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‘This never happens to puppies’ – except for T.J.

WALTHAM, Mass. – A 9-week-old Labrador retriever puppy named T.J. was reunited with his family after undergoing emergency surgery Tuesday to correct an unusual and potentially deadly condition. The condition itself – bloat – is not uncommon. But it is extremely rare for a puppy to suffer from bloat, according to Dr. Erin McGowan, a board-certified critical care specialist with BluePearl. “I’ve never seen it in a puppy this young,” she said. “It’s far more common among older dogs.” Bloat, also known as gastric dilation and volvulus or GDV, occurs when the stomach is distended with gas. If left untreated, it can kill a dog within a few hours. McGowan credits the owners with saving the puppy’s life by immediately bringing him to BluePearl. “If it hadn’t been for their quick action, we might not have had the good result that we did,” she added. The problem began on Monday evening, said Keaton Beams, the puppy’s owner. He said TJ – short for Thunder Jr. – began retching and acting strangely. “It was clear he was sick,” Beams said. “But I thought he had eaten something that he shouldn’t have.” Beams has a lot of experience with dogs eating peculiar

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BluePearl, EMS teach emergency care for K9 dogs

KANSAS CITY – Law enforcement officers risk their lives every day, and that includes the four-legged variety, too. In an effort to provide the best possible medical treatment to the brave K-9s who serve beside their human partners, the Kansas City Metro Tactical Officers Association (KCMTOA) is teaming up with BluePearl Veterinary Partners for a course on how to provide emergency care in the field for police service dogs. Members of the media are invited to observe and take photos/video as K-9s and their handlers conduct tactical exercises and practice techniques such as bandaging and inserting IVs. These activities will be going on simultaneously from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10. Representatives from KCMTOA and BluePearl will also be available for interviews. The event will be held at the Lenexa Fire Department Training Center, 24000 Prairie Star Parkway. More than 25 tactical medics and K-9 officers are expected to attend the two-day course, which was organized by Johnson County Med-Act Captain Chris Winger, as well as Dr. Kristen Holcomb-Wallace, Melissa Bosch and Meagan Hake from BluePearl. “We have a wonderful relationship with our local law enforcement community and this is

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Retired guard dog stabbed defending his home from burglars

MIDVALE, Utah – A 13-year-old shepherd mix is recuperating at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Midvale after he was stabbed seven times in the head and neck during a reported home invasion Friday. The dog, named Wagner, will be treated by a surgeon for his wounds Monday, but is so far doing well and expected to recover, according to Dr. Jordan Scherk, a board-certified specialist in critical care and the hospital’s medical director. “Fortunately, the top of the neck is pretty muscular,” Scherk said. “None of the wounds were close to any major organs or arteries.” Wagner’s owner, Randy Price, said he found his dog lying in the garage of his Taylorsville home around 11:30 p.m. Friday. He was alerted to the situation by his German shepherd, 4-year-old Tria, who was barking insistently. “I saw that he was down and he was in a pool of blood,” Price said. “I just freaked out. I’ve never seen one of my dogs hurt before.” Wagner was rushed to BluePearl by West Valley Animal Control, Price said. As a 24-hour emergency veterinary and specialty hospital, BluePearl has the advanced equipment and board-certified veterinary specialists necessary to treat complex injuries like Wagner’s. Price said

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Dog’s dangerous Thanksgiving feast: $1.18 in coins

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Maybe Lucky was just warming up for the Thanksgiving feast when he gobbled up $1.18 in change. The meal could have been deadly. But thanks to the quick thinking of his owner and doctors at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Southfield, the 2-year-old American Eskimo Dog is expected to make a full recovery. Terri Luxmore, Lucky’s owner, said she noticed Monday that her pup “just didn’t feel well. He was just down in the dumps, not being his usual self.”  On Tuesday morning the normally spirited and inquisitive pup didn’t want to walk. Then Luxmore saw blood-colored urine. She immediately took Lucky to his primary veterinarian. “I was there waiting when they opened up at 8 a.m.,” she said. Luxmore said the veterinarian ran bloodwork, which showed his liver was starting to fail. The vet referred her to specialists at BluePearl. Lucky was lethargic and his urine was extremely dark—the color of port wine, according to Dr. Brian Young, who is board-certified in internal medicine and emergency and critical care. “We checked his gums and they were extremely pale,” he said. “That’s a sign of anemia.” Luxmore said Dr. Young told her he thought her pet could have

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Saved from dogfighting, sweet dog starts to heal

CHICAGO – A bloody and battered dog found wandering the streets of Chicago has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Glinda the Beautiful, a 3-year-old pit bull terrier, is believed to be a victim of organized dogfighting. But thanks to MCP Rescue and Outreach and BluePearl Veterinary Partners, she’s now getting a chance for a better life. “Dogfighting is just such a nasty, nasty reality,” said Marta Kenar, founder of MCP Rescue. Glinda was found on Halloween, wandering as a stray in Roseland. A good Samaritan found the dog and managed to get her confined in a fenced-in yard, and then called police. Kenar’s group was brought in to help. As soon as Kenar met Glinda, she could see the dog required immediate medical attention for her wounds. She also concluded by the number of wounds and their location – around her neck and the front of her chest – that she had been attacked by another dog during a dog fight. She took Glinda to the BluePearl hospital in Northfield. BluePearl’s hospitals in Elk Grove Village, Northfield and Skokie are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with veterinarians always on duty. Board-certified veterinary specialists

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Avoid these holiday hazards to keep pets safe

SEATTLE, Wash. –  The turkey’s in the oven and guests are on the way — the last thing you need now is an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital.  Unfortunately, the holiday season tends to be a busy time at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospitals, according to Dr. Beth Davidow, medical director and board-certified specialist in critical care and emergency medicine. She said holiday emergencies are typically caused by three main culprits: food, travel and decorations. “This should be a fun and enjoyable time of year for everyone,” Davidow said. “By taking some basic precautions, you can make sure your pets have safe and healthy holidays, too.” Food While it may be tempting to let pets partake in the family feast, bones, turkey skin and other table scraps can cause problems, Davidow warns. Pancreatitis, a gastrointestinal upset caused by ingesting too much fat, is one of the most common problems she sees during holiday time. Holiday cooking may also include foods that are toxic to pets. Keep dogs and cats away from chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and uncooked bread dough. Be especially vigilant about xylitol, a sweetener found in sugar-free gums and candies. The substance, which is extremely toxic to pets, is

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Help needed for veteran’s dog hurt on Veterans Day

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – On Veterans Day last week, a Vietnam veteran named Kevin Knight suffered a terrible moment – his Yorkshire terrier darted into the street, right into the path of an oncoming car. Makenzie, also called “Mak,” was struck by the car and suffered four fractures in her pelvis. So expert veterinarians from BluePearl Veterinary Partners, and the staff of the national charity Frankie’s Friends, are stepping in to provide surgery to make Mak well again. Dr. Lindsay Phillips, a board-certified veterinary surgeon at BluePearl’s Auburn Hills, Mich., hospital, repaired the most serious fracture by using five surgical screws to place a stainless steel plate on Mak’s pelvis. “I think her prognosis is excellent,” Dr. Phillips said. Meanwhile, Frankie’s Friends is asking for the public’s help to raise money to pay the cost of the surgery.  Frankie’s Friends is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to families with pets who need lifesaving care. Those who would like to contribute to help Mak are encouraged to click here. Knight said he walked across the street to the mailbox with Mak on Friday, just like he does every day. He turned to go back to the house, but paused to

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Pet Cancer Awareness: Seven early warning signs you should know

SEATTLE – Cancer can strike anyone, whether they have two legs or four. November is Pet Cancer Awareness month, and the doctors at BluePearl Veterinary Partners are hoping pet owners will use this reminder to learn more about the warning signs for this serious disease. While a cancer diagnosis is scary, it’s not a death sentence for your dog or cat, particularly if it’s caught early. Dr. Karri Meleo, a board-certified oncologist with BluePearl, said cancer symptoms in pets are very similar to those in people. In fact, because cancers in dogs so closely resemble human cancer, there is ongoing research that might benefit both species. “If your pet starts showing signs of cancer, don’t be afraid to look into it, even if they’re older,” said Dr. Meleo. “They can still go on to have many golden years after undergoing treatment.” Here are a few of the most common early warning signs of cancer to look for in pets, according to Dr. Meleo: Any change in bladder or bowel habits; urinating or defecating more or less frequently. Unexplained weight loss. “That’s one of the major ones,” added Dr. Meleo. A change in behavior, particularly if your dog or cat becomes

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Puppy gobbles a spoonful of food – plus the spoon

ATLANTA — Arianna Chang was spooning some dog food out of a can, but her 5-month-old Siberian husky named Zeus just couldn’t wait. Zeus lunged for the dog food and swallowed it – spoon and all. “I was shocked, I was definitely shocked,” said Chang. It was now past 7 p.m., but she discovered that her nearby BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with veterinarians always on hand for emergencies just such as this.  So she put Zeus in the car and headed to the hospital in Sandy Springs. Dr. Nicolas Berryessa, a BluePearl veterinarian who is board-certified in internal medicine, examined Zeus at the hospital. He ordered X-rays which left no doubt that Zeus really did have a spoon in his stomach – with the handle sticking partly into the esophagus. Berryessa knew that without removing the spoon, Zeus would have suffered from repeated vomiting and other digestive problems. So Zeus was put under anesthesia. Berryessa then used an endoscope, which allowed him to view the spoon through a tiny camera. He pulled the spoon out of Zeus’ stomach and through the throat using the same endoscope, with a snare attachment.

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K-9 treated for cancer reunited with handler

FRANKLIN, Tenn. –  As a K-9 for the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Ethel saved dozens of adults and children using her keen sense of smell. So when the bloodhound developed a mysterious lump on her snout, her handler was immediately concerned. It was a Stage 1 cancerous tumor. But thanks to the kindness of the community, the dedication of her handler and doctors from BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Ethel is now on the mend. “She’s getting back to her old self again,” said Deputy Michael Romans, Ethel’s handler and owner.  “She’s still a little sore, but she’s getting better every day.” Romans first noticed the bump on Ethel’s nose in early September. Diagnosed as a nasal carcinoma, her veterinarian recommended she undergo radiation treatment at the BluePearl hospital in Sandy Springs, Ga. As a provider of specialty and emergency veterinary care, BluePearl has the board-certified veterinarians and advanced equipment necessary to treat complex illnesses like Ethel’s cancer. Due to her condition, Ethel could no longer work. That meant Romans had to shoulder the cost of care by himself. He set up a GoFundMe page, and the community quickly responded, donating more than his target goal of $5,200. Ethel underwent 16 radiation

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Deaf dog who teaches community acceptance wins “Beastly Costume Contest”

A deaf dog named Oliver who makes regular community visits to help people learn the importance of accepting others has won the annual “Beastly Costume Contest” sponsored by BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Deborah Pack of Edgerton, Mo., said she is delighted her English bulldog won the grand prize, which is a pet lover’s gift basket valued at $100. “We had hoped if Oliver could win, he could bring his basket to the pets of seniors and the disabled for Christmas,” she said. That sentiment fits right into her mission of bringing Oliver to schools, senior centers and other community gathering places to stress anti-bullying and acceptance. Oliver has a similar mission with her bulldog puppy named Stanley, who has a cleft palate. Pack’s picture of Oliver shows him in “jail” with a striped convict’s outfit. Pack jokes that Oliver told her, “I was framed,” and as a result “he now has a life of freedom through our house.” The two other winners are: Second place, pet lover’s gift basket valued at $50: Malik Jr., an English bulldog who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., who was dressed as a political candidate and pledged to “Make America furry again.” Malik lives with Rachel Bennett,

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Dog reunited with owner, five days after burglary

TAMPA, Fla. — A dog who was missing for five days after a burglary was reunited with his owner on Saturday after a good Samaritan found the dog and brought him to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa. The dog, named Zeus, has been missing since Monday, when the Temple Terrace home of Makayla Nealer was burglarized and many of her belongings were stolen. But what mattered most to her was Zeus, her beloved dog. The story of the missing dog made the local news and it was widely shared on Facebook. Zeus  was found in a front yard on Saturday morning by a Temple Terrace resident who then brought the dog to BluePearl’s Tampa hospital. The hospital, like the BluePearl hospitals in Clearwater and Brandon, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,  with veterinarians always on hand for emergencies. The staff scanned the dog for a microchip and found one. But even before gathering the information from the chip, Dr. Kate Brammer, an emergency veterinarian for BluePearl, thought the dog looked familiar. He has one ear that sticks up straight, and another one that flops down on the top of his head. “I thought, that’s the dog

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BluePearl-Midvale partners with charity to offer financial aid to pets in need

SALT LAKE CITY–  Helping pets live long and happy lives with the people who love them is a top priority for BluePearl Veterinary Partners, the nation’s leading provider of specialty and emergency veterinary care. But sometimes the cost of lifesaving veterinary treatment can put pet owners in a terrible bind. In an effort to help these families, BluePearl today announced a partnership between BluePearl – Midvale (formerly known as Utah Veterinary Center) and a national charity that provides financial assistance for sick or injured pets. The charity, called Frankie’s Friends, is in the process of raising funds that can be used to help families in the Salt Lake City area who demonstrate substantial financial need and whose pets, with treatment, have a good prognosis for a return to a good quality of life. Dr. Jordan Scherk, Medical Director for BluePearl – Midvale, said he’s pleased pet-owning families in Utah will have access to these charitable funds, which can often mean the difference between life or death for a pet. “There have been so many advances in veterinary care, but treatment can sometimes be costly,” Scherk said. “By partnering with Frankie’s Friends, we’re able to help families who would otherwise be

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High school students get a first-hand look at becoming a veterinarian

NEW YORK –  A group of 30 high school students who aspire to be veterinarians will get an insider’s perspective on the exciting opportunities within the veterinary profession over the next few weeks. The Veterinary Medical Association of New York City (VMA of NYC) is holding a series of four classes for students on Thursdays in October and November. Called the Veterinary Career Exploration Program, all of the classes are from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital, 410 W. 55th Street in Manhattan. The speakers will explore different aspects of veterinary medicine and share their personal stories about their career path. They include: 27: Dr. John Sykes IV, Senior Veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo; and Dr. Deirdre Chiaramonte, owner of NYC Mobile Vet 3: Dr. Tara Bellis, Critical Care and Emergency Medicine Specialist at BluePearl; and Dr. Django Martel, Veterinary Dentist at Animal Medical Center of New York 10: Dr. Elizabeth Goudie, Anesthesiology at BluePearl; and Dr. Phillippa Pavia, Surgeon at BluePearl 17: Rosemary Calderon, Veterinary Technician – Oncology at BluePearl; Dr. Mark Gibson, owner of Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital “This is our way to give back to the high school students of New York City

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This beagle sneezed for months, until BluePearl found something hidden in his nose

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Rex the beagle chased a rabbit into the woods and came back with little more than a sneeze. But the sneeze persisted for months, until Dr. Kristopher Sharpe of BluePearl Veterinary Partners performed a procedure that solved the mystery. The culprit: a stick nearly five inches long, lodged deep inside Rex’s left nostril. It all began in April, when Rex’s owner Mark Kovicak took him to Hillcrest Dog Park in Grand Rapids. Right outside of the park, Kovicak’s 2-year-old beagle sprinted away from him, chasing after a rabbit. Rex came back with a nosebleed and began sneezing. Kovicak took Rex to a veterinarian who prescribed antibiotics and looked in Rex’s nostrils to see if anything could have gotten caught inside. Nothing was visible. The antibiotics helped somewhat, but Rex continued to suffer sneezing fits and nosebleeds every day. Rex received more medication after visiting Sharpe at BluePearl’s Grand Rapids hospital in May. It helped somewhat, but the sneezing continued. Sharpe suggested a CT scan to see if any “foreign body” might have gotten stuck inside Rex’s snout. Although X-rays are great tools for viewing metal objects – think of a dog who swallows a penny – a

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Keep your pets out of the ER this Halloween

Pet owners shouldn’t worry about zombies, witches or werewolves this Halloween, because something even more dangerous is out there — candy wrappers, glow sticks and knocks on the door. Those mundane things don’t sound scary, but any of them could send your dog or cat to the emergency room, say experts from BluePearl Veterinary Partners.  That’s why veterinarians are urging pet owners to keep a close eye on their dogs and cats this Halloween to keep them healthy. “Keep your pets supervised at all times, that’s the best way to make sure they stay safe,” said BluePearl’s Dr. Megan Kaplan, who has cared for many pets over the years after Halloween mishaps. Kaplan, who is board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care, said pet owners should be especially aware of these Halloween hazards: The candy: Too much candy can give anyone a bellyache, but it’s important to remember that chocolate actually is toxic to dogs. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea and in high doses can lead to heart arrhythmias and neurological problems.  Plus, if a child leaves a bag of treats on the floor, a hungry dog might just swallow all the goodies at once – wrappers and all.

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BluePearl celebrates Veterinary Technician Week

TAMPA, Fla. — Any hospital in America would grind to a halt without nurses. The same is true in animal hospitals, where veterinary technicians provide hands-on medical care that saves pets’ lives every day. So BluePearl Veterinary Partners is celebrating the important role of these dedicated professionals during National Veterinary Technician Week, which is Oct. 16-22.  Also, the company recently announced a new tuition reimbursement to help more BluePearl associates become veterinary technicians. “Veterinary technicians deserve our heartfelt thanks 24/7, 365 days of the year,” said Jennifer Welser, DVM, DACVO, who is BluePearl’s chief medical officer. “Technicians provide the sweat and tears (and clean up the blood) that keeps our hospitals functioning.” BluePearl recently partnered with Penn Foster to reimburse up to 90 percent of the tuition costs for BluePearl associates to become credentialed veterinary technicians. BluePearl supports its veterinary technicians by paying a $1,000 bonus to technicians who become veterinary technician specialists (VTS) in such areas as anesthesia, surgery or others. “Veterinary technicians and assistants are really the backbone of the profession,” said Amy Newfield, BluePearl’s national technician training manager. “That’s why BluePearl is so proud to offer the Penn Foster veterinary technician program, which helps veterinary assistants become

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Dog recovering from rare heart surgery

    NEW YORK — A golden retriever named Mambo is recuperating after being rushed to BluePearl Veterinary Partners for emergency surgery to remove a tumor on his heart. Mambo is a happy, friendly 9-year-old dog who loves to get petted by just about everyone who sees him as he goes on walks through Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. “Everyone one knows Mambo. He goes down the street and he has to say hi to everyone,” said Rolando Gomez, who owns Mambo with his husband Edward B. Reynolds Jr. “He’s a very, very friendly dog. He never growls at anybody or any dog.” But one Friday in August, Mambo simply collapsed. “He couldn’t even get up and he was shaking his head. Something was wrong,” Gomez said. Mambo was taken to Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Diane Bassman determined that he had excess fluid around his heart. Mambo was taken to BluePearl’s Midtown hospital, which offers 24-hour emergency veterinary care and many veterinarians who are board-certified in surgery, cardiology, internal medicine and other specialties. A team of these veterinarians immediately went to work on Mambo. Dr. Marc Greenberg, a BluePearl veterinarian who is board-certified in veterinary surgery, said excess

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Unleash your pet’s inner monster for BluePearl’s national Beastly Halloween Costume Contest

TAMPA, Fla.  –  Break out the costumes and grab your four-legged friend – it’s time for the fourth annual BluePearl Veterinary Partners Beastly Costume Contest! More than 250 people submitted pictures of their pets dressed in their spookiest – or cutest – Halloween garb for last year’s contest. This year’s event will run Sept. 30 through Oct. 27. Winners will receive special gift baskets, as well as the honor of being recognized by a national audience of pet lovers. To enter, participants must upload a photo of their cat or dog in a costume to the BluePearl Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/BluePearlVeterinaryPartners. A direct link to the contest can be found here. Visitors to the site are encouraged to vote for their favorites. The five photos to receive the most votes will become finalists, so participants are encouraged to have their Facebook friends and family vote for their pet. A winner from the finalists will be selected by judges from BluePearl and will be announced on Oct. 31. Looking for inspiration? Last year’s winner was Jessica Ward, a veterinary technician from Richmond, Mich., who dressed her Yorkshire terriers, Penny and Charlie, as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.

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Critically injured dog is saved, keeping her owner’s spirit alive

PHILADELPHIA – A 10-year-old shi tzu named Shammy is recovering from a deep stab wound after a tragic killing that took the life of her owner, Virginia McLaughlin. Many people pitched in to help save Shammy’s life after the tragedy, including neighbors, family members, police and veterinarians from VCA Knightswood Animal Hospital and Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center. “It’s a miracle,” said her son Doug McLaughlin. “This is a piece of my mother that we can have with us.” According to news reports, an acquaintance of Mrs. McLaughlin stabbed her and stabbed himself in her home. Both died. The attacker also stabbed Shammy. Mrs. McLaughlin had named her dog Shamrock, or “Shammy” for short, because she got her on St. Patrick’s Day. Shammy was her constant companion at home and on walks to the park or when working in the yard. “My mom treats her animals like people and they really get a special personality,” said her son Tom McLaughlin. “Without a dog, my mom would have been kind of lost.” As the family dealt with the loss of Mrs. McLaughlin, neighbors brought Shammy to Dr. Deborah Rubin of VCA Knightswood, because they knew she had treated her in the

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