion of the program, but the number of vaccine-laden pellets, which cost between $1 and $1.30 per dose, has dropped from 100,000 per year prior to 2004 to 40,000 this year.
Despite the drastic drop in funding, Von Hone said the goal remains the same: to eradicate the virus from Provincetown and move up the Cape, town by town, toward the canal. He hopes that will lead to re-establishing the canal as a natural barrier against rabid animals.
But there are signs that the program is working, ironically with help from the virus itself. Raccoon and skunk populations tend to crash as the disease takes hold, and infected animals die off. Population density studies in South Yarmouth show that the density went from 6.5 animals per square kilometer in 2006 to a peak of 13.1 in 2008. But that dropped dramatically this year to 6.3 animals per square kilometer.
At the same time, the percentage of animals infected with rabies has also dropped. In Barnstable County so far this year, just 2.1 percent of animals sampled tested positive for rabies, the same as last year. In 2007, that number was 4 percent, in 2005, 26 percent.
Von Hone hopes that vaccinating animals while their populations are low will help eradicate the disease on the Cape.
"That's what our goal is," he said.

-Cape Cod Times

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fighting the Flea

For millions of pets and people, the tiny flea is a remorseless enemy. The flea is a small, brown, wingless insect that uses specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin and siphon blood.

Tips for proper application of topical flea control products:

There are several, very significant differences between various flea control products. For starters, many are created strictly for dogs and may contain ingredients harmful to felines, such as K-9 Advantix.

Most flea control products requires "normal body oils" so not bathing your pet for 3 days prior and 3 days after application is reccommended.

For topical flea medication to be absorbed properly, the medicine should be placed directly on your dog's skin.
Gently spread your dog's fur either by hand or with a dog brush. Expose as much skin as possible.
Gradually spread the medication out in a smooth, controlled manner. Applying too much at one time will cause a large part of it to be absorbed by your dog's hair.
Treating animals and their living areas thoroughly and at the same time is vital; otherwise some fleas will survive and re-infect your pet. You may even need to treat your yard or kennel with an insecticide, if the infestation is severe enough.

Did you know!
Flea larvae eat individual tapeworm eggs. These eggs hatch and larvae grow within the flea. When fleas mature into adults, they jump onto their pet hosts for a blood meal. During normal grooming, the host pet ingests all or parts of fleas, and the tapeworm larvae present are released and mature in the pet’s small intestine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Getting ready for Halloween!

If your pet gets dressed up for Halloween, we would love for them to visit. Ask for a picture so we can post it on our blog.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Cooking...

We have seen the same trend that the article below details; more owners are cooking for their four-legged family members. We think this is great, but remember, the diet must be complete.

To support our clients and patients, we have recipes for owners that are interested in cooking for their pets. Long term consideration of minerals and electrolytes is important, and to do this right takes far more than the old hamburger and rice.


And remember, high quality commercial diets are more complete than incomplete homemade diets. So if you cook for the long term, we can help you do it right.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My name is Crystal and I'm 2 1/2 years old. I went outside over the weekend and got into some mischief. When I got home, my owners noticed that I was limping and brought me to the vet immediately! As you can see from the x-ray below, my leg was badly fractured and, unfortunately, unable to be saved. Judging by the severity of my injury, it was suspected that I was hit by a car. I wish I could talk so I could tell them what happened to me!

On Tuesday afternoon, the amazing Dr. Labdon took me to surgery and removed my leg. As horrible as this may sound, I'm feeling much better. It feels a little funny to be missing my leg, but I'm getting around pretty well. It is now Wednesday and I will be going home this afternoon! Thank you to everyone at VACC for taking such good care of me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This is a lovely golden retriever named Petunia. Petunia came to us approximately two weeks ago for lethargy, labored breathing, and generally not feeling well. After a thorough examination, radiographs, and bloodwork Dr. Burns summized that Petunia was suffering from heart failure.
Heart failure is defined as the inability of the heart to maintain sufficient blood circulation to meet the body's needs. Heart failure usually describes a failure of the heart muscle, (mycoardial failure) or heart valve (mitral valve insufficiency or MVI and can affect the right or the left ventricle. MVI is the most common cause of heart failure in dogs. Although it is more common in small dogs, it can occur in large breeds as well, like Petunia.

The top is an xray of Petunia's chest when she first came to us, on the bottom is her chest xray after one week of treatment. There are marked improvements seen in her lungs, and Petunia seems to be doing better. While there is no cure for heart failure, with the right medication and monitoring it can be medically managed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take us home please......

Hi! Our names are Ricky and Lucy. We are 9 years old. This will be the second time that VACC has tried to find us homes. We were born at here VACC and given a great home almost immediately. However, our owner recently passed away and we found ourselves here once again. We love each other very much and hope to be able to stay together. If you or anyone you know are interested please call 508-394-3566 for more information.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Craft Fair Cancelled

.....but the craft fair scheduled for August 29th has been cancelled. For more information please contact Sarah or Stacy at CARE at 508-398-7575.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic machine.

Minimally Invasive Surgeries, (MIS).
laparoscopic surgery, uses the latest technology. When performing MIS, the surgeon creates small, dime-sized incisions that allow the use of a miniature camera, or laparoscope, and specialized instruments to perform the procedure, so there is no need for a large, conventional incision. Smaller incisions mean less pain for our patients, along with a faster recovery.
Here's Dr. Burns in action:

Two small dime sized incisions.

This was a liver biopsy surgery. Instead of going in through a larger incision, this was the better and least painful choice.

Gone fishing!!

Crazy but true!!!!

I'm hooked!!!!

Hopefully he won't do that again.....So cute!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Watch The Road!!!!

We all know that it's summer time on the Cape. Everyone needs to get somewhere and sometimes things happen. Animals hit by cars, are a common occurrence this time a year. Here at Veterinary Associates we see a lot of animals that are unfortunately victims of motor vehicle accidents.

We have recently treated a cat which was hit by a car. Although his outer appearance looked alright with one or two little scratches, the x-rays tell a different story!

This is a very painful break. Hopefully with surgery and rest the kitty will be back on his feet again and feeling better.
So this summer remember watch the road and drive with caution, let's all have a safe and healthy summer!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Obesity is a problem in our pets. It can cause major health issues, such as Arthritis, breathing problems, heart disease, skin and hair coat problems and not to mention reduced activity.

If you think your pet may have a weight problem, please talk to your veterinarian about possible weight loss programs. You can also check out this website about animal obesity in dogs.


Friday, July 3, 2009

CARE Doggie Walk!

1 st Annual Cape Cod Doggie Walk for Life

To Benefit the

Cape Cod Animal Blood Bank

Sunday July 12,2009


The walk is approx. 3 miles beginning and ending at the CARE Hospital (79 Theophilus Smith Rd, South Dennis)

Pre-Registration fee is $10 a dog

Registration fee the day of the event is $25 a dog

All registration fees will go toward helping to establish the 1st animal blood bank on Cape Cod!!

Call Julie or Stacy at (508)-398-7575 for more information

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Isn't He Handsome!!

This is "Spencer" a golden retriever. What a handsome boy!!


Here are 2 interesting X-rays of stones.....

These stones were flushed out by a Cystoscope. This a non-invasive procedure done here in our clinic. You can actually see the other stones following the urethra from the bladder.
Unfortunately, not all stones can be removed as easily. Some need to be surgically removed because of their size. This stone was found in a very nice little poodle.
It was about 2.5 cm in diameter. Oouch!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Unidentified Foreign Objects......here's one found in man's best friend.

Can u guess what it is?

This dog is not allowed to do the dishes anymore!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fun Events!!


79 Theophilus F. Smith Road
South Dennis, MA

Saturday June 6, 2009

10AM - 1PM

Rain or Shine!!

To benefit the Sampson Fund for Veterinary Care
You will find " All things Pets" including new and gently used:
  • Pet carriers, Crates
  • Leashes/Collars
  • Toys, chews, Food dishes
  • Books, clothing
  • Decorative items and Artwork

Take the opportunity to tour the CARE facility!!

The yard sale will be held outside of the CARE hospital. If it is raining, it will be in the basement area.

There will also be a collection of pet food for the pet food pantry, For the Love of a Pet.



Saturday August 29, 2009

10AM - 4PM

CARE and The Sampson Fund are hosting a Craft Fair!!

Breakaway Grill X-Grill here to cook Lunch!

All proceeds from the lunch will be donated to The Sampson Fund.

Please contact Sarah or Stacy at CARE @ 508-398-7575 for any questions or for more information.

Heartworm Season!

Heartworm season is once again upon us. Studies have shown that not only does your dog need preventatives against heartworm, but your cats need them as well. You may think just because your pet lives indoors it doesn't need a preventative. This is untrue, mosquito's come into your house and endanger your pets. Mosquito's are intermediate hosts of heartworm larvae. This means the heartworm needs the mosquito to move from one host to the next.

Heartworm disease if not treated can be deadly. The adult worms clog the heart and obstruct the lungs.
To help keep you pets safe this season keep them on year-round preventatives.
To find out more information about Heartworm preventatives, don't hesitate to ask our well informed staff, and veterinarians.