Sun Valley Veterinary Sun Valley Veterinary Tue, 28 Mar 2017 16:39:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Signs & Symptoms Your Dog Has an ACL Injury Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:50:31 +0000 Do you think one of your dog’s legs has gone lame? Has your pooch torn or ruptured their CCL, or cranial cruciate ligament (which is similar to the ACL in humans)? In more detail, the CCL is what connects the bone right about your dog’s knee (the femur), to the front of the bone below the knee (the tibia). The CCL is responsible for stabilizing the knee joint and keeping the tibia in the correct place, below the knee. However, if your dog has torn or ruptured their CCL, it’s likely they will have no use of their hind leg, and unfortunately, breeds, ages, activity level and obesity all play vital causes.

What are the symptoms of a torn CCL?

Most commonly, dogs experience torn CCL or orthopedic problems. And, depending on the severity of the CCL or orthopedic injury, your dog may be unable to bear weight on the injured leg at all, or they may have just a hint of lameness; it varies from dog to dog.

However, there are indicators that your dog may have torn their CCL, and this is called the “drawer sign.” When you make an appointment with your local veterinarian, they will hold your dog’s femur in place and move around the leg. If the dog’s tibia moves forward while the femur is being held in place (like a drawer, hence the name), your dog may have torn their CCL.

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Along with the physical exam, x-rays may be taken to learn if your dog’s knee has more damage than anticipated. X-rays will help your veterinarian to determine whether or not the knee bone was damaged when the ligament was torn or ruptured.

What breeds are more prone to CCL tears?

Certain breeds of canines are more susceptible to a torn CCL; they include the following:

  • Newfoundlands
  • German Shepherds
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers
  • Golden Retrievers

Don’t think that your dog is excluded from the list even though their breed isn’t susceptible. There are other causes of a CCL rupture, including obesity. Animals that don’t get enough exercise that occasionally experience strenuous exercise, also known as “weekend warriors,” tend to develop CCL injuries more than other dogs. Sometimes, a slight misstep is to blame for a CCL tear.

Some interesting facts:

According to, studies show that 5% of males neutered before 12 months and 8% of females developed CCL injuries later in life. Also, studies have shown that about half of the dogs that rupture the CCL on one leg will develop the condition in the opposite leg.

What is the treatment for a CCL?

If left untreated, your dog may not be able to use their injured leg at all. It’s highly recommended by most veterinarians that you call an experienced pet surgery center, such as Sun Valley Animal Center in Boise. We have a wide experience of pet surgery and can give your dog the care they need when they need it most. To learn more about a CCL pet surgery, contact us by calling 208-726-7777 now.

Dogs Can Have Allergies Too! Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:10:51 +0000 There’s no doubt about it; your dog is your best friend and you want the very best for them. And, just like people, there are allergy seasons for dogs too. Dogs will show allergic reaction symptoms just like humans when their immune systems recognize that an allergen or substance is dangerous to their body. Obviously, nobody expects their dog to have a compromised immune system, and our veterinary hospital wants to help in any way possible.

Allergies can be extremely problematic for dogs, and in some cases, dogs will have extreme reactions to substances that are either inhaled, ingested or come in contact with their skin. As your dog tries to rid their body of the substance, there are a variety of digestive, skin and respiratory symptoms that may become exposed.

Some of the most popular symptoms that may appear include:

  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Itchy back or base of tail
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Constant licking
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws

Dogs who are suffering from a yeast or bacterial skin infection may also experience scabs or crusts on their skin, as well as hair loss.


What dogs are likely to experience allergies?

Believe it or not, any dog at any age can develop allergies during their life. However, allergic reactions are more common in certain breeds of dogs, including Setters, Retrievers, Terriers and flat-faced breeds, including Pugs, Boston Terriers and Bulldogs.

Are dogs likely to be allergic to food?

Yes! It is not unusual for a dog to be allergic to their food, table scraps or treats. Although it may take a lot of detective work to figure out which part of their diet is causing them to experience allergic reactions, it can happen. Most commonly, dogs that are allergic to their food are likely to have allergic symptoms, including gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea and chronic ear infections. In order to figure out what your dog is allergic to, we highly urge you to schedule an appointment at our veterinary hospital here in Boise. As an example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, they may start to develop and show symptoms of an ear infection. If this is the case, eliminate this food completely from their diet and watch your dog closely. However, this may not be as noticeable as you had hoped. With our help, you will be able to make sure your dog is receiving the proper nutrition by avoiding foods they are allergic to.

What should you do if you think your dog is having an allergic reaction or allergies?

If you’ve started to notice habits your dog has developed, such as itching their ears, chewing on their paws or licking their skin more often than usual, it’s suggested you make an appointment with your veterinarian. Our veterinary hospital in Boise is a great choice, and we can determine what the source of the allergic reaction is. To learn more, feel free to give us a call at 208-726-7777 or visit us online.

The Most Common Pet Emergencies Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:29:40 +0000 When it comes to your pet, there’s nothing you won’t do to make sure they’re comfortable, happy and healthy. Your pet, whether that’s a dog or cat, deserves to live a life that’s loving and exciting, but if your pet has come down with an illness or injury, a veterinary hospital may be exactly what you and your pet needs to keep on keepin’ on. With that being said, we want to have the knowledge in case your pup needs help from our vets here at Sun Valley Animal Center.

Pet Emergencies


Pain can occur at any time, at any age and for multiple reasons. If your pet is in pain, there are a variety of signs to look out for, including panting, restlessness, agitation, pacing, aggression and a rapid heart rate. If your pet is experiencing spinal pain, it may show with another symptom, such as abdominal pain. Regardless of the symptoms, if your pet is showing signs of pain, or you suspect it, give our veterinary hospital a call.

Difficulty Breathing

If your pet’s airway is compromised, increased respiratory effort typically occurs. This may happen due to allergic reactions, trauma, toxins, heart failure, cancer, infectious agents or a leakage of air. If your pet is having difficulty breathing, it is considered a serious problem and contacting a veterinary hospital is critical. To determine what is the cause of the breathing problem, X-rays will most likely be required.


When your pet has a seizure, you’ll likely feel helpless. It’s not only scary to experience your pet going through a seizure, but it may be somewhat traumatizing. A seizure is described as an episode of abnormal electrical activity within the brain, and it can be triggered by a variety of intra-cranial problems including brain tumors, epilepsy and brain swelling. There are also a variety of extra-cranial problems that could induce a seizure, including electrolyte disturbances and low blood sugar. If your pet has a seizure, it is considered life-threatening. Additionally, seizures may affect your pet differently, meaning, they could occur in clusters, singly or at any time and in any frequency. If your pet has a seizure, immediate veterinary assistance is recommended.

Difficulty Urinating

Have you noticed your pet is struggling to urinate? Straining to urinate may be due to a minor problem, such as a urinary tract infection; however, if you notice your pet really struggling, they may have a more advanced and painful problem, such as crystals or stones in their bladder. Keep in mind, though, there are multiple reasons your pet may have issues urinating. These reasons include blood clots, cancer, inflammation and stress. So, if you notice your pet is having a difficult time urinating, make sure you address the issue with our veterinary hospital immediately.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea may not seem like a serious issue, but if your pet is constantly vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, you must reach out for help from a veterinarian. Why? These are symptoms of problems within their gastrointestinal tract that could be pointing to a bigger issue, such as metabolic disease and cancer. However, vomiting and diarrhea may happen due to many other issues, such as garbage or having an obstruction. Call our veterinary hospital for more information.

Coughing and Choking

Obviously, if your pet is choking, call our office in Boise immediately at 208-726-7777. However, if you want to be aware of what to watch out for in your pet, it’s coughing and choking. Both of these actions are not only dangerous, but concerning. Coughing and choking occur due to a blockage or lack of oxygen. If your pet is sick with a virus or fungal pneumonia, they’ll be at a higher risk o f developing a cough; however, these actions are just good to be aware of.

Reach Out To The Pros

Trust our veterinary hospital in Boise to help your pet out when they have a medical emergency. We encourage you to join us online to learn more about our services, or veterinarian’s experiences and more. Contact us online today to set up an appointment. As always, feel free to call us at 208-726-7777 if you have any questions or concerns.

Prevalent Dog Surgeries Tue, 13 Dec 2016 16:22:00 +0000 It can be devastating to learn your furry friend, your canine, your partner in crime, needs surgery to continue living a pain-free and healthy life. Whether your dog is in their younger years or older than you wish, making sure your dog receives top-of-the-line pet surgery is something in which you should never think twice. Your dog deserves the best pet surgeons around, and at Sun Valley Animal Center near Boise, you’ll be giving your dog their finest chance in a healthy and speedy recovery. If your dog is lucky enough not to have any surgeries scheduled with our veterinarians, it may be beneficial for you to learn what the most common orthopedic dog surgeries are; in a way, you’ll be preparing yourself in case a mishap transpire.

Common Dog Surgeries

  1. ACL repair. If you have a large dog or a dog that is athletic, an ACL repair may be a surgery you might know all too well. Just like in humans, the ACL is in a dogs’ knees and the surgery repairs the ACL that was torn. Whether your dog tore their ACL while chasing a ball or by simply walking up the stairs, they need a fully functioning ACL to walk without pain. Unfortunately, this surgery is the most common in the dog world, and our experience pet surgeon is one you can trust to get the job done right the first time.
  2. Dislocations and fractures. It’s highly recommended you take your dog to a pet surgery center that is experienced and has all the right tools for the job. Unfortunately, not all veterinarians have the qualified equipment your dog may need to complete a successful surgery. Dogs likely get into more trouble than can handle, and if your dog has ended up with a dislocation or fracture, you may need to reach out to a veterinarian who has the expertise required to address the traumatic event your dog has experienced. Although dislocations and fractures are common scenarios, the type of scenario your dog has experienced may be out-of-the-box. To learn if your dog would benefit from having their surgery at our pet surgery center in Boise, give us a call!
  3. Stomach surgery. Dogs commonly swallow things they should: Car keys, chicken wings, pocket change and toys. When these items are eaten, swallowed and make their way into the digestive tract of your pet, their vital organs are at stake. When this happens, surgery is almost always needed. A veterinarian who is specifically trained in the general surgery of dogs should be the only professional to operate on vital organs. Surgery on a dog’s belly is a non-routine surgery, and it requires opening your dog’s abdomen. And, if the surgery is exploratory, there’s no other veterinarian to trust other than Sun Valley Animal Center.

Is It Time To Schedule an Appointment?

Pet surgery for your dog shouldn’t be something in which you briefly consider. Your pet’s life may depend on the veterinary professionals you choose. Join Sun Valley Animal Center near Boise, Idaho for all of your pet’s surgery needs. Learn more about the procedures performed at our veterinary care center online now, and reach out to us.

How to Make Halloween Safer for Your Pet Part 2 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:27:33 +0000 Protect your pet on Halloween night with safety tips from Sun Valley Animal Center, your go-to animal hospital.

Halloween is such a fun holiday. You get to enjoy spooky fun, candy and costumes, but it’s not always a safe holiday for our pets. At Sun Valley Animal Center, we are dedicated to keeping your pet safe and healthy, and that’s why we went over several Halloween safety tips for pets in our last blog. Here are a couple more things you can do to keep your pet safe this Halloween:

#4. Keep candles out of reach.

Candles definitely help to set the mood for Halloween. They have a creepy glow that is difficult to recreate with electric lights, but if you use candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or decorate for Halloween, keep them far away from your pet. Your pet may accidentally burn his or herself. Another option would be to use battery-powered candles.

#5. Make sure that your pet is comfortable.

There is nothing cuter than a dog or cat all dressed up for Halloween, but not all dogs and cats like being dressed up and not all costumes are safe. If your dog or cat is obviously uncomfortable in a costume, take it off! They don’t understand what is going on, and putting them in a situation where they aren’t comfortable could cause them to behave unexpectedly, even aggressively. If they will tolerate a costume, make sure it is not too tight or restrictive on them.

With these tips, you can enjoy a fun, safe Halloween with your pet. However, if the unexpected happens, turn to our veterinary hospital. We proudly serve Boise, Salt Lake City, Spokane, Billings and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.


How to Make Halloween Safer for Your Pet Mon, 10 Oct 2016 15:40:36 +0000 With Halloween just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to talk about pet safety.

When most of us think of Halloween, we think about the steps we should take to keep our kids safe. However, Halloween can be a dangerous time for your pets too. Here are a few tips from our pet surgery center to keep your pets safe this Halloween:

#1. Don’t leave your pets outside.

If you have a cat or dog who spends most of their time outside, Halloween is the one day of the year when they are better off indoors. Unfortunately, for some, Halloween is a time for pranks and destruction, and many cats and dogs are taken, teased, abused or even killed on Halloween. The good news is that this is easily prevented by simply keeping your pet indoors.

#2. Avoid giving your pet any candy.

When you have a delicious treat, you want your pet to have one too, but candy is a treat that you should never give to your pet. Many people are familiar with the fact that chocolate is poisonous for dogs and cats, but other candies contain toxic substances as well. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many different Halloween candy, and even a small amount can lead to deadly seizures and drops in blood pressure.

#3. Don’t bring your pet to the door with you.

Even if your dog is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog in the world, you should keep him or her away from the door on Halloween. There is a lot of excitement and tension in the air, which your dog will pick up on. Additionally, dogs don’t understand what costumes are or why you are wearing one, and it can cause them to behave unusually or even aggressively.

Stay tuned for our next blog for more Halloween safety tips for your pet.


How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:47:56 +0000 Cats who are overweight or obese are at risk for many health concerns, but there are lots of ways to help your cat lose weight.

Cats, much like people, often deal with weight control issues. Unlike people, however, cats are not in control of what or how much they eat, and many of them aren’t motivated to exercise on their own. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to keep your cat healthy, and a big part of that is keeping their weight in check. In our last blog, our veterinary hospital went over many of the risks associated with overweight or obese cats. Here are a few things you can do to help your cat lose weight:

#1. Put your cat on a diet.

Believe it or not, many cat owners see zero correlation between what they feed their cat and how much they weigh. However, what you feed your cat matters, and if you overfeed, your cat is going to be overweight. Talk to your vet about what and how much you should be feeding your cat, and instead of letting your cat graze all day, only set their bowl out at specific times.

#2. Play with your cat.

The bottom line is that your cat needs exercise, and one of the best ways to ensure that your cat gets it is to encourage them to play. Get a laser pointer for your cat to chase, play with string or invest in new toys and games; in other words, do whatever it takes to get your cat active.

#3. Enrich your cat’s environment.

Cats love of climb on things, and if you give your cat the opportunity, they will take advantage of it. Build a cat tree, add in some sturdy shelves and put plenty of empty boxes around for your cat to play in.

If your cat is overweight, schedule an appointment at our veterinary hospital today!





Why Fat Cats Are No Laughing Matter Sat, 10 Sep 2016 14:29:42 +0000 Over half of the domestic cats in the United States are overweight or obese, and these cats are at risk for many health problems.

Whether it is due to poor diets, overfeeding or not enough exercise, more and more cats are reaching unhealthy weights every single day. When many of us think of fat cats, we often think of the hilarious, lasagna-obsessed cat that graced the funnies in our Sunday morning papers for years, but in reality, fat cats are no laughing matter. Overweight and obese cats are at a higher risk for many health problems, including:

#1. Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which your cat’s insulin requirements are greater than their ability to produce or use insulin. Diabetes can be incredibly expensive to treat in cats, but without treatment, it could lead to dehydration, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, motor function problems, coma and, in some cases, even death.

#2. Joint Trouble

Excess weight puts added pressure on your cat’s ligaments, tendons and joints. This can lead to joint issues, including arthritis, which can make it difficult for your cat to get around like he or she used to.

#3. Pet Surgery

A cat who is overweight or obese has a much higher risk of needing pet surgery due to the effects on their lung and heart function. It can also compromise their kidney function, which could prevent anesthetic drugs from metabolizing properly.

At cat who is overweight or obese is at a higher risk for so many different health conditions and diseases. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the steps you can take to help your cat lose weight.


Mistakes That Could Put Your Dog in Danger Part 2 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:27:56 +0000 There are many mistakes unknowingly made by dog owners that put their dogs at risk for injuries.

As a dog owner, your goal is to keep your dog safe and healthy, but there are many small mistakes that could do the opposite. Unfortunately, many of the mistakes that could put your dog at risk for injury aren’t always obvious mistakes. In our last blog, our veterinary hospital went over a couple of them. Keep reading to learn about more innocent mistakes that could leave your dog with an injury:

Mistake #3. Not training your dog.

Just because your dog knows how to sit, it doesn’t mean that they are trained. Training your dog properly is essential for their well-being and safety. Dogs who aren’t trained are much more likely to end up in situations that could harm them, such as eating things they shouldn’t out of the trash or running away.

Mistake #4. Not grooming your dog.

Dogs don’t need baths every day, but many of them do require regular grooming. Clipping your dog’s nails, brushing their teeth and keeping their coat brushed out are all essential tasks for your dog’s health. If you do not feel comfortable doing these things at home, take him or her to a groomer!

Mistake #5. Not exercising your dog.

Exercising is so important for your pup! Regular exercise will keep your dog at a healthy weight. Plus, building muscles around the joints takes pressure off of them, which will help to prevent future joint problems.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help to lower your dog’s risk for needing surgery. Contact our veterinary hospital today to learn more.

Mistakes That Could Put Your Dog in Danger Wed, 10 Aug 2016 17:24:23 +0000 All dog owners want to keep their pups safe and sound, but there are many small mistakes that can lead to injuries.

Dogs are so incredibly special, and they bring an endless amount of joy to our lives. The last thing any dog owner wants is for their dog to get an injury that requires pet surgery, but many owners end up unknowingly making mistakes that put their dogs at risk. The following is a list of a couple of the mistakes that could put your dog at risk:

Mistake #1. Not spaying or neutering your dog.

You may be under the impression that getting your dog spayed or neutered is somehow cruel or mean, but it is actually important for your dog’s health and safety. Male dogs who are not neutered are much more likely to run away in search of females, which puts them at risk for getting hit by a car or getting into a fight. Fixing your dog also lowers or, in some cases, eliminates their chance for developing many different health conditions, including certain types of cancer.

Mistake #2. Not researching dog food and giving too many treats.

All dog food is advertised as healthy, but the fact is that not all dog food is made equal. There are many subpar options out there that aren’t so great for your dog’s health. Obesity is a major problem in dogs, and feeding your dog the right foods and not giving them too many treats is important for fighting obesity.

These are just a couple of the many mistakes dog owners can unknowingly make that put their pups at risk for surgery. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn more.