Meet “Kiwi”—Treated at WestVet for Spinal Injuries and Now Eligible for Adoption

We were very excited to receive an e-mail update on a rescue dog that we had treated earlier in the year. “Kiwi” is very sweet girl who was hospitalized in late January with a broken back, possibly due to being struck by a car.

She was brought to WestVet under the care of Heath's Haven Animal Rescue & Sanctuary.  Heat's Haven's Rescue brought Dog to WestVet for Spinal Injuries -- Now available for Adoption.Based in Post Falls, Idaho, this wonderful Animal Rescue organization focuses primarily on helping dogs with special needs find their forever family. Check out the very happy stories on their website reporting on many of the different furry friends they have helped for the past few years, HERE.

Kiwi was referred to WestVet in order to stabilize her after suffering a spinal injury and for our team of specialists to determine if additional care would be beneficial. Since returning to the care of Heath’s Haven, founder Jolene reports that Kiwi is doing very well:

Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you for taking care of Kiwi when she was at your hospital for her broken back! She is doing fantastic and has recovered! She hated the confined cage rest but now she is happy and mobile!

Jolene reports that Kiwi is simply an amazing dog and that she adapted to her disability very wellAdoptions of Special Needs Dogs Through Heath's Haven Dogs in Post Falls, Idaho.

She loves to cuddle and be with people. Kiwi is crate-trained at night and  she gets along great with all the other dogs that are in the wheelchairs and they have a lot of fun together!  She does chase cats, but honestly she can't catch them...even if she is in her chair!

Now that she has healed and stabilized, Kiwi is ready to settle into a new home with a forever family. Jolene says that it’s important that her new family is aware of her medical situation:

The main thing with Kiwi is that she will need her bladder expressed 3-4 times a day due to being incontinent. She is fecal incontinent as well, but that's pretty easy to handle as long as her diet is consistent. After she defecates, she moves away from it. Kiwi comes with her own pretty, pink wheelchair (that she loves to be in!) and she is spayed and up-to-date on all of her vaccinations.

Heath’s Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is hoping to find a home for Kiwi so that they can then make room for another animal in need.  If you are interested in adopting Kiwi, or any of the other dogs featured on their website, uou may contact them directly at 509-435-3701 or via email HERE.  

Let’s find her a family!

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WestVet Veterinary Professionals Teaching Community Ed Classes—Dog First Aid & Kitten Kindergarten

WestVet staff members often present Continuing Education classes veterinary professionals that apply towards licensure and certification. Next month they are presenting classes perfect for pet owners, too.

We are partnering with Boise Schools Community Education to offer two courses in May: American Red Cross Dog First Aid and Kitten Kindergarten.

Dog First Aid Course. One of WestVet’s Nursing Directors, Erica Mattox and Erin Sullivan, WestVet Client Care Specialist Coordinator will lead this valuable course. WestVet Dog First Aid Courses in Boise for Pet Owners.Learn the skills that might help save your best friend's life! This course will teach you how to handle canine breathing and cardiac emergencies, how to identify symptoms of stress and illness, how to prepare for an emergency and so much more!

You will have the opportunity to practice skills for CPR, rescue breathing, muzzling, and bandaging work.  Students will also take home an instructional reference guide and DVD, you can see an example HERE.

All students will receive a certificate of completion from the American Red Cross for completing the course. Class will be on Monday, May 19, 6 – 9 PM at WestVet, register HERE.

Kitten Kindergarten. Lead by Dr. Hazel Carney, Feline Behavior Specialist, this course is for all cat owners—offering tips on how to train and teach your kitten to grow into a wonderful well-behaved cat.Dr. Hazel Carney, Feline Behavior Specialist, is offering Kitten Kindergarten, a course for Pet Owners in Boise. There will be hands-on tips to help your kitten with litter box usage, not biting, sitting, tooth brushing, nail trimming, crate training, smooth goodbyes for long and short intervals, and more.

Dr. Carney says that these simple lessons are easy enough for children to teach to kittens, and they are fun, too! Class is designed for cat owners aged 10 and older. Class will be on Wed. May 21, 6 -7 PM at WestVet, register HERE.

Our employees volunteer to teach with Boise Schools Community Education, all tuition and fees go to support that program. If you have any questions, you may contact them at 208.854.4047.

All classes will offer a tour of the WestVet Animal hospital at the conclusion.

See you in class!





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Rex, Treated for a Blood Disorder & an Infection—now Thriving!

When Dan and Darlene saw Rex's photo posted at the Idaho Humane Society as an adoptable pet, they had to meet him in person. Dr.Victoria Ochoa, Small Animal Internist, treats pets in Idaho for all manner of disease and ailments.

They were told he is a Labrador/wire-haired point mix, and at eight months old, he was simply irresistible. They made him part of their family.

Approximately eighteen months later, when Rex was a little over two years old, they made an appointment with their family veterinarian to treat his bloody nose. Dr. John Chandler, Small Animal Surgeon, provides specialty veterinary surgery service to pets in Idaho at WestVet.When blood tests were performed, they determined his platelet counts were down and Rex was started on medication. (Platelets are the clotting cells, and if you don't have enough, severe bleeding can occur.)

He did not improve, instead, his condition worsened and Dan and Darlene were referred to Dr. Victoria Ochoa, a small animal internist at WestVet.

At WestVet it was determined that Rex had immune-mediated, also called autoimmune, thrombocytopenia (ITP): his immune system was destroying his platelets for unknown reasons. This condition requires immunosuppressive drugs—Rex required heavier doses than many patients with this disease.

"Dr. Ochoa and her staff did an amazing job of taking care of Rex and working to get him healthy again," Dan wrote to us, "Utilizing numerous blood tests, a blood transfusion and lots and lots of TLC."

In addition to the problems with his blood, Rex experienced another ailment, an aggressive infection in his front paw.

"We were certain that if we didn't lose Rex, he would at least lose the paw to amputation. Dr. John Chandler examined him and suggested treating the paw with a vacuum unit. After one week, the treatments dramatically improved his paw, and we were able to save his leg."

This determined dog is now doing wonderfully. WestVet, Idaho, provides extensive specialty veterinary care for animals with diabetes, cancer, Cushing's disease and more. After concluding treatments, Rex no longer takes medications. His family says that he is healthy, full of energy and back to his normal self.


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Meet Riyal, This Pug’s Cancer is now in Remission after treatment at WestVet

This blog post is written by Christy Hovey and will be in Urban Liaison's spring 2014 issue, featuring "Riyal." This sweet Pug is fighting cancer, here is his story:

While cancer remains a leading cause of death in older pets, recent medical advances have made it one of the most treatable conditions in veterinary medicine. Consulting with a veterinary oncologist is an integral part of your pet’s treatment plan and can offer the most advanced treatment options available for your pet. WestVet is pleased to provide the services of Carrie Hume, VMD, DACVIM, Idaho’s only board certified small animal oncologist and Victoria Ochoa, DMV, DACVIM, small animal internist. The oncology diagnostic and treatment services team uses innovative technology in combination with traditional approaches to ensure that your pet receives the best cancer treatment possible.

Treatment for cancer in dogs and cats can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, pain control, and other palliative approaches. WestVet's Animal Cancer Veterinary Treatment Center offers radiation and chemotherapy for pets with cancer.Leslie Folsom, of Idaho Falls, knows firsthand how specialty veterinary care can save a pet’s life. Last November, her beloved ten-year-old Chinese Pug, Riyal, developed a growth on his genitals. Leslie took him to three local veterinarians before one of them had the foresight to contact the specialists at WestVet. Riyal’s growth was doubling every day and the WestVet team recognized that the pug was in serious condition straightaway. Cancer was diagnosed and was determined to be in Riyal’s lymph nodes. Dr. Hume advised Leslie to begin chemo immediately.

Leslie says, “Along with wanting to preserve Riyal’s life, Dr. Hume was very concerned about his comfort. Carrie suggested chemo at home in a pill form. Right after we started the treatment I noticed Riyal quickly began acting happier and more like himself.” Leslie thought that she was, “… just keeping him comfortable and temporarily relieving his pain,” and had little hope that he would have an extended life. “Imagine my surprise when I came back to see Dr. Hume one month later and found out he was in remission. In December I received the best Christmas present ever. I found out that my dog was going to make it.”  In February Leslie celebrated Riyal’s eleventh birthday with eleven other dogs. She credits WestVet for making this possible.

WestVet offers the highest level of diagnostic tools and imaging services available in the industry including CT, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine. In addition, their on-site diagnostics laboratory will provide timely results for patients diagnosed with cancer or undergoing cancer treatments. Their goal is to help your pet achieve longer or the best quality of life as possible. By providing chemotherapy services for pets, they are enabling a level of health care that is rapidly approaching the scope of services offered in human health care.

Chemotherapy treatment plans vary depending on the type and nature of the cancer with which your pet is afflicted. WestVet can work with you and your family veterinarian to help you decide if chemotherapy is the right option. You don’t have to go through your pet’s illness alone. The WestVet team reminds us that, “We hope you don’t need us, but if you do, we’re here to help.”

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“Sue,” An Agility Dog, Benefits from Laser and Acupuncture Therapy with Dr. Teri Dowdell

When "Sue's" owner Kate won a certificate for one physiotherapy visit with Dr. Teri Dowdell at a local fundraising event, she says she was curious to see how treatments could improve Sue's wellbeing. At twelve-and-a-half, Sue has been a very active dog.  You can see her “in action” with these beautiful pictures. However, Sue appeared to be suffering from some bilateral pain in her rear hip are, possibly the ilopsoas muscle. Kate says that Sue’s pain was possibly due to a soft tissue injury that she had suffered years ago.

After her appointment with Dr. Dowdell, Kate emailed us this message:

"Sue received laser treatment on her iliopsoas, followed by some acupuncture and she is now moving much more freely in the rear. It was very interesting listening to Dr. Dowdell explain the procedures and science behind the treatments to the intern veterinarian who was working with her. If you've got a critter that needs physiotherapy, she is the person to see!"

Thank you, Kate, for sharing your thoughts and this talented and inspiring dog with us!

Dr. Dowdell utilizes numerous therapeutic treatments to help pets who suffer from: 

  • Post-Operative rehabilitation
  • Weakness/Immobility
  • Neurologic/Orthopedic issues
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Pain management
  • Improved performance

WestVet offers Physiotherapy, including therapeutic exercises performed with several physical modalities such as hydrotherapy, cryotherapy, ultrasound, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and acupuncture. The goal is to improve the recovery of patients with both chronic and acute conditions, if your pet could benefit from treatments, give us a call today!

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