Services -> Companion Animal Specialties

  • back to menu Acupuncture


    Peter Brown, DVM
    What is it?
    Acupuncture is a part of Chinese Medicine that has been developed over centuries.  It is not a cure-all treatment.  Acupuncture has been scientifically proven to be helpful in the control of symptoms as well as the cure of disease.  The most effective use of acupuncture is when it is used in combination with other modalities such as western medicines, supplements and physical therapy.
    How does it work?
    Acupuncture works by re-establishing balance in the body (when disease or pain is present there is unbalance).  Balance is achieved by stimulating points (acupoints) that have shown to cause certain physiological effects by using needles in these specific locations on the body.  Effects that may be achieved include pain relief, seizure control, improved blood flow, etc.
    When is it used?
    Acupuncture can be used with any medical case.  I have chosen to concentrate on the diseases where the most scientific proof of success with acupuncture has been achieved.  The conditions where I recommend acupuncture are chronic pain, seizure control and any disease that is not responding to traditional medicine alone.  The majority of cases that I have been treating have been chronic arthritis in dogs.  Cats can also benefit greatly with acupuncture.
    How often?
    The decision of how often to treat is dependent on each case.  Most often we do weekly sessions (30 minutes) for 4-8 weeks with a gradually increasing time between sessions after this.
    Does it always work?
    About 70% of dogs will show improvement after the first 4 sessions.  If we have not seen improvement after the first 4-6 sessions we often make a decision to not continue the acupuncture treatments.  At that time, we can discuss other options for treatment.
    Does it hurt?
    It is relatively painless.  I have had very few reactions from my patients.

  • back to menu Dentistry

    “Eighty-five percent of all dogs and cats over one year old have some degree of

    Periodontal disease, but only 3% of dogs and 1% of cats get treatment.”
    That statistic, from the 2003 American Animal Hospital Compliance Study, is very sobering, but not at all shocking to those of us in the veterinary field.  We see pets every day that need their teeth addressed in one way or another.
    Dental health in pets is much different than in humans.  The veterinary field as a whole has made progress in dental health by leaps and bounds, but only within the past 10-15 years.  Part of our hindrance is due to the fact it’s hard to tell when our pets’ mouths hurt.  When I get a toothache, it’s annoying, but I can still go to work and get through my day. It doesn’t stop me completely.
    There are some things you can look for in your pet that would indicate that they are having trouble with their teeth.  Things like:
    -          Dropping food when eating
    -          Increased salivation (drooling)
    -          Increased licking of mouth and lips
    -          Halitosis (bad breath)
    -          Crankiness
    -          Swelling around the nose or beneath the eyes
    -          Discharge from the nose
    -          Tartar - brown/yellow discoloration of teeth
    -          Gingivitis - reddening of gums right next to the teeth
    Another thing that differentiates human dental care and pet dental care is patient compliance.  We cannot ask our pets to stay still while we clean and polish their teeth.  So, for pets we have to put them under general anesthesia.  Lucky, aren’t they?  We have a fantastic set up here, if I do say so myself.  Pets arrive in the morning; they get a very comfy cage and are given something to help them relax.  We draw blood to test kidney and liver function.  Once everything checks out, they are put under general anesthesia.  A technician, like me, actually cleans the teeth.  We use an ultrasonic scaler and remove all the tartar and staining.  We check for pockets or gaps between the tooth and the gum line, that would indicate disease, and for any loose, broken or dead teeth. At this time the doctor comes and performs an oral exam and makes any extractions, if necessary.  When the doctor is finished the technician polishes the teeth with bubble gum flavored (I’m not sure why) fluoride paste.  When we are finished we wake up the patient and call you (the owner).  Sounds a lot like your last trip to the dentist, doesn’t it?
    Bad teeth do cause more problems than just a sore mouth.  When tartar is present, bacteria are able to get up underneath the gum line not only causing infection, but getting into the blood stream.  Once the bacteria enter the blood stream, they go to the kidney, liver, and even the heart, causing internal damage.
    So, what can you do to help prevent dental disease?  Well, the damage has already happened.  Once tartar and calculus are present on the teeth, you cannot brush them off.  A professional cleaning is the only way to remove the tartar and help stop the disease process.


  • back to menu Obedience

    Educated pets are happier pets, their owners too.  If your dog’s manners need some attention, please inquire about our obedience classes.  Joan Crane and Nina Spitler provide evening classes with successful results.  The class goal is to teach pet owners how to communicate, train and live well with their “best friend”.  
    Here are some comments from some past participants:
    “This is the best class I have ever taken.  Joan and Nina are the best teachers you could ever ask for.”
    “It was a wonderful experience.”
    “It’s very valuable to work in a group setting where you can learn not only from the wonderful instructors, but from each other.”
    “We gained a lot of insight in our dog.”
    “This class was exactly what I was looking for.  I like that it was structured and consistent.  The book was great and I’ve been able to use that I learned with my other dog and it’s made a HUGE difference with both of them.”
    “Great class – Was a great help for me and my dog.”
    “I have taken other obedience classes.  This one was very gentle with the dogs which I think was good for my dog’s personality.”
    “The instructors are so down to earth!  That was really nice to have.”
    Upcoming Class Dates:
    Classes run for 7 weeks and are held on Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. 
                    September 9 - October 21, 2010
                    January 6 – February 17, 2011
                    March 3 – April 14, 2011
                    April 28 – June 9, 2011
                    June 23 – August 7, 2011
                    Please call CVVC at 360-757-3722 to register.
    Proof of current vaccinations is required. Also you will need to bring a training collar, 15 foot and 6 foot leash, and soft treats.
    Classes are held at Doggy Come Play located at 530 N. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington.
  • back to menu Stem Cell Therapy


    Stem Cell Therapy is a cutting edge technology that CVVC offers for our canine companions.  This regenerative medicine is used to treat traumatic and degenerative diseases including hip dysplasia, post surgical cranial cruciate rupture, meniscal damage, and osteochondrosis.

    This procedure is performed by generating multi-potent cells from adipose (fat cells) that are injected into the problematic area.  These cells both produce an optimal healing environment through paracrine (secreted and cell surface substances) communication and they can differentiate into and repair the damaged tissue.
    Canine orthopedic applications
    > Osteoarthritis (of the leg joints)
    > Osteochondritis Dessicans (OCD) (OCD & degenerative diseases with bony fragments should be evaluated by and potentially treated with arthroscopy)
    > Orthopedic soft tissue:  tendon and ligament partial tears
    > Fractures

    According to the Vet-Stem website:  Feedback from veterinarians and dog owners who responded to voluntary surveys indicated that more than 75% of these dogs with arthritis have an improved quality of life after Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell therapy. 
    This is an exciting new therapy that we look forward to discussing with you. You can find additional information at
    Dr. Jake Searle is trained to use Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell Therapy. You may contact him at 360-757-3722 for additional information.
    “I love you guys. The Stem-Cell Therapy made Blue a new dog.”  John Holmes
  • back to menu Therapeutic Laser


    Cellular effects of Laser Therapy occur when photons of therapeutic laser light interact with cells.  Higher adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) levels are produced, cell membrane permeability is increased, and blood and lymphatic vessels are vasodilated.  These events then lead to a cascade of beneficial effects increasing cellular energy and health.


    During each treatment, laser energy increases circulation drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area.  This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain.  
    As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.