New SE Vet - A ❤ for Comfort, Rescues

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Dr.  Valori  Johnson  knew her life’s calling from an early age. “The rest of my family were mathematicians and engineers,” she says, “but I was born with the animal bug, and made sure we always had a house full of pets.”

Her passion for animals led her right through veterinary college and into a specific vision for how she wanted to practice medicine. “Since veterinary school I have worked in large, busy practices,” she says. “I wanted to create a clinic with a calmer, friendlier atmosphere that was less stressful for our patients and clients.”

Johnson — Dr. Val to her friends and clients — fulfilled that dream in February when she opened Buckman Veterinary Clinic in SE Portland. Since then, she’s seen exactly the results she’d hoped for. “A number of the dogs and cats who had earned a reputation for being ‘spicy customers’ have been much easier to work with in our new space where they are not as stressed out,”  she says.

Johnson also had another goal when she opened her clinic. “I am hoping that the flexibility of having my own practice will allow me to expand the work I do with local animal animal rescues," she says. Johnson has worked closely with My Way Home Dog Rescue, a Sandy, OR nonprofit that places dogs from overcrowded shelters into forever families.

Cheryl Yoshioka, who runs My Way Home, helped Johnson get Buckman Clinic up and running. Now, the rescue’s dogs visit the new clinic for help with issues ranging from broken bones to autoimmune diseases and liver and kidney problems.

“Most all the dogs coming into rescue have suffered neglect,” Yoshioka says, “so their care is a priority for us. Our rescue does quite a few senior dogs, and after living a life of neglect they require special care. Dr. Val has provided that for us.”

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The work reaps rewards for the doctor as well as the patients. “There is nothing quite as nice,” Johson says, “as being able to help these animals that come in neglected and suffering get back on their feet and settled in new loving families.”

The doctor says says a career in primary vet care is “a complex puzzle” requiring a unique mix of medical knowledge, scrupulous study of the latest research, and a healthy dose of compassion. “I want our clinic to be filled with people who not only have the skills any veterinary staff member needs,” she explains, “but also have a passion for working with pets and the empathy to work with them gently.”

“So many times in my career,” Johnson says, “I have seen people handling pets in ways that are unnecessarily stressful to them. I am working to develop a culture where pets and their people are treated right as individuals with unique needs."

“When we succeed in this balance, and know we have helped a pet and his or her family, that is the best reward there is!”


William Kennedy is a freelance writer who lives with his wife and daughter in downtown Eugene, Oregon. He's had many furry friends in his lifetime. Currently, he's tolerated by a black cat named Midnight.

How to know when it’s time to see the Vet

Have you experienced that anxious moment when you know something is wrong with your pet and you have to decide what to do? Maybe your dog is vomiting? Or your cat has diarrhea? Or perhaps your pet is limping, has collapsed, or is crying out?

None of us want our pets to suffer, and when such things occur, one of the most stressful aspects can be knowing what to do.

Is it an Emergency?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a true emergency so you can seek immediate veterinary care, if needed. It’s important to know if your veterinarian treats emergency cases, and to have a list of nearby emergency veterinary clinics before you need one. Many clinics will discuss a situation by phone to help determine whether it may be an emergency, and some will even provide home care recommendations if your pet has been seen at there in the past year.  You can also increase the chances of your pet surviving an emergency by taking a pet CPR or first aid class.

Some situations that call for immediate veterinary care include when your pet:

●       has collapsed or is unresponsive

●       has ingested toxins or an object that could cause blockage

●       has severe bleeding

●       is choking or cannot breathe

●       has injured an eye

●       has severe vomiting or diarrhea or occurrences more than twice in 24 hours

●       has broken bones or a leg at a strange angle

●       is having seizures or other neurological symptoms

●       is a cat who is straining to urinate or not eating for over 24 hours

If symptoms don’t appear severe, it can be difficult to know when to go to the vet. In these cases, remember animals — especially cats — are masters at hiding illness. This is because showing signs of sickness in the wild makes them vulnerable to predators.

Check Vital Signs

A basic assessment of the following vitals is an important step in determining whether immediate vet care is needed. If any of the following vitals are abnormal, s/he should be seen right away.

●       Hydration Your pet’s gums are a good indicator of hydration. Dr. Heather Dillon of At Home Veterinary Services — a Spot Top Dog winning veterinary practice that treats pets in their homes — says, “A healthy animal should have moist, coral-pink gums. When you gently press on the gums the color should turn from white back to the normal pink color in about two seconds. If the gums look pale, blue, are tacky (dry), or if it takes a prolonged time for color to return after pressing on the tissue, then you should have your pet seen.” With a well-hydrated pet, the skin on the scruff of the neck should move easily back into place if you pull on it gently. Here too, if it takes more than two seconds to move back into place, your pet is likely dehydrated.

●       Temperature Gently insert a lubricated digital thermometer into your pet’s rectum, and follow the instructions on the thermometer to get a reading. The thermometer should be inserted around one to three inches, depending on the size of the animal, and should never be forced in. A normal temperature for a cat or dog generally ranges between 100 and 102.5 F.

●       Respiration Rate. To measure respiration, simply count your pet’s breaths for one minute. A respiration rate of a healthy, comfortable cat is usually 20 to 30 breaths per minute; a dog’s is a broader range of 15 to 30.

●       Heart Rate. For cats, heart rate is usually measured by resting the hand on the cat’s side, behind its left front leg. For dogs, the femoral artery on the inside of the back leg is usually easiest for measuring heart rate. The normal range for a pet’s heart rate is quite wide, and can vary depending on the stress level and size of the animal. A dog’s heart rate is usually between 100-150 beats per minute; a cat’s is generally 140-220. Both heart and respiration rates are best measured when your pet is relaxed, if possible.

Other Factors 

●       Age. When a very young or older pet shows signs of a medical concern, s/he should be seen by a vet.

●       The number of symptoms. If multiple symptoms are apparent, the situation is more serious. For example, a vomiting, lethargic dog is more likely to have a serious condition than one who is only vomiting.

●       Environmental exposure. Consider what your pet may have been exposed to. Is it possible that s/he ingested a bottle of pills or something toxic in the yard? Dogs will often eat clothing or toys, and cats often eat string or yarn; both necessitate an immediate veterinary visit. For a full list of substances that are toxic to pets, visit the ASPCA Poison Control website.

Common Concerns

Symptoms are not the disease, but rather clues you can use — in conjunction with diagnostics like an exam, lab work, radiographs, ultrasound, and sometimes even surgery — to determine the underlying condition.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Most pets occasionally vomit or get diarrhea. If either is occurring and is intense, or lasts longer than 24 hours, veterinary care is needed. When vomiting or diarrhea start, withhold food to give the stomach a rest. Dr. Dillon advises offering small amounts of water, but if your pet vomits the water, consult your vet.

If vomiting or diarrhea stops for 6-8 hours, offer your pet small amounts of bland food, like boiled chicken, turkey or rice. If your pet continues to do well, gradually transition back to a normal diet over several days. If vomiting and diarrhea resume after reintroducing food, it is time to see the vet. Chronic (repeatedly occurring) vomiting or diarrhea calls for a visit to the veterinarian.

Dr. Dillon warns that cats should not fast as long as dogs. “Any time food is withheld from a cat it should be done under the advice of a veterinarian because of the potential for hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver syndrome).” It is important not to give your pet any medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Possible causes of vomiting and diarrhea include: recent change in diet, dietary indiscretion (eating unusual or unnatural items), parasites, viruses, gastritis and gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or bloat.


Limping can be caused by a wide variety of conditions — some easily resolved, while others are more serious. According to Dr. Lillian Su at Sunstone Veterinary Specialists, most pets who limp are experiencing pain, and the most common causes of limping are musculoskeletal or neurological pain.

If your pet is able to put weight on the leg and is not experiencing other symptoms, the limping may be caused by a strain that could heal by applying a cold pack, and limiting his or her activity to short bathroom walks for several days.

With limping, a veterinary appointment is urgent if any of these is true:

●       there is a broken bone or wound

●       the pet cannot put weight on the leg

●       the leg is at a strange angle, is swollen, or has obvious instability

●       the limping appears to originate from the back instead of the leg

●       For cats, paralysis of one or both rear legs can indicate a dislodged blood clot. If your cat has limited use of ANY leg, the foot feels cold, or the cat is vocalizing loudly, it is a medical emergency.

Do not give your pet pain medication unless prescribed by your veterinarian. “While it is natural to want to give your pet something to help with their pain, many over the counter anti-inflammatories and pain medications are harmful to pets,” Dr. Su says.

Possible causes of limping include: broken or fractured bone, ligament injury, developmental orthopedic disease, stroke, arthritis, infection, or foreign body in the leg.


Although lethargy is a common symptom, it can be difficult to find its cause. Dr. Stephanie Scott of Pearl Animal Hospital explains, “Lethargy is a difficult symptom to interpret. It can run the gamut of something not concerning, like being tired from a busy, active day, to a very concerning symptom of a serious potentially life-threatening problem.” Because lethargy is such a general symptom, your veterinarian will likely want to supplement a physical exam with detailed lab work and radiographs. If a pet parent is worried, Scott advises that they have their pet seen by a veterinarian — especially if there are any other symptoms.

Possible causes of lethargy include: gastrointestinal upset, cardiac disease, infection, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, muscle or joint pain, bloat, cancer, urinary issues, or kennel cough.

In appetence/Anorexia

Like lethargy, loss of appetite is a common but vague symptom that can be caused by a variety of conditions. When accompanied by other symptoms, or the pet has a major systemic disease, it should be seen by a veterinarian. For instance, if your pet has diabetes, you should contact your vet if even one meal is skipped.

It is especially important for a cat who is not eating to see a vet within 24 hours, as s/he is vulnerable to hepatic lipidosis, or liver failure, a life-threatening disease. If your pet seems hungry but does not eat, you can try to make the food more enticing by heating it to room temperature or adding tasty, aromatic treats, such as water from canned tuna. According to Dr. Dillon, “Sometimes offering small amounts for food at a time can be a little less overwhelming.”

Possible causes of in appetence include: gastrointestinal upset, foreign body blockage, cancer, kidney or other organ disease, pain, pancreatitis, or thyroid disease.

When in Doubt

Only a veterinarian has the training and tools needed to fully diagnose and treat your pet. Dr. Scott encourages, “I am here to help your pet feel better. Your pet, my patient, can't speak, so I rely on you, the pet owner, to help me figure out what is going on. Lab work and/or radiographs [x-rays] can really help me determine what is or what is not going on.” There are many options for low-stress, patient-focused veterinary care — from clinics with separate entrances for cats and dogs to veterinarians who provide in-home care — and your veterinarian is there to help.  As Dr. Su says, “If you’re on the fence or at all uncertain, call your vet!”

Daniela Iancu, founder of Animal Community Talks, has worked and volunteered with veterinary practices and animal welfare organizations in the Portland area for the last decade. Her happy home includes a wonderfully supportive husband and sweet senior cat, Maya.

Anesthesiologists - The OTHER surgical MVP

Dr. Shafford cradles a patient with asthma, kidney and heart disease.  The kitty is recovering well from anesthesia.

Dr. Shafford cradles a patient with asthma, kidney and heart disease.  The kitty is recovering well from anesthesia.

It’s a loving pet parent’s “perfect storm” — being caught between a pet’s need for a medical procedure and his or her risk of complications with anesthesia.

“One thing that always surprises me is that people don’t know specialist-level anesthesia is an available option,” says Dr. Heidi Shafford, DVM, board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist. It’s Shafford’s business to provide anesthesia care for medically-fragile patients.

A veterinarian may consider a pet high-risk with anesthesia for various reasons, including age, breed sensitivities, liver, heart, or kidney disease, previous anesthesia reaction, or a littermate who died under anesthesia.

“It’s not necessarily that their pet can’t undergo anesthesia, and it isn’t necessarily that their vet is wrong, but that it isn’t within their vet’s comfort level,” Shafford explains. “I’m not contradicting what that vet is saying, but here’s an analogy for what I do. Some people have compared me to a river 'bar pilot' — like those who help captains cross the difficult Columbia River Bar between the river and the ocean. Instead I help medically fragile pets navigate anesthesia.”

Shafford’s expertise helps enable high-risk pets to have procedures that can increase quality of life. A toothache is no longer life-threatening.

Veterinary anesthesiologists are sticklers for detail, crafting special anesthesia plans for each pet. For example, older pets require lower drug doses, benefit from extra support and monitoring during and after anesthesia, and need to quickly resume eating. Pets with liver disease are safer with an anesthetic that doesn’t involve liver metabolism. For kidney patients, extra pre-anesthetic fluid support and special attention to preventing and treating low blood pressure can help support fragile kidneys during anesthesia.

“Most of my patients have heart disease, kidney disease or both!”  Whatever the challenge, Shafford faces each with specialized training and thorough preparation, along with a formidable team.

“I want owners to know that I take what I do — improving anesthesia safety for pets — very seriously.  I gather detailed information about each pet ahead of time, both the focused medical picture and overall background. I get a grasp of the main concerns from the primary vet, and also talk with owners about their pet’s energy level, appetite, any coughing, sneezing, and other various details.”

Dr. Shafford also explains the upcoming procedure to pet parents. “For example, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, there is a risk of low blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, and my anesthetic plan would include steps to minimize stress and prevent low blood pressure. I would be monitoring from before the anesthesia begins and intensively throughout, to immediately pick up on any changes, if any, to support the patient early and well.”

According to Shafford, recovery is too often an overlooked danger zone.

“During a procedure, the pet is getting extra oxygen, is often being warmed, and someone is close at hand. They are often getting IV fluids. When many clinics finish anesthesia, there is a misperception that the anesthesia is 'finished,' that the pet is out of harms’ way, and people move on to something else.”

But, says Shafford, the majority of pets lost to anesthesia-related deaths actually pass away during recovery.

Anesthesia was stopped early for this sweet dog by her primary care veterinarian because of complications related to heart disease.  She was referred to Dr. Shafford for specialist-level anesthesia care.  Here the pup looks happy after a successful anesthesia and dental procedure!

Anesthesia was stopped early for this sweet dog by her primary care veterinarian because of complications related to heart disease.  She was referred to Dr. Shafford for specialist-level anesthesia care.  Here the pup looks happy after a successful anesthesia and dental procedure!

“In recovery I monitor closely,” she says. “They are recovering from medications, may be a little cold, and not fully in control of their systems. It’s that first one to three hours after surgery that's so critical.”

That extra assurance is one reason Shafford’s schedule is full of return clients.

“A big piece of what I do is assure you that your pet is looked after, that they are warm, that their heart is beating strong, and that they are comfortable and well.”

On site two to three days a week at the Animal Dental Clinic in Tigard, Shafford says, “The dental specialists and technicians are very skilled, fast and efficient, and it truly minimizes anesthesia time. We team up for patients that are the most at-risk. I know if I ask them for help during an anesthesia emergency, they are there for me. We’ve worked together through some very challenging cases.”

Also working alongside other veterinarians, the doctor says, “The majority of vets in the Portland Metro area are familiar with me, and there are times when I’m available to come to their location. Some procedures are best performed at certain clinics.”

Neutering a dog may be a routine surgery, but for a high-risk patient with serious heart disease, anesthetizing demands her skills. “And I’ll be doing that next week for a kitty cat. There’s just this wide range of things I do for so many pets — I anesthetized a cat for cataract surgery last week — never a dull moment! I absolutely love what I do.”

Christy Caballero writes from the heart about all things pet-related, from a couple deer trails off the beaten path, typically juggling a cat (or two) on her lap as black kitty AsTar teeters on her shoulder and Mojo the retired Greyhound quietly calls for einforcements!!

Bethany Family Pet Clinic a reader favorite

In 1998, Bethany Family Pet Clinic opened in a small leased space in a developing area with one veterinarian and three employees. Fast-forward to the present day, and this Top Dog–winning practice touts a roster of around 45 employees and a new facility specifically designed for veterinary care.

Bethany Family Pet Clinic is located in the heart of the charming Bethany community, and head doctor and proprietor Mark Norman says, “As we have grown, we’ve worked hard to maintain personal relationships with our patients and their families.”

The hospital won 2017 Top Dog awards for Veterinary Practice, Cat Boarding, and Veterinarian (Dr. Norman). Voters ranked the clinic and staff top 10 in numerous categories, including Cat Medical, Home/Mobile Veterinary Care, Holistic Practitioner, Specialty Veterinary Medicine, Emergency Veterinary Care, and End of Life Services.

Norman attributes the high praise from local pet parents to the synergy between staff, doctors, and clients. “Ours is a personable, compassionate clinic, and that is recognized and appreciated,” he says.

Founders Norman and Dr. Bob Merrill were both raised and educated in Iowa, and they also share a love of Oregon’s great outdoors. “And we don’t mind the snow,” Norman says with a grin.

Bethany Family Pet Clinic is driven by family and community, and the clinic proudly contributes to local schools and charities. For 17 years running, the clinic has hosted summer dog washes in support of Indigo Rescue, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness for unwanted pets.

On the Top Dog wins, Norman says, “We are very honored to know that our clients support and believe in us.”

Vonnie Harris is a freelance writer, and operator of Pet Stop Pit Stop pet sitting services in SW Washington.  She resides in Vancouver with Jessie (a yellow Lab), and Pedro & Grey Bird (parrots). Vonnie is “the face of Spot” at many Portland-area pet-related events, and the voice of Spot in social media outlets.

Pet Parents rank Heartfelt Top Dog across the board

Their commitment to “always treat your pets as you would" is just one reason the team at Heartfelt Veterinary Hospital ranks so high with pet parents. Opened in 2014, the practice has quickly grown — expanding in size, and increasingly becoming known and loved for outstanding emergency and preventive pet care, dentistry, rehabilitation, and client education.  The 2017 Top Dog Award winner for Best Veterinary Practice and wins in seven additional categories made their showing extraordinary. 

“All our doctors at Heartfelt work to create a unique bond with their patients. At the beginning of each exam our doctors get on the floor with their patient(s) to connect at the patient's level. This allows the pet to get acquainted with the doctor’s caring concern, quickly helping establish comfort and trust,” says Office Manager Ryan Hesketh. Each Doctor forges connections with his their patients that often amazes pet parents, says Hesketh. “especially pets who are timid or scared.” 

“Being next door to Pet Pros is a plus,” says Hesketh, “as is our location and easy access off I-5, as we have many clients from the coast and across the river in Washington.” The Hospital is fully equipped, “So we can offer everything from an initial exam to lab work (blood, urine, fecal and heart worm), and have results in 20 to 30 minutes. We also have ultra sound and in-house imaging, as well as dental x-rays, a surgical suite, rehabilitation services . . . and so much more.”

Heartfelt also offers a unique orthopedic rehabilitation program, including treatments such as underwater treadmill and laser therapy, acupuncture and pain management. Understanding how expensive vet care can be, Heartfelt offers Pet Care Plans to help make it easier for pet parents to access needed care. Plans are tailored to the ages and stages of life for dogs and cats, and are available for a monthly fee that includes preventive care, office visits, lab work,  and vaccinations. Some plans even include dental care.

Caring, compassionate expert pet care services are just a few more reasons Heartfelt is proving to be a big winner with NW pet parents.  Find them at 1127 NE Broadway in Portland, or at

Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers.  She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.


Managing pet allergies . . . naturally

Atopic dermatitis (allergies to environmental allergens) is the second most common allergy suffered by dogs and cats.  The condition is genetic, and occurs when a pet’s immune system reacts abnormally to allergens inhaled or absorbed through the skin, causing a pet to develop an allergy to environmental pollens, molds, dust mites, and other common airborne substances. The most common symptoms include itching, scratching, licking, and excessive chewing of the feet, legs and body, rubbing against furniture, carpet or walls, hair loss, foul-smelling skin, scaling and flaking.  Symptoms can occur year round, or only during spring to fall seasons. Unfortunately, once allergies develop they typically worsen over time, and with age.

Keeping it in check

There are numerous treatment options for atopic dermatitis, most of which include medications such as prednisone (steroid), antihistamines, Atopica (cyclosporine), and Apoquel, which provide temporary relief of symptoms. Because these treatments only address an animal’s symptoms they require long-term use and have possible long-term adverse side effects. None of these treatment options addresses the underlying disease or stop its progression so again, your pet’s allergies can gradually worsen over time.

A natural solution

Dr. Amy Randall of Allergy Animal and Ear Clinic cites allergen-specific immunotherapy as the only treatment known to alter the course of the disease rather than mask the symptoms. Immunity to allergens is built up through a series of injections or oral drops with increasingly larger doses of an allergy serum specifically formulated to a pet’s sensitivities. The doctor says the treatment is effective for allergies associated with pollen, molds and house dust mites.

“I am concerned about my patients’ long-term health and wellbeing, and immunotherapy is not a medication or a drug. It is an all-natural treatment used for decades on old, young, healthy and debilitated animals without long-term adverse side effects.”

Allergen specific immunotherapy works to regulate or normalize the immune system naturally by using small amounts of the naturally-occurring allergen(s).  It is believed to change the pet’s actual allergic response, and is the only treatment that can prevent worsening of your pet’s allergies.  Over time, immunotherapy can lead to a long-term solution for an animal’s allergies. Best of all, it has shown no long-term adverse side effects.

How is Allergen Specific Immunotherapy Formulated?

Allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergy serum) is formulated based on the results of allergy testing done by either intradermal (skin) or blood testing.  The test identifies which trees, weeds, grasses, molds and house dust mites are causing the allergy symptoms. The gold standard is intradermal testing, as numerous studies have repeatedly shown it to be more accurate than blood testing. Intradermal testing is usually only available from board-certified veterinary dermatologists who are specialists trained through residency programs and years of practice to perform and accurately read the test results and formulate the serum.

Treatment has become easier

Long administered only through injections, allergy-specific immunotherapy is now possible using oral drops, which have proven equally efficacious. Oral treatment is typically easier, and much more readily accepted by the pet. Dispensed with a pump right into the pet’s mouth once or twice daily, oral immunotherapy absorbs through the mucous membranes.

Dr. Randall reports “extremely good results” with oral formulations. “Many patients are getting relief from their symptoms within a few months of treatment. We are even seeing some patients who have failed injectable immunotherapy have success with oral immunotherapy.”

Learn more at

Rose City Vet Tech wins PVMA Award

Becky Smith, Rose City Veterinary Hospital’s Technical Supervisor and a Certified Veterinary Technician, received the Portland Medical Association’s Paraprofessional of the Year award.

These annual awards honor members of the veterinary field who have contributed to the community and the profession.  The Paraprofessional Award shines a light on veterinary team members who have shown exceptional leadership and dedication.

Smith has been with Rose City Vet Hospital (RCVH) since 2002, serves on several veterinary boards, is a guest lecturer at DoveLewis’s annual conference, and teaches many community pet care classes at RCVH.

RCVH Hospital Manager Jasmine Bachrach said about Smith’s recognition: “It couldn’t be more well-deserved. We are very fortunate to have such an absolutely brilliant tech, teacher, animal advocate and all-around wonderful human being on our team.”

New emergency pet care opens

Lake Oswego Veterinary Emergency (LOVE) has opened, with the help of DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, in the Animal Care Group of Lake Oswego facility. Opened in June, the practice provides advanced emergency veterinary care for small companion animals nights, weekends and holidays.

Emergency services require distinct training, high medical standards, and specialized policies and procedures, which is where DoveLewis comes in. Ron Morgan, DoveLewis CEO, said, “The local landscape for the veterinary industry is changing. We identified a need to evaluate new partnerships in order to keep growing while corporate entities become more significant in the Portland area. We saw this as a great opportunity for our animal-loving community, and it aligned with our mission as an organization. As a teaching hospital, it is another way for us to share our extensive knowledge and training in emergency veterinary medicine.” LOVE is located at 3996 Douglas Way in Lake Oswego. Learn more at

Dialysis becoming accepted, available for pets

Humans have been using lifesaving dialysis for decades, and in recent years a handful of veterinary universities and research centers have added it to their treatment options with equally positive results. The procedure is slowly making its way across the country, but is still unavailable to most pet parents. BluePearl Veterinary Partners is hoping to increase accessibility by promoting its procedures nationwide. “A lot of people don’t know that dialysis is available for pets, just like in human medicine,” says Dr. Adam Eatroff, director of BluePearl’s hemodialysis center. Dr. Eatroff says the procedure, most often associated with kidney failure, can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, poisoning, heatstroke and certain immune-related conditions. “Really, we’re only limited by our imagination,” he says. Learn more at

Nominations sought for 2016 Veterinary Awards

Through September, Petplan pet insurance company is accepting nominations for its 2016 Veterinary Awards. By nominating, pet parents can secure a donation for a pet-related cause while thanking the professionals who keep their own pets healthy — for every nomination, Petplan will donate $1 to pets in need at, or Morris Animal Foundation (nominators may divvy their donations however they’d like).

Awards are six categories: Veterinarian, Veterinary Technician, Practice Manager, Receptionist and Pet Parent of the Year. Winners will be honored in January at Petplan’s Veterinary Awards in Orlando, held in tandem with the North American Veterinary Community Conference. Winners receive cash, goodies, and a donation on their behalf to a pet-related charity of their choice. Vote or learn more at