The holidays are upon us, and nothing can spoil the festivities like an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital. Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita wants you and your pets to enjoy your traditions, while staying safe, by providing some tips to avoid common holiday pet disasters. Always keep our number in an easy-to-find and know where our hospital is located in case of an emergency:

Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital of Wichita (open 24/7/365)
Phone (316) 262-5321
Address 727 S Washington, Wichita

Another important number to have on-hand is ASPCA Poison Control Hotline 1 (888) 426-4435.

Dogs are opportunistic, typically keeping things out of reach seems to do the trick. However, during the holidays, there are new temptations. Make this holiday season drama free with these learned-from-experience tips.

Tree safety
In general, place decorations on high branches or put a gate up around the tree to keep your pet safe. You may also consider anchoring your tree so it doesn’t get knocked over. 

Ornaments: Glass ornaments can cause lacerations while popular salt dough ornaments are toxic to dogs. 
Tinsel and ribbon: If ingested, tinsel can become bound in the intestinal track and require surgical removal. 
Tree lights: Those twinkling lights are a thing of beauty but could pose the threat of electric shock if the wires become torn and chewed through. 
Artificial snow: Indoor snow may look magical, but the fake stuff on trees and wreaths may contain highly toxic chemicals

Be mindful of holiday goodies
Do not underestimate a hungry dog’s determination when delicious food is all around! Keep pets away from these dangerous foods.

Fruits & Veggies: Avoid garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, chives, and shallots as they are toxic to both cats and dogs. Grapes, raisons, and currents are highly toxic as well. 
Alcohol: Keep eggnog and other alcoholic beverages up and away from reach.
Nuts: Absolutely do not feed pets macadamia nuts. Also avoid black walnuts, raw cashews, English walnuts, and pecans.
Candy: Chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate contains theobromine and may cause devastating effects. Sugar-free candy and desserts that contain Xylitol can be lethal even in small doses.
Bones and Strings: Bones can cause intestinal upset, blockages or splinter once chewed. Keep pets away from meat-soaked string around roasts, and poultry as they can become bound in the intestines. 
Caffeine: The holidays can be exhausting and although you may need an extra cup of Joe, be sure to keep your cats and dogs clear of caffeinated beverages, including coffee grounds. 
Garbage and Countertops: During and after food prep, counters and trash cans are often filled with cooked bones, scraps, plastics and other dangers. Keep counters clear if your pet can reach, and put a lid on the trash.

Avoid decoration disasters
Decorating for the holidays can be a joy with these safety tips. 

Candles: Be cautious of open flames, if you leave the room, put the candle out. A wagging tail or curious cat can easily knock it over. Modern flameless candles mimic the flickering flame and are pet safe. 
Plants: Toxicities in common holiday plants can cause mild to severe effects. It’s best to avoid amaryllis, daffodils, poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe. Try pet friendly silk or plastic plants instead.
Stockings: If your pet can jump or otherwise gain access to stockings, avoid filling them with items that could be toxic, easily swallowed, or choked on. 

The average cost of treating common holiday emergencies:
Chocolate Toxicity - $500-2000
Other Toxicity - $500-5000
Fracture repair - $2500-450
GI foreign body - $2500-4000
Pancreatitis - $1000-2500



IVAPM Certification (CVPP) is a program dedicated to enhancing comfort in animal patients. Candidates must complete rigorous courses in education, training, and hands-on experience in interdisciplinary pain management. Candidates must have 90 hours of pain related continuing education in the previous eight years. 

We are proud to announce and congratulate Dr. Holly Smith in passing the final (examination) phase of her certification with the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. She turned in an astonishing 400 hours of continuing education and now carries the designation of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, CVPP. 

Dr. Smith is currently the first and only veterinary professional in Sedgwick County to hold this title. 

She said “I want to help pets not only in the peri-operative period but those with chronic pain states, lameness cases that just haven't responded to treatment, older dog’s with arthritis. And as rehab courses are completed, we will be able to help degenerative myelopathy cases with quality of life”. Dr. Smith is passionate about pain control for your pets and believes it is a critical step in the recovery process. Because animals are unable to vocalize pain, she has become an expert in recognizing the signs of pain and treat them appropriately. 

For more information on how you can identify signs of pain in your animal, please visit


Last month VESHW introduced Wichita’s first Veterinary CT scanner. Since its introduction, we’ve performed over 20 scans, revealing internal injuries and diseases not detectable by other methods. We’re proud to share Jersey’s story and her life-saving emergency CT. 

Jersey, a 7-year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, presented with neurological signs. The physical exam findings indicated a lesion inside the head, such as a tumor. The owners agreed to a CT scan for peace of mind.

Jersey continued to show signs of a brain tumor throughout the anesthesia and scan process, however the scan indicated a middle ear infection and a forming tooth abscess. “We were able to treat her dizziness and start an antibiotic. Through the day she recovered from her symptoms and we sent her home wagging her tail. She had a very treatable condition when her clinical symptoms suggested that it wasn't a treatable condition. The CT told us exactly what the problem was and how to treat it. Having that scan literally saved Jersey’s life.” – Holly Smith, DVM

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We're proud to announce the construction of our new hospital on the west side of Wichita near 21st Street North and Hoover Road, across from Sedgwick County Zoo. We expect the nearby landmarks and reference points along with good visibility from the street will save pet owners time in an emergency situation. The eight month construction period of the 12,500-square-foot hospital will begin in October, and includes renovating and expanding an existing building.

In addition to our emergency doctors, we have exceptionally qualified specialists in general surgery, radiology, oral surgery, and ophthalmology. Our future goal is to expand our specialties to include cardiology, dermatology, and oncology. The new hospital will be able to better accommodate our expansion of advanced diagnostics equipment, including our heart-echo, ultra-sound, and recently acquired CT scan, which is currently the only veterinary CT offered in Wichita. Advanced CT technology provides 3D views used to diagnose spinal injuries, fractures, brain tumors and masses that x-ray and ultra sound have limitations on.

Our existing practice will remain in place as an urgent care and minor emergency facility in the evenings and on weekends. Critical care patients will be transferred from the current location to the new veterinary hospital.

These renderings will give you a sneak peak at what's to come!



The Fourth of July is a celebratory day of food, fireworks and fun for most around the U.S., but unfortunately your pets do not enjoy this holiday as much as you do. Fireworks can turn this holiday into one of the most miserable nights for pets.
Loud noises startle and distress many pets, with their supersensitive hearing. Scared pets have been known to jump out of apartment windows, leap over or dig under fences, or chew their skin until it's raw. They may also bolt out an open door to become lost and never found, or hit by a car. Even the ones who just tremble in terror may be safe, but they're miserable. Even calm pets may seize the opportunity offered by a holiday buffet to eat something they should not.


Follow the below prevention steps to help keep your pet safe and comfortable this Fourth of July:

  -  Don't leave a dog outdoors alone when someone is going to use fireworks.

  -  Keep your interactions with your dog upbeat, happy and hearty. Don't use a pitying voice or touch that gives a dog reason to be afraid. Act happy and confident, and reward your dog for confident behavior.
  -  Ear infections can make no

ises more painful. Take good care of your dog's ears. Pay special attention if the ears are not erect, or if the dog has ever had an ear infection. Dogs tend to conceal their pain as a survival instinct, so it's important to make a real effort to know your dog's physical condition.
  -  Fears are often contagious from one dog to another as well as from people to dogs. If you have a dog who fears fireworks and you get another dog, working with the fearful one can help prevent the new dog from developing the same fear.

Source: Kathy Diamond Davis. “Fireworks Phobia.” Veterinary Partner. Web. 16 June 2016. Gina Spadafori. “The Pet Connection.” Veterinary Partner. Web. 16 June 2016.