North Portland Veterinary Hospital
Serving the Greater Portland Community for Over 39 years

Author Archive

Making Friends In Her New Home

Yay! It is awesome to see Tye looking so happy and interacting with her new friends!

(Did you notice that she traded in her e-collar for the more stylish sock-band? Too cute!!)

Search & Rescue Dogs Make Us Proud

Hats off to Search & Rescue dogs! They do a tremendous job. I’m glad they are on the lookout for us!

What does it take to get involved in Search and Rescue (SAR)? From the National Association For Search And Rescue’s website:

“SAR dog handlers must enjoy working with dogs and being in the outdoors in all kinds of weather. They must be physically fit and able to respond to emergencies. They must become proficient in land navigation, map and compass, radio communications, wilderness survival, and first aid. (Most units require a minimum of Advanced First Aid with CPR.)

Requirements for the SAR dog include trainability, agility, endurance, and the ability to get along with other dogs and people. A search dog is a valued member of his handler’s family, and he regards people as his friends. SAR dogs are usually the larger working and sporting breeds of dogs. German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Giant Schnauzers, and Labradors are among the breeds found on SAR unit rosters.”

At least 2 of our clients have Search and Rescue dogs who were working at the Oso site. Meet Seeker and Rogue.

Seeker started his search work at 8 weeks old, he is 6 years old next month. He works with two organizations, Pacific Crest Search Dogs and Cowlitz County Search & Rescue as an Air Scent Wilderness and Human Remains Detection certified dog. Seeker and his handler have been called to work in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Most recently, he was deployed to help with the recovery efforts at Oso, WA and was there for 4 days.


Rogue is an 11 year old Belgian Sheepdog who was chosen as a puppy to become a search dog and started training when he was 6 months old. He is Human Remains Detection certified. Rogue and his handler work through Mountain Wave Communications’ K9 Division and have been called out in several counties in Washington and Oregon. They were called to Oso on March 29th and spent 2 days searching and may be going back to Oso again.

Thank you for your hard work Seeker and Rogue! (May we never need to experience your skills! We are still glad to know that you are out there looking for us!!)

Post by Cara

If you would like to help out with the Oso recovery efforts, VCA Charities is taking donations. Please call our office for more information.

National Pet Day

It is National Pet Day today! Of course we had to say something about it. National Pet Day is all about rescued pets and supporting rescue organizations.

Here is what Cassie had to share about her rescue dog, Miss Piggy:

“We feel very lucky to have Miss Piggy choose us as her family 6 months ago. I was going through a very difficult time in my life with my family and just happened to be at Pet Smart getting food for my 2 kitties. This adorable little doggy caught my eye! I sat down on the floor and she came right into my lap and gave me tons of kisses. She had been rescued from Southern California pregnant. She was brought up here to Portland Oregon to have her puppies. She had 7 of them! All 7 were adopted and she was the only one left! She has helped lift my spirits! She is awesome! 6 months later, she feels like she was meant to be with us!! We love you Miss Piggy!”

Thank you for sharing her story Cassie!

Post by Cara

Saying Goodbye to Tye

For the past six years, Tye has called North Portland Veterinary Hospital home. Some of you may already know her story. She came to us in a small cardboard box labeled “Please don’t kill me” and “My name is Tye.” At that time she was mostly featherless, presumably from allergies. That is why she wears an Elizabethan collar most of the time. Another possible reason for excessive feather plucking is stress.

Lately, we have noticed some signs that Tye isn’t as happy as she could be. We had a behaviorist evaluate her environment and make some recommendations and consulted her doctor. It turns out that Tye had developed a fear of hands and anxiety about being in a high traffic area. The behaviorist also recommended changes in Tye’s diet – something we had unsuccessfully tried before.

After making some changes to her daily routine, diet, and working with her on her hand-shyness, we saw improvement in her mood. Yet, we had to consider the possibility that she could thrive in an environment more fitting her shy and reserved personality. We love Tye and have determined the best place for her isn’t necessarily with us in a bustling and noisy hospital. Sometimes love doesn’t mean hanging on no matter the situation; sometimes it means letting go.

It is with great sadness, love, and hope that we send Tye to her new home with our friend Christa, a caring and conscientious bird enthusiast.

Being able to take a step back and evaluate whether we offer the best home to our feathered and furry friends is of great import. When the fit doesn’t suit our beloved pets, be it due to a mismatch among the animals with which the home is shared, or we no longer have the wherewithal to provide the necessary care, we must consider whether someone else can.

This has been a difficult decision to come to, but one filled with love. If any of you have had to go through this, we know your pain. Rehoming pets, for the betterment of quality of life, is a gift that is sometimes necessary.

Good luck on your next journey Tye. We love you.

Written by Jen S. and Cara

Bandage Artistry

Nobody likes needing an elizabethan collar (cone-of-shame) or having to wear a bandage. Mostly bandages are used to keep wounds clean and dry. Sometimes they are used to stabilize a fracture.  Bandages mean having to wear a silly plastic bag bootie when you go outside for potty walks. Gotta keep those things dry or infections can set in!

As no fun as bandages are, we try to ease the pain (metaphorically) with a little art. Here are some of the designs that have gone home on patients. 

You can see, we have a talented and artistic technician staff!

If Pets Had Thumbs

Today is “If Pets Had Thumbs” day.

What would your pet do?

Laparoscopy comes to VCA North Portland Veterinary Hospital!

What is laparoscopy? It is a surgical technique using special tools so only small incisions (cuts) are made. The surgery is then performed using a tiny camera and small surgical instruments.

Here is some information about the new-to-us surgical procedure that we can offer for female dogs as an alternative the traditional spay surgery.

During an ovariohysterectomy (the traditional spay surgical technique) the ovaries, uterus, and cervix are all removed. This differs from the ovarioectomy (the laparoscopic version of the spay surgery), where only the ovaries are removed leaving the uterus and cervix in place.  Since we do not remove the uterus and cervix, there is less pulling on the organs and tissues meaning that the procedure is much less painful for your dog. Therefore, healing time is greatly reduced and exercise restriction is decreased from 10-14 days to 24 hours!

Because the uterus and the cervix are left in place, dogs having the laparoscopic spay should not come into contact with any human medications that contain progesterone (like progesterone creams for hot flashes, birth control pills, etc.).  Estrogens can still be given (such as DES for urinary incontinence).

Dogs must be over 30 pounds and less than 2 years old to be candidates for this surgical technique. Currently, Dr. Shanks is the only veterinarian here performing laparoscopic spays.

Contact our office if you have questions or to schedule this procedure.

Photo credit: Heather Sikorski

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to our extended VCA North Portland Veterinary Hospital family.

Veterinary Technician Appreciation Week

Vet Tech Appreciation week is here!

We love our techs! They have a hard, and often gross, job that they love.

Veterinary Technicians wear many hats. They are dental hygienists, anesthesiologists, laboratory technicians, grief counselors, personal trainers, dietitians, pharmasists, groomers, and nurses. They are our behind-the-scenes backbone and we would be lost without them.

Thanks to all of them for being with us.

CAT Adoption Calendar 2014

October 4, 2013 No Comments » General, Rescue

CAT Adoption Team 2014 fundraising calendars are here! Pick yours up today — if you can’t swing by to do so, they can be ordered online through the CAT Adoption Team’s website.

Purchasing calendars at VCA NPVH costs $10. Ordering online is $12 (the extra $2 are for shipping and handling) via CAT Adoption Team’s secure website. 100% of the proceeds support CAT Adoption Team’s shelter!

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