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Our Services

Northfield, IL surgical suiteAt our BluePearl animal hospital, we focus exclusively on emergency treatment and advanced specialty veterinary care. (For annual vaccines and wellness care, please see your primary care veterinarian.)

Compassionate Treatment

Our team respects the close bond between pet owners and their pets and treats each with dignity, compassion and kindness.

Specialties & Services

Each BluePearl pet hospital is unique. Our Northfield hospital offers these specialties and services provided by skilled, compassionate and dedicated professionals.

Veterinary Cardiology in Northfield, IL

The veterinary cardiology service at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Northfield specializes in diseases of the heart and lungs. It’s our priority to create the best quality of life for pets with cardiac disease, while focusing on overall well-being and comfort every step of the way. We provide the highest level of patient and client care through medical excellence, communication and teamwork. We work closely with primary veterinarians and clients to provide patient-specific health plans to maximize quality and length of life for pets with cardiac conditions.

Serving pets in the greater Chicago community, we’re experts in treating both acquired (conditions that develop with age) and congenital (conditions that are present from birth) cardiac diseases in pets. In collaboration with primary veterinarians and our other in-house specialty services, we focus on evaluating and treating dogs and cats with symptoms including:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Fainting/collapse
  • Cough
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Restlessness
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Sudden rear or front leg lameness

If an abnormality is detected on a physical exam or diagnostics completed by the primary veterinarian indicate a need for further evaluation, we provide comprehensive care and develop a treatment plan that focuses on overall wellbeing. Common conditions we evaluate and treat include:

  • Heart murmurs
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Extra heart sound
  • Abnormal chest x-ray
  • Pleural effusion (fluid in chest)
  • Pericardial effusion (fluid in sac around the heart)
  • Ascites (fluid in the belly)
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Elevated pro-BNP level on bloodwork
  • Endocarditis (inflammation or infection of heart valve)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation or infection of heart muscle)

Our highly trained cardiology team operates in an advanced facility, where we have access to sophisticated diagnostics and treatment technology, as well as the expertise of clinicians in other in-house specialty departments. We use the following tools to facilitate appropriate diagnosis and treatment of heart and lung disease:

  • Echocardiography (2D, m-mode and spectral, tissue & colorflow Doppler)
  • Agitated saline contrast evaluation for shunt detection
  • Electrocardiography (ECG/EKG)
  • Ambulatory ECG monitoring (Holter monitors)
  • Radiographs/x-rays
  • Fluoroscopy (real-time x-ray)
  • Angiography
  • Catheter-based hemodynamic studies
  • Doppler blood pressure evaluation
  • Pre-Adriamycin (chemotherapy) cardiac screening
  • Pre-anesthesia cardiac screening
  • Pre-I-131 cardiac screening
  • Abdominocentesis
  • Thoracocentesis
  • Pericardiocentesis

We also offer minimally invasive interventional (or catheter-based) procedures. Compared to more invasive surgeries, the benefits of these procedures include reduced pain, less time under anesthesia, shorter hospitalization and faster recovery time. Our minimally invasive procedures involve the use of specialized tools, like real-time x-ray imaging known as "fluoroscopy," to alleviate and cure cardiac defects. We offer this service in our facility with interventional options including:

  • Permanent pacemaker implantation – treats slow arrhythmias
  • Temporary transvenous pacemaker implantation
  • Balloon valvuloplasty – relieves heart valve stenosis including pulmonic and aortic stenosis
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) occlusion – closure of an opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery that can be present at birth
  • Heartworm extraction
  • Diagnostic angiograms – detection of abnormal cardiovascular and arteriovenous shunts

Available by referral, our veterinary cardiology team forms long-term relationships with patients and clients to promote ongoing quality of life, health and happiness.  

Spotlight on Dermatology with Dr. Levinson, DVM, DACVD

Why is my dog itchy? Does my cat have an ear infection?

These are just a couple of the common questions received by Dr. Matthew Levinson Veterinary Dermatology Specialist. Serving BluePearl Pet Hospital in Northfield, IL, Dr. Levinson treats a range of skin and ear issues that fall under the realm of veterinary dermatology, from allergies and other skin issues to ear infections and disorders.

Veterinary Dermatology for Skin Issues

Just like people, cats and dogs can suffer from a wide range of skin issues, from allergies to atopic dermatitis. This is why dermatology is an essential specialty in the world of veterinary medicine.

Some of the common skin issues treated by Dr. Levinson include:

The most common cause of allergies in cats and dogs are flea bites. These tiny creatures can wreak big havoc on cats and dogs with allergies.

Some common signs your pet may be allergic to fleas include:

  • Skin irritations
  • Hot spots
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive licking and scratching

Certain ingredients in pet food, such as beef, dairy and fish, are also known to contribute to allergies in cats and dogs. Certain dog breeds, such as boxers, dalmatians and German shepherds, are more prone to food allergies, but food allergies can affect cats and dogs of any breed.

Some common signs your dog or cat may be suffering from food allergies include:

  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Excessive licking and/or scratching
  • Bald spots and hot spots
  • Ear and/or skin infections
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Coughing, wheezing and sneezing

Since skin and coat issues can be caused by a number of different factors, making an appointment with Dr. Levinson may be your best bet in finding relief for "itchy and scratchy."

Veterinary Dermatology for Ear Issues

In the veterinary world, ear and skin issues often go hand-in-hand. About 50 percent of allergic dogs also have ear infections - and this may even be the only symptom to indicate your dog suffers from allergies.

Common signs your pet may be suffering from an ear infection or other issues include:

  • Ear scratching
  • Head tilting and/or headshaking
  • Odor in the ear(s)
  • Redness of the ear canal(s)
  • Swelling (usually on the outer portion of the ear)
  • Yellow, brown or bloody discharge
  • Lack of balance
  • Unusual movement in the eyes (back-and-forth movements)

Common ear procedures offered by Dr. Levinson include:

  • Advanced ear imaging
  • Deep ear flushes
  • Growth and polyp removals
  • Chronic ear infection treatments
  • Myringotomy (surgical incision into the eardrum to relieve excess pressure)

Unfortunately, the skin and ear issues in cats and dogs are often life-long, incurable issues. However, a trip to the dermatologist can provide you with valuable information and treatment options for keeping your furry friend healthy and happy.

Here are some common signs your pet may need a visit to the dermatologist:

  • Excessive paw licking
  • Head shaking
  • Itchiness of the skin and/or ears
  • Hair loss and dry skin
  • Rubbing against walls, furniture, etc.
  • Redness and/or flaking of the skin

For more on skin issues in pets, check out our article listings for common skin and coat problems in cats and common skin and coat disorders in dogs.