Announcing New “Ask the Dogtor” Column

Written by: Dr. Bo Bergman, DVM

Dr. Bo Bergman will be answering your questions here on the Dogs blog.

Greetings Orvis animal lovers! I’m Dr. Bo Bergman, a companion-animal veterinarian in Bennington, Vermont—just a few miles south of the Orvis home office. My wife, Megan, often refers to me as “The Dogtor.”

I’m excited to join the Orvis Dogs blog as a regular guest blogger. There’s great stuff already here, and I hope to add a view from the veterinary world.  My job will be to answer your most vexing dog-related questions.

But first, a proper introduction: I grew up in Vermont and have been around animals and the veterinary world since I was a kid; my parents ran a veterinary clinic across the driveway from our house. I graduated from the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine and have since moved back to Vermont. My wife and I, along with our two young daughters, have four rescue dogs, two cats, two goats, a mule, and chickens.

I work at West Mountain Animal Hospital. We see our fair share of happy and sad cases, but always we do our best to focus on the fun and celebrate the human-animal bond. I have a strong interest in wellness care, dentistry, and animal shelters and rescues, going back to my veterinary school shelter work and time interning at Best Friends’ Rescue in Utah.

So, what can I answer for you? Perhaps something about fleas and ticks? Or mobility issues in your old canine companion? Leave your questions in the comments section below, and we will answer as many as we can in the coming weeks and months. You can ask about any aspect of dog health or behavior, but keep in mind that I can’t actually diagnose problems in an animal I haven’t actually examined.

I look forward to hearing your questions and concerns, so ask away!

15 thoughts on “Announcing New “Ask the Dogtor” Column”

  1. Our 13 yr old dog (border collie mix) that we have had for 11 years strained her ACL. She is not in pain, but also does not put her full weight on it all the time (sometimes she is fine with it). The vet is recommending surgery, but I am not sure I like that option. Are the other options we should consider?
    Is there a “doggie support” that it “over the counter” I could wrap her knee in that would help?
    She is not in pain, she just needs a little support.
    (she us 13 years old, 38 pounds, has arthritis in both knees, not the most active dog, but over all in good health)

  2. I have a question. What’s the most important determining factor in deciding which dry dog food is best? The choices are so dizzying, at the store, and each one seems to promise that your dog will be able to fly and tell time, while the rest will having him pooping solid fire.

  3. I just moved to Vermont and have started to notice that a lot of dogs in our neighborhood and at our doggie daycare wear coats. We moved from the South, so we’ve never bought them for our boys. What criteria should we use to determine whether or not they need them for Vermont winter? We have two coonhounds, one is 50+ lbs with a relatively short coat and the other is 60+ lbs with a heavier/slightly longer coat. Thanks!

  4. Hi Dr. Bo, My husband, myself & our 2 chocolate labs Charlie & Dannie feel so lucky to have you as our family veterinarian. We love that you are connected with Orvis (our favorite “Dog Friendly” store). Our dogs love to come with us to the Orvis store in Manchester because they are treated like Princesses by the employees. My daughter-in-law, Beverly Cohen sent us this e-mail. I do not have a question for you right now because you always answer our questions when we visit you. We all wish you the best of luck in becoming an Orvis Dog Guest Blogger. Virginia LiCalsi Cohen (

  5. Hi Bo,

    Congrats on the column. So, my 12 year old black lab mix has been overall presenting as his still energetic, playful self with a few more gray whiskers. But over the past couple of years he has eaten a lot of grass and thrown up more. His recent labs taken twice over the past couple of months showed very elevated liver enzyme levels. I’m forgetting which one specifically it was but over the course of two
    Months and two full blood panels he was up into the 10,000+ when the vet said it should be 135. We went through all the cushings testing and he was negative. We got x rays of his chest and abdomen which showed nothing related to the enzymes but significant arthritis in his elbows and spine. They suggested an ultrasound but when I took him and left him boarded for the appt they had two many emergencies to end up doing it and I had to take him home. I haven’t rescheduled. At his age, I just want him to be comfortable. It does seem like he is feeling sick to his stomach but still running and jumping all around. The vet didnt want to give him any meds for potential pain due to the liver enzymes. She said something to the effect that he looks ok because “he is trying to be the dog you expect him to be.” I just wonder if we should let sleeping dogs lie so to speak or put him through a bunch more tests and try to treat whatever it is. Suggestions? Thanks for your time! Sarah

  6. SO GREAT to see participation. I look forward to answering these questions – they really touch on some important topics in the veterinary world.

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  8. My 12 year old hound mix was dx with spleen cancer yesterday. There is quite the wide spectrum of info on the Internet regarding lifespan post treatment. Some say only expands life a few months…some a few years. Also how difficult is this type of surgery on a dog that age

    Thank you for any insight and/or providing me with suggested other research sites or material

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