Volunteer Opportunities at Protectors of Animals

Steven Leshem, DVM, is currently an associate veterinarian at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. Steven Leshem, DVM, has worked in the veterinary services field for nearly 15 years. Outside of his professional activities, Dr. Steve Leshem dedicates his time and resources to several organizations, including Protectors of Animals (POA), a Connecticut-based nonprofit that rescues stray and mistreated dogs and cats.

An entirely volunteer-led shelter and rescue, POA relies on dedicated volunteers to manage the organization’s administrative activities, foster homeless pets, and provide basic medical care to shelter animals. POA volunteers also represent the shelter at public events and play a key role in ensuring that all animals are groomed, socialized, and placed in homes with loving caregivers.

POA is always in need of good help and is currently accepting applications for new volunteers. POA volunteers must be no younger than 18 years of age and commit to assisting the organization for at least six months. Those unable to volunteer their time can support POA by making a monetary donation, adopting a homeless pet, or purchasing merchandise through the POA store. For more information about how you can support POA, visit www.poainc.org.


A Brief Overview of PennHIP

Experienced veterinary surgeon Steven Leshem, DVM, serves on the team at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. Steven Leshem, DVM, holds board certification from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. In addition, Dr. Steve Leshem has achieved certification through the University of Pennsylvania’s Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP).

PennHIP is an initiative developed from the research of Dr. Gail Smith, who began to explore methods for providing early diagnosis of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) in 1983. His research soon led to the development of a diagnostic method that enables veterinarians to estimate a dog’s susceptibility to CHD as early as 4 months of age.

Dr. Smith established PennHIP in 1993 as a scientific initiative designed to explore new technologies and methods for diagnosing CHD. Now part of the University of Pennsylvania, PennHIP continues to lead the way in advancing the research and technology surrounding CHD diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Articles on the program’s methods have appeared in several industry publications, including Veterinary Surgery and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

H.O.P.E. Discount Spaying and Neutering Programs

As a DVM, Steven Leshem helps people and their companion animals stay healthy, treat injuries and other maladies, and get preventive care for potential conditions. One of the groups Steven Leshem works with toward this end is the H.O.P.E. Spay/Neuter Clinic, an organization in Plantsville, Connecticut that offers low-cost spaying and neutering for pets, helping to control the pet population.

Thanks to the support of doctors like Steve Leshem, H.O.P.E. can offer a variety of programs to support the community in addition to their conventional spaying and neutering work. H.O.P.E. offers low-cost spaying and neutering services for all Connecticut residents, but also further discounts its dog spaying and neutering services for those receiving state or federal income assistance through programs like Husky A or Social Security. It also offer spaying and neutering services at reduced cost for pit bulls and pit bull mixes, as these make up many of the state’s unwanted animals, often ending up homeless or needlessly put to sleep.

VOS Mark Bloomberg Research Award

Steven Leshem participates in the DVM community through membership in several professional societies, which allows him to attend conferences and remain apprised of new developments in veterinary medicine and surgery. One of the groups to which Steven Leshem belongs is the Veterinary Orthopedic Society (VOS), which seeks to help those involved in orthopedic veterinary medicine disseminate their research and improve the quality of their practice.

One of the major programs the VOS offers members like Steve Leshem as part of its efforts to improve the quality of veterinary orthopedic research is the Mark Bloomberg Research Award. Named for a former president of the VOS who made tremendous clinical and research contributions to orthopedics and sports medicine, this award allows individuals to distribute their research. Residents who submit abstracts for presentation at the organization’s annual conference are eligible for the Mark Bloomberg Research Award. Recipients who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of traveling to the conference can use the award to attend, thanks to generous donations from the organization’s numerous sponsors.

How to Evaluate Your Dog’s Weight

Steven Leshem, DVM, is board certified in veterinary surgery and has considerable experience in neurosurgery, soft tissue surgery, and orthopedic surgery. As a veterinary surgeon at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut, Steven Leshem, DVM, helps repair joint and tendon damage to help animals live longer, fuller lives.

One way to ensure your pet stays in optimum health is to manage his or her weight appropriately. Extra weight puts additional strain on a dog’s joints, making it more painful for him or her to move and exercise. To evaluate your dog’s weight, you should look for three physical markers. First, you should be able to feel the ribs of the dog through a thin layer of fat. Second, you should be able to see the dog’s waist, located between the rib cage and the hips, when looking at the animal from above. Third, you should see an “abdominal tuck,” meaning the stomach is higher than the ribs, when looking at the dog from the side.

Another factor to consider when evaluating a dog’s weight is how much he or she is pooping. One decent-size poop per day is normal, according to Dr. James St. Clair, director of TopDog Animal Health and Rehabilitation. Two or more poops every day probably means the animal is eating too much food, and you should cut back on how much you offer.

Signs Your Dog May Have Joint Damage

Experienced in complex veterinary surgical procedures, Steven Leshem, DVM, currently practices with Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. A member in good standing of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Steven Leshem regularly treats dogs with orthopedic problems.

Active dogs use their joints vigorously as they run, jump, play, and go for walks. As dogs age, the chances increase that their joints will sustain damage. Common joint problems in dogs include tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Some dogs also are prone to developmental problems, such as elbow or hip dysplasia, which also cause pain.

Your dog may have an injury or age-related joint degeneration if he or she seems less active and playful than usual. Difficulty doing routine activities, like climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car, is another sign that the dog may have a joint condition that merits examination by a vet. Once a dog starts showing overt signs, such as favoring a limb or limping, he or she is likely in a great deal of pain. See your veterinarian right away so that the animal can be evaluated and treated.

The Benefits of Arthroscopy in Animals

Steven Leshem, DVM, is a veterinary surgeon at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. Steve Leshem’s specialty areas include neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and soft tissue surgery, and he is experienced in using arthroscopic and laparoscopic techniques.

As veterinary medicine becomes more advanced, more veterinary surgeons are using minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to perform surgery on joints. An arthroscopic procedure can also help a veterinarian diagnose a joint problem if other tests have been inconclusive.

The benefits of arthroscopic procedures include the ability to thoroughly examine a joint with less pain and a faster recovery compared with traditional surgical procedures. With the smaller incision, less scar tissue develops, allowing a better range of motion once the animal has healed. The animal also experiences less time under anesthesia.

The conditions for which arthroscopy is indicated in animals include bicep tendon tears/tendonitis, tearing of collateral ligaments, fragmented coronoid processes, and osteochondrosis.