Monday, December 27, 2010

The American College Of Veterinary Surgeons

Here at Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery, we are very proud of Dr. Crouch and all his accomplishments. One accomplishment that we would like to highlight is Dr. Crouch is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS). Below is information and some common questions about what it means to be a Diplomate with ACVS.

Founded in 1965, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons is the American Veterinary Medical Association specialty board which sets the standards for advanced professionalism in veterinary surgery.

Following the 2010 certification examination, ACVS includes more than 1,470 Diplomates. Approximately 65 veterinarians earn their Diplomate Credentials every year. More than 60 percent of the ACVS Diplomates operate in private and specialty practices that accept cases on a referral basis from primary care practitioners. The remainder are primarily employed by academic institutions and industry where they teach, conduct research, practice in teaching hospitals, and participate in the development of new products and treatments which improve the quality of veterinary and human health care.

The ACVS defines the standards of surgical excellence for the profession, promotes advancements in veterinary surgery, and provides the latest in surgical educational programs. By fostering the highest standards of excellence in veterinary surgery, the ACVS is helping the veterinary profession achieve its goals of providing outstanding service to the public and care to animals.

Q: What is a Diplomate?
A: An ACVS Diplomate in an individual who has been certified as a specialist in veterinary surgery by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Q: What does “board certified” mean?

A: A board certified surgeon is an individual who has completed the requirements of the ACVS to become certified as a specialist in veterinary surgery (an ACVS Diplomate).

Q: Do I need a surgeon who is board certified?
A: Advances in animal health care have led to a wider variety of treatment options, including highly specialized surgical procedures. Board certified surgeons spend at least four years after achieving their veterinary medical degree (DVM) focusing strictly on surgery. This concentrated training in surgery allows the ACVS Veterinary Surgeon to keep current with frequent advances in veterinary medicine. Ask your veterinarian if the procedure requires a specialist. General procedures may be less likely to require someone who is board certified.

Please visit for more information.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ice, Ice, Baby

Winter has set and its time to bunker down and maker good decisions to keep our family and pets safe. Periodically, Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery will be posting facebook updates for cold weather advice.

For starters, I
know Paris Hilton probably brought them on the scene and made them more trendy, but coats and booties can help your dog stay warm. In particular, short-haired or elderly dogs benefit from wearing a coat or sweater. We would suggest to look for coats or sweaters with high collars or a turtleneck that covers the dog from the base of the tail on top to the belly underneath.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WCVS On Facebook

Tips, reminders, community events, surgery insights, holiday hours, and much more can be accessed right at the tips of your fingers through our website, or through our Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery's facebook page.

We update our facebook regularly to bring you helpful information and we would like to invite you to check out our page.

Please join us a fan and stay connected with us!

" This gave me a little chuckle. Check out the latest news about reindeer adoptions from the Asheville Humane Society

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


About once to twice a month, we like to send out an enewsletter to keep people in touch with creditable information regarding their pets health and different happenings around WCVS. Here is a look into the November newsletter...

Does your pet limp or skip? This may be an indication of a significant joint problem. Since many dogs and cats may not cry out in pain, they may be hiding a serious orthopedic condition. A thorough orthopedic exam may be required to diagnose your friend’s condition. Dr. Crouch offers consultation in orthopedic diseases affecting dogs and cats. Our practice is limited to surgery and all cases must be referred from your family veterinarian .

Warmest regards,

Dr. Crouch and the staff at Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery

Please visit our website or send an email to to be added to our information list!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pilots N Paws - Another Successful Rescue

Our friends at Pilots and Paws have been keeping busy and blessing many people and animals in the process. Check out their latest story about a lucky German Shepard named Skye.

Skye made it to NJ thanks to everyone who helped us with this sweet girl! She had a restful night—and is eating me out of house and home! What an appetite. Deb and I made it back with about 30 min to spare before that storm with the 70 mph winds hit–yes, the one with the sideways rain. Skye was great in the plane, and in the car (we had to detour for quite a while during the storm b/c of downed trees and flooding—took over an hours and 1/2 to get home—she was patient!!). She is thin—but will put the weight on.


Find more stories at

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pet Adoption Made Easy

I wanted to take a moment to highlight a website that connects shelters and breeders to potential pet owners.

If you have every considered adopting a pet, here is your place to look. On their website, you can learn about adoption, search for adoptable pets, find adoption groups, and post a classified ad. They have done an excellent job at streamlining the process for adoption.

Another perk about the site is how easy they have made it for searching for the pet. It seems as tho they have thought of everything!

Take a peek at or click on the photo of Dexter, the puppy. He is currently living at Animal Compassion Network waiting on a home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (also called Pelvic Osteotomy or abbreviated TPO) is one of the treatment options for hip dysplasia, a developmental disease of the hip joints most commonly seen in large and giant breed dogs.

The object of a TPO is to change the orientation of the shallow hip socket (acetabulum) to allow better coverage of the head of the femur. This increases the depth of the acetabulum causing it to “capture” the head of the femur and not allow it to slip out of the socket. Increasing the stability of the joint helps to minimize the development of degenerative joint disease (arthritis) as the dog gets older.


Triple Pelvic Osteotomy is a procedure that is generally done on young dogs that are showing pain in the hips, but have not yet developed significant radiographic changes in the joints. Unfortunately, the early changes of hip dysplasia are subtle and some dogs do not show signs indicating that they have the disease until after they have already developed changes in the joint that make performing a TPO inadvisable. For this reason, many veterinarians recommend doing routine palpation and X-ray screening of the hips in all large and giant breed dogs at about 6 months of age.

Any young large or giant breed dog that demonstrates lameness in one or both rear legs, reluctance to run and play, tires easily, shifts the weight to the forelimbs, shows loss of muscle mass in the rear limbs, shows pain when the hips are manipulated, or has a “popping” sensation felt over the hip joints, should be evaluated by your veterinarian.

If caught at the early stages, TPO is a very successful procedure with few complications.

Figure 2. A pelvis from a dog, showing the three areas where the bone must be cut in order to rotate the hip joint (acetabulum)

Figure 3. A special plate is used to hold the rotated acetabular segment in the desired degree of rotation until the ilium has healed back together.

Figure 4. X-rays taken of the pelvis immediately after surgery show the rotation of the acetabulum on each side and the plate and screws holding the acetabulum in the desired degree of rotation.

Figure 5. An X-ray taken of the pelvis at 8 weeks after surgery shows that the ilial osteotomy is now healed.

A special thank you to ACVS for providing this information for dog owners. For more information on potential complications from TPO and aftercare, please refer to their website by clicking here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soft Tissue Surgery - Brachycephalic Syndrome

We offer multiple services for different surgical conditions. One I would like to highlight is the Brachycephalic Syndrome. This condition is found mostly in short nosed dog breeds, referred to as brachycephalic breeds. Dogs such as the English bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier all fall into this category because of the shape of their head, muzzle, or throat.

The term "Brachycephalic Syndrome" refers to the combination of elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and averted laryngeal saccules, all of which are commonly seen in these breeds. Some dogs with brachycephalic syndrome may also have a narrow trachea (windpipe), collapse of the larynx (the cartilages that open and close the upper airway) or paralysis of the larvyngeal cartilages.

For a great reference on Brachycephalic Syndrome , click here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pet Costumes

I'm sure by now you have noticed the costumes section is growing every year, and not just for people, but pets too! Here is the top ten list of most popular pet costumes according to the National Retail Federation.

1. Devil

2. Pumpkin

3. Witch

4. Princess

5. Angel

6. Pirate

7. Hot Dog

8. Bat

9. Black Cat

10. Clown

During your next visit to the store, I hope you walk to the pet costume aisle if not for nothing but a good laugh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What To Know When Flying With Your Pet

With the holidays quickly approaching, I felt these quick tips might come in handy.

- Book the flight for you and your pet at the same time. Most airlines have an allowed number of pets on board so if you wait, they might not have room for you four legged friend.

- When choosing your flights this winter, pick a time during mid day for a warmer temperature on the plane. If flying in warm weather, choose an early morning or late in the afternoon flight. Also be aware that airlines are not allowed to ship pets when temperatures are above 85 degrees.

- Some airlines require an acclimation certificate (a document about your pet's health) written by your vet within 10 days of your flight.

- Purchase your travel approved crate a couple of weeks before your flight so your pet has time to get used to it and be comfortable.

We hope this helps! Let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of service in any way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WCVS - Supporter of The Junior League

Here is a copy of the latest ad from Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery for The Junior League. The Junior League of Asheville hosts many events to help raise money for our community projects.

See below for information on the next Junior League Event- The Fall Gala: Masquerade in the Meadow

Asheville’s Inaugural Fall Gala: Masquerade in the Meadow. Longmeadow Park is an outdoor "living room" for all seasons where guests will arrive and be greeted by aerial performers, jazz music, food, beverages and incredible raffle items. Tents will be arranged in the natural amphitheater, magnificently lit with plenty of room for guests to sit, eat and socialize. This year’s theme - Masquerade in the Meadow - means you, your date, your neighbor and your friend, all have the possibility to sport cocktail attire with masquerade flair, wickedly fun makeup, and a feather or two. Delightful idea? We thought so too!

Where else can you enjoy an evening of dress up while sipping cocktails and watching acrobats dangling from Tuscan hued trees? Or meander in and out of a tent affectionately dubbed Libation Lounge? Or capture a naughty moment inside a Smooch Booth? Exactly. Come join us!

Get out your datebook: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Set your clock: 6:00 p.m.
Program your GPS: Longmeadow Park, The Ramble
And of course, grab some dough: $50 per ticket

Proceeds from The Fall Gala support the Junior League of Asheville's mission to improve the community, promote voluntarism, and develop the potential of women.

Click Here for more information.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Italy Conference

Dr. Crouch just returned from the World Veterinary Orthopedic Congress in Bologna, Italy. The conference is held only once every four years and is traditionally supported by two sister societies ESVOT (European Society for Veterinary Orthopaedics and Traumatology) and VOS (Veterinary Orthopaedic Society).

Veterinary orthopedic surgeons worldwide attended this intense four-day conference. Topics included cutting edge surgical techniques and technology. These forums included arthroscopic surgical techniques, advances in arthritis treatment and sports injuries and medicine.

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to attend this prestigious conference. Staying on the forefront of 21st century science helps to provide the very best care for our beloved veterinary patients.

Stay up-to-date with all the news and activities at Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery by signing up for our newsletter. Simply send an email to .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Naples Flordia Conference

You will be pleased to know that Dr. Crouch recently attended the Veterinary Arthrology Advancement Association (VA3) meeting in Naples, FL. The meeting is hosted annually by Arthrex, Inc. This elite group of 45 orthopedic veterinary surgeons from around the world come together to discuss and refine the latest surgical techniques.

More specifically, the course featured advance arthrosopic approaches to many orthopaedic problems affecting small animals. They also discussed and gave examples of new implants and data sharing in order to improve outcomes in veterinary orthopaedics. All who attended had to be at the advance level in arthroscopy.

Continuing education is always important no matter what profession you are in. At Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery, we take this seriously. It is very important to us that we are up-to-date with the latest and greatest breakthroughs. The more we can fine tune our skills, the better service we will be able to provide you and your pet.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rehabilitation Regime


Once radiographs at the WCVS office have confirmed bone healing, the rehabilitation regime is initiated. During this time period the patient’s activities are gradually increased in order to stretch the surgery scar tissue and rebuild muscles. The degree of activity should progress with the patient remaining comfortable. Since increasing duration and not intensity is the goal, explosive activities such as running, jumping, playing, frolicking, furniture or stairs are not allowed during the rehabilitation period. Remember that your pet already has degenerative joint disease (“arthritis”) and our goal is to make him/her as comfortable as we can for as long as we can.

Throughout the rehabilitation process the dog is allowed to go as far as he/she is able while remaining comfortable. To judge the dog’s comfort, watch the dog when he/she gets up from following exercise and rest. If invigorated and excited about more activity, the dog is comfortable. If the dog gets up with stiffness and complaint, then the amount of activity should be reduced.

Weeks 1-3:

The first three to four weeks of activity are comprised of progressively longer walks with your dog on a short lead. Begin with short walks of one block (or equivalent) and see how your dog responds. Continue at this distance for a few days. If your pet remains comfortable, double the distance of the walk. Continue doubling the distance of the walks every few days as the dog’s comfort level permits. If your pet appears uncomfortable with the increased distance, cut the length of the walk back to the last distance that the dog was comfortable at. Your pet will benefit more from several short walks in one day rather than a single long walk.

Weeks 4-6:

During this time period, the walks are continued with the dog on a long lead. This allows the dog freedom to trot back and forth, increasing the usage of the leg. As distances are more difficult to judge at this point, it is important to monitor the dog’s comfort level closely during this stage of the rehabilitation.

Weeks 7-12:

At this time the dog is allowed mild activity off lead. The area should have no other animals or distractions around. The dog should remain under the voice control of the owner. No jumping, chasing a ball or frisbee, or playing with other dogs or cats is permitted. Avoid any other activities where the dog’s full concentration is thrown into the activity without any regard to his/her body.

A final recheck at the WCVS office at the end of the rehabilitation process may be needed before full activity may be resumed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Way To Give Back

There are many wonderful organizations out there with a heart for animals. The thought to volunteer may have crossed your mind a time or two, but oftentimes people have no idea where to start.

Below is a list from Animal Compassion Network that highlights volunteer opportunities.

- Animal Care at Pet Harmony
- Retail Assistance at Pet Harmony
- Adoption Events (animal care/dog walker)
- Adoption events (set up/take down)
- Adoption events (screening)
- Adoption events (adoption processing)
- Adoption follow-up
- Public relations
- Public education/outreach
- Fundraising committee
- Phone counselor - animal intake
- Phone counselor - adoptions
- Home-visit team
- Foster parent
- Marketing/promotions
- Dog/cat marketing advocate
- Spay/neuter assistance team
- Grant research/writing
- Distribution of information (flyer's, brochures)
- Animal medical intake clinic
- Special events (Dine to be Kind, Adoptathon)
- Writing - newsletters articles, editorials

As you can see, everyone has some sort of talent, skill, or passion that could be used to benefit this amazing organization. If you would like more information, you can visit their website at:

or you can give them a call and tell them that the Western Carolina Veterinary Surgery team said you might be of use to them.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Hiking Hounds

If you are thinking about adopting a pet, or simply love animals, here is one of the best events to attend, the Hiking Hounds event at Asheville Humane Society. We are a supporter of this organization and applaud their efforts in connecting animals with their new home. Here is a snapshot of the event from their website:

Hiking Hounds - Sunday, July 25th
The main purpose of the "Hiking Hounds" is for AHS volunteers and shelter dogs to have fun in the beautiful outdoors of Western North Carolina. Besides getting fresh air with our canine hikers, Hiking Hounds adds an enriching activity to a dog's stay at the shelter, exposes dogs to new things and reinforces obedience, burns off some energy in a positive way, increases adoptability by having more exposure to the public, and offers volunteers a new way to interact with the animals.

If you would like to participate, contact us directly via email at before the hike!

Friday, July 16, 2010