Read to the Dogs program turns 1

Dogs are the best listeners — especially for young readers who need to build confidence. The Portland-area area Canine Therapy Team’s Read to the Dogs program, which originally kicked off at Riverdale Grade School, celebrated its first year in March. The program, in which dogs lend a friendly, patient ear while students read to them, is a hit with kids and faculty alike. Principal Joanna Tobin credits the dogs with helping students "feel comfortable and set aside any anxiety or worries they may have about their reading proficiency.”

Flooding and Standing Water Dangers for Pets – Hazards, Tips and Symptoms

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s that time of year when rain is the rule rather than the exception. With downpours frequently drenching our streets and backyards, the chances of encountering dirty puddles increases. And so do the hazards pets can face.

“Dirty standing water can carry potentially toxic chemicals from runoff or harmful bacteria and parasites than can make your pets very sick,” says DoveLewis Veterinarian and Critical Care Specialist Dr. Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh. “It’s important to be extra vigilant and attentive during heavy weather spells.” 

While simply being in cold or deep water can be dangerous for pets, here are some additional hazards and tips to be mindful of in keeping your furry loved ones healthy during the rainy months this winter.

Hazards:

·         Leptospirosis is a condition (caused by Leptospira bacteria) which can be serious and most commonly affects dogs – cat cases are rare with milder symptoms. It can be caught from water in rivers, lakes, or streams, or standing water containing urine from other animals or wildlife. It thrives in wet, moist areas. Be aware that Leptospira has the ability to spread from animals to humans.

·         Giardia is a microscopic protozoan parasite that comes from water contaminated by feces. Giardia can be contracted from untreated sewage water, or natural ponds soiled by wildlife. The parasite persists in cool, moist climates. It is one of the most common parasites infecting dogs, cats and birds.

·         Standing water can potentially carry toxins that can make pets ill. Motor oil, lawn chemicals, and winter chemicals such as anti-freeze may cause illness if ingested, and are more likely to spread with increased rainfall and runoff.

Prevention Tips:

·         Consider getting your dog vaccinated against leptospirosis. Shots are good for one year. The vaccine is highly effective against four subtypes of the bacteria, though there are at least 10 documented types.

·         Keep pets hydrated by offering them plenty of water and bringing water with you on outings. This will discourage them from straying to drink from outside water sources. 

·         Keep pets out of cold, deep or potentially contaminated waters – especially ones like the prevalent standing water we are seeing around the region right now.

·         Get regular exams. All dogs are recommended to have at least one or two fecal samples done every year as part of their wellness exam to screen for parasites like giardia. 

Symptoms to watch out for:

·         Leptospirosis symptoms include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy and painful inflammation within the eyes. Other signs may include bleeding disorders leading to blood-tinged vomit, urine, stool or saliva as well as nosebleeds.

·         Giardia symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lethargy.

·         Toxin ingestion symptoms can range depending on what has been ingested. Here are some general toxin ingestion symptoms to watch for: lack of energy, vomiting, infection, diarrhea, lack of appetite and abdominal pain.

What to do if your pet is showing symptoms: 

·         Seek out veterinary care immediately. Early treatment is especially important with cases of leptospirosis where the bacteria can cause permanent organ damage. DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital is open 24/7 to help you through any pet emergency you may face. If you are unsure if your pet is having an emergency, call DoveLewis at 503.228.7281.

DoveLewis now offers internal medicine

Internal medicine is a specialty veterinary discipline focused on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic or complicated diseases. DoveLewis has added this element to its offerings, welcoming to the team Dr. Barbara Davis, DACVIM, a board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist.

Davis obtained her BS in Biology from Loyola University in 2005 and DVM from the University of Minnesota in 2009. She went on to complete a small animal internship and practiced small animal general medicine. She received board certification in 2015, and enjoys managing a range of complex small animal medical cases with a special interest in renal and liver diseases and infectious diagnosis and management. 

Appointments with Dr. Davis are by referral from patients’ primary care veterinarians, with whom she will work closely and in support of to provide diagnosis and treatment.  

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 LOveterinaryER.com

DoveLewis offers support for those with difficult pets

DoveLewis has introduced a new support group for pet parents living with hard-to-manage pets. The Difficult Pet Support Group (DPSG) provides a safe community for pet guardians who have pets with special needs — whether physical, behavioral or emotional. The group is facilitated by Enid Traisman, longtime director of the DoveLewis Pet Loss Support and Art Therapy Programs; and Rachel Bow, owner of Ruff Mutts dog training and enrichment business.

Traisman says support is important for these pet guardians because they tend to feel frustrated and alone. "You may be in doubt of your pet ownership abilities. You may feel exhausted and isolated because friends or family keep their distance.” 

The DPSG program is free, but RSVP is required. Sessions are held the first Wednesday of each month. Learn more at RuffMuttsCooperative.com/difficult-pet-support-group/.

Therapy program turns one

The Portland Area Canine Therapy Team (PACTT) is celebrating one year of working with hospitals, assisted-living facilities, libraries, homeless shelters and other organizations.

PACTT members Lisa Locke and her dog Moon marked the occasion by visiting residents at Emeritus at Fisher’s Landing in Vancouver. “The residents adore Lisa and Moon,” says Jason Webb, life enrichment director at the center. “Some of these residents have zero support in terms of family or friends, other than what the facility provides. Lisa and Moon bring smiles to those people’s faces and always draw a crowd when they come in.” 

“I’m so proud of what PACTT has been able to accomplish in 12 short months,” says Kathy Loter, PACTT Program Coordinator. “The people and dogs in this program truly bring joy to those in Portland and the city’s surrounding regions.” Learn more at DoveLewis.org.

DoveLewis fashion fundraiser rolls out in October

It’s that time of year again!  On Friday, October 17 at the Portland Art Museum, DoveAdore featuring the Boutiques Unleashed Fashion Show brings together food, fun and fashion for one fabulous evening during DoveLewis’s biggest annual fundraiser.  Celebrity humans and their pets will stroll the runway, modeling the hottest fashions on both ends of the leash.  Check out the fashions from last year and get ticket and event information at DoveLewis.org/DoveAdore.

Splash! Portland’s largest annual dog wash is big fun

Portland is widely known for many things, and topping the list is fantastic beer and great dogs. The community will celebrate both perennial favorites at the 20th annual Dogtoberfest fundraising event, hosted by DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in partnership with Lucky Labrador Brew Pub.  Saturday, Sept. 20, more than 150 volunteers will converge at Lucky Lab at 915 SE Hawthorne to wash and dry upwards of 500 dirty dogs.  The surrounding blocks are closed to traffic, making for a great day-long street fair, complete with good suds, live music and unique items — such as the unveiling of the 2015 DoveLewis commemorative calendar. 

The event benefits the DoveLewis Blood Bank, one of the nation’s largest all-volunteer programs of its kind.  More than 100 canine and feline blood donors, called “Superheroes,” provide enough blood annually to enable the program to deliver more than 400 life-saving transfusions each year. 

Piper Leftwich, a lucky Lab herself, needed blood transfusions after undergoing emergency surgery for gastric dilatation volvulus (aka “bloat”).  Blood donations from Superhero Diamond Bartel made all the difference in Piper’s story.  “If it hadn’t been for the DoveLewis Blood Bank, my dog Piper would have died,” said Megan Leftwich.  “I cannot thank DoveLewis enough, and Diamond Bartel, of course, for sending Piper home to resume her happy life.” 

“Dogtoberfest is a great opportunity to have fun, get your dog washed, and learn about how you can help DoveLewis save lives,” says DoveLewis Blood Bank Program Director, Jill Greene.  “All too often, injured or sick animals require blood transfusions as part of their treatment.  Without the participation of canine blood donors and support from the community at Dogtoberfest, animals in need might not receive critical transfusions in time.” 

To learn more about Dogtoberfest, the DoveLewis Blood Bank, or your dog can become a Superhero, visit dovelewis.org.  


Therapy Dogs to Visit Participants of Washington State School for the Blind’s Annual Track Meet

PORTLAND, Ore.—On Thursday, May 15, canine and human duos who are part of Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams (PACTT) will attend the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) Track Meet, happening from 9:15AM-3:15PM at 2214 E. 13th St., Vancouver, WA 98661. Track participants will be able to interact with Misha, a three -year old yellow lab, and Limon, a two-year-old yellow lab, from 9:30AM-10:30AM. 

“I joined PACTT because I've always wanted to share a sweet dog with folks who needed a doggie hug, a doggie kiss, or just some doggie company,” said Jeannie Gretz, owner and handler of Misha. “I finally have a dog who is suitable for this job, and it really is a joy. Misha is very gentle and kind.” 

PACTT is a partnership between DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital and Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB). The donor-funded program utilizes retired guide dogs (who have completed their terms aiding the legally blind) or career-change dogs (like Misha and Limon) who didn’t go on to become guide dogs for a variety of reasons. In addition to undergoing advanced obedience and socialization skills training, all PACTT program dogs and their handlers also participate in specialized PACTT training. They visit a variety of settings, and recently attended WSSB during an Easter egg hunt for visually impaired students. 

“It is well documented that the relationship between humans and dogs are good for both,” said Adrienne Fernandez, recreation and volunteer coordinator at WSSB. “In addition providing numerous medical benefits, dogs can lift one’s spirit and provide comfort and companionship.” Sean McCormick, assistant principal of on-campus programs at WSSB, adds, “Dogs can reduce boredom and increase socialization. In between events during the track meet, students, staff, volunteers and parents will love to have the chance to pet and visit with the PACTT program dogs and their handlers.”

Students come from all over Washington and Oregon to compete in WSSB’s track and field activities. Participants have an opportunity to network with their peers, build confidence, and experience a sense of accomplishment and success. The track meet, sponsored by the Lions, has been an annual event for the last 50 years.

“This event gives our teams the opportunity to interact with children who may not have their sight but still have the ability to enjoy the love and affection of these wonderful dogs,” said Kathy Loter, PACTT program coordinator with DoveLewis. “They can touch the soft fur and feel the wagging bodies of these amazing dogs who can offer a break from the hustle and bustle of the track meet. And our handlers get just as much out of these visits as the children do!”

About Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams (PACTT)

Sharing a common belief in the power of the human-animal bond, DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital and Guide Dogs for the Blind partner to bring animal-assisted therapy to the local community through the Portland Area Canine Therapy Teams (PACTT) program. Highly trained career-change dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind and their handlers undergo extensive training and assessment through DoveLewis and Guide Dogs for the Blind to complete their certification in animal-assisted therapy. Program teams visit with people in a variety of settings, including: long-term and skilled care facilities, assisted-living communities, hospitals, residential treatment centers, schools and libraries. Learn more at www.dovelewis.org

About DoveLewis

DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, established in 1973 and based in Portland, Ore., is the only nonprofit, 24-hour emergency and intensive care unit in the region. DoveLewis provides donor-funded programs to the community, including one of the United States’ largest volunteer-based animal blood banks, a nationally recognized pet loss support program, a partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind to bring animal-assisted therapy and education to the community, 24-hour stabilizing care for lost, stray and wild animals and financial assistance for qualifying low-income families and abused animals. Celebrating 40 years of service to the community, DoveLewis has treated over 500,000 animals and has been deemed one of Oregon’s Most Admired Nonprofits by The Portland Business Journal for seven years! For more information, please visit www.dovelewis.org.  

About Guide Dogs for the Blind

Guide Dogs for the Blind (www.guidedogs.com) is more than an industry-leading Guide Dog school; they are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors and volunteers, they prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are legally blind. GDB is a 501(c)3 organization. All of their client services are provided free of charge; they receive no government funding. They are headquartered in San Rafael, California, with a second campus in Boring, Oregon. More than 12,500 teams have graduated since the organization’s founding in 1942, and there are approximately 2,100 active teams in the field. 

About Washington State School for the Blind

Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (K-12) and is a residential school for blind and partially sighted students of school age who are residents of the state of Washington. WSSB serves as a statewide demonstration and resource center and provides direct and indirect services to students both on campus and in the children’s local communities. Learn more at www.wssb.wa.gov.

DoveLewis to Recruit New Canine Blood Donors at The NW Pet & Companion Fair

PORTLAND, Ore.— DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital will be recruiting new canine volunteer blood donors at The NW Pet & Companion Fair, happening this weekend, April 12-13, at the Portland Expo Center (located at 2060 North Marine Drive). Pet owners interested in having their dogs join the DoveLewis Blood Bank are invited to stop by the DoveLewis booth (#103) from 12:30PM - 1:30PM on Saturday to have their dogs typed. Typing will be performed on a first-come-first-serve basis (and a sign-up sheet for scheduling later typing appointments at DoveLewis will be available). News reporters who would like to cover the typing are asked to contact Shawna Harch at sharch@dovelewis.org or 971.255.5933 in advance.  

“The typing process is very quick and easy,” said Jill Greene, program director of the DoveLewis Blood Bank. “We will be collecting six milliliters of blood from each dog to send out to a laboratory for typing and to determine the health of the blood donor. Since there are so many different blood types and combinations, we streamline our donor pool by accepting only the two most common blood types, plus a universal donor type. The majority of dogs fit into one of these three ‘type combinations.’” 

All DoveLewis Blood Bank donors must weigh a minimum of 55 pounds and be healthy, easy-going, between the ages of one and six, and current on vaccines. Dogs who have previously received a blood transfusion are unfortunately not eligible to become blood donors. DoveLewis requests that families commit to bringing their dogs in for donations between four and six times per year for at least three years. 

Dogs who volunteer with the blood bank help save the lives of dogs in need of emergency transfusions. Last year, 93 canine donors donated 446 units to the DoveLewis Blood Bank, and 16 feline donors donated 121 units. A total of 383 units were provided as transfusions and 107 units were supplied to the community. Cats must be anesthetized in order to give blood, so DoveLewis doesn’t allow privately owned cats to become volunteer blood donors. However, the staff at DoveLewis adopts stray cats who become blood donors in exchange for a fun place to live and lots of attention. Canine superheroes always receive a new toy and lots of treats after each donation they make. DoveLewis also hosts an annual appreciation party for blood bank volunteers and their families. 

Those who are planning to attend the NW Pet & Companion Fair with their dogs will be required to submit a Pet Waiver Form, which may be completed ahead of time or on-site at the fair. Attendees are also asked to read through the Bring Your Pet Guidelines. Admission to the fair is free for both pets and people. Anyone who wants to get involved with the DoveLewis Blood Bank but isn’t able to attend the fair is encouraged to submit an online interest form

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About DoveLewis

DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, established in 1973 and based in Portland, Ore., is the only nonprofit, 24-hour emergency and intensive care unit in the region. DoveLewis provides donor-funded programs to the community, including one of the United States’ largest volunteer-based animal blood banks, a nationally recognized pet loss support program, a partnership with Guide Dogs for the Blind to bring animal-assisted therapy and education to the community, 24-hour stabilizing care for lost, stray and wild animals and financial assistance for qualifying low-income families and abused animals. Celebrating 40 years of service to the community, DoveLewis has treated over 500,000 animals and has been deemed one of Oregon’s Most Admired Nonprofits by The Portland Business Journal for seven years! For more information, please visit www.dovelewis.org.