For pets’ sake: BEVS welcomes state’s first animal CT scanner

Photo courtesy of BEVS

Photo courtesy of BEVS

By Lesley Snyder

Where there’s BEVS, there’s a doctor. Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists, or BEVS, is Vermont’s only 24/7 emergency veterinary facility, staffed round-the-clock with a doctor, vet techs, and a live voice to answer its 24-hour hotline. In September 2013, the hospital became the site of a rare piece of life-saving equipment repurposed for man’s best friend – a CT scanner.

Up until last year, there wasn’t a pet-friendly machine to be found in the state. “People used to have to drive their pets to Boston or Montreal for a CT scan,” explains Whitney Durivage, BEVS hospital manager. The Williston facility is currently performing one or two scans per week. From diagnosing stubborn wounds to strategizing cancer treatment, CT scans help to improve the quality of medical treatment for animals – an advancement which has now arrived in Vermont for the first time.

BEVS evolved from Veterinary Emergency Services of Greater Burlington in 2004, emerging as a 30-employee-strong organization which will welcome a full-time surgeon this fall. This staff addition will afford BEVS the ability to schedule operations, reports Durivage; ER doctors currently perform only emergency procedures.

The expansive office is more than accommodating. Aside from standard exam rooms and surgery suites, BEVS boasts a multi-table treatment area, in-patient boarding, an oxygen suite, and intensive care unit. Board-certified radiologists are available 24/7, and the critical care staff is always on-site for consultations, ECG, ultrasounds, and emergency surgery, among other procedures.

Dr. Bryan Harnett, medical director, is the hospital’s first internal medicine specialist, and is well-versed in complicated and rare medical conditions. The state-of-the-art facility is equipped for blood pressure monitoring, biopsies, chemotherapy, blood transfusion, and feline hyperthyroidism treatment – the only vet in the state to practice radioiodine therapy. Administered by a single shot, radioiodine therapy is noninvasive and produces permanent results. During the patients’ post-treatment stay in the isolation ward, owners can keep an eye on their cats via i131 Virtual Visit web cameras, which are accessible through a secure website.

As the state’s sole all-night veterinary hospital, many ownerless cats pass through BEVS’ doors – and into the homes of its caring staff. It’s apparent BEVS adopts advanced treatments, uses state-of-the-art equipment, and provides continuous care out of compassion for and commitment to its trusting clients and furry patients.

Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists is located at 200 Commerce Street in Williston. You can reach BEVS 24 hours a day at 863-2387. Visit www.bevsvt.com for more information.

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