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How Cancer is Treated in a Beloved Family Pet

pet cancer treatmentCancer is never a good word to hear from a veterinarian. It’s frightening, and often leaves pet owners feeling powerless, frustrated, and unsure of what to do for their beloved companion. For pet owners in the Philadelphia area, VRC in Malvern, PA is here to support you every step of the way. Not only is our oncology service staffed by experienced and caring people who can help you through this time, we also pride ourselves on having the state-of-the-art equipment necessary to diagnose, stage, and treat your pet’s disease

When your pet is showing signs of cancer, or has received a diagnosis of cancer previously, VRC’s team of oncologists and nurses will stage your pet’s cancer (find out if the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body), discuss recommended treatment options, and construct a treatment plan specific to your pet’s and family’s needs. Our oncology service is dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment and care for your pet. Our diagnostic imaging modalities include ultrasound, CT scan, digital radiography (x-rays), and access to MRI, which allow us to provide the most effective treatment possible, whether your pet needs medical, radiation, or surgical care. Our approach is multidisciplinary, because we believe in treating your pet’s cancer swiftly and effectively—and in terms of aftercare, we offer holistic treatment to support your pet’s healing and improve their comfort.

For pets, cancer care is about quality of life. We believe in curing your pet’s disease, or slowing its progression—whatever its stage calls for—while ensuring your pet’s day-to-day life is as comfortable as possible. This means that you, as your pet’s owner, are as vital a part of our care team as our veterinarians or nurses. We’ll always keep you informed of what’s going on with your animal, so that you can be their first line of defense, as well as their primary provider of comfort and security.

Cancer takes many forms, but on a basic level, it occurs when a body’s immune system is incapable of stopping certain cells from replicating abnormally. A tumor forms, affecting the body internally. As with humans, there is no one cause of cancer in pets. Certainly some animals are genetically predisposed, but other factors, such as environment, can play a part in causing several common types of cancer.

At VRC, Dr. Rick Chetney, Jr is our radiation oncology specialist. Originally from Upstate New York, he earned his DVM at Kansas State University and interned at BluePearl Michigan Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Chetney completed medical oncology internship training and a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and passed the board certifying exam for the ACVR specialty of radiation oncology. His interest lies in minimizing the side effects of radiation to normal tissues, as well as in skin care. Under Dr. Chetney’s supervision, our radiation oncology service is ready to give your companion animal the best possible chance to beat their illness, maintain a high quality of life, and spend as much happy time with you as possible.

If you suspect your pet has cancer, or have a diagnosis from your veterinarian, contact VRC. We’re a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital in the greater Philadelphia area, and our oncology facility is up-to-date and ready to help your pet with their diagnosis and treatment.

Daily Exercise for Your Dog May Help Prevent Serious Diseases

When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, people often think of choosing the right food, regular visits to the vet, and making sure your dog gets enough play time. But play time or brief walks don’t always provide your dog with enough crucial aerobic exercise—and dogs that don’t get enough exercise are more likely to become overweight or obese.

Overweight pets are becoming more and more common. We’re all busy these days, and most of us barely have enough time to exercise ourselves, much less ensure that our animals get adequate activity. But it’s crucial for your pet’s health (just as it is for our own!) to make sure they’re up and moving briskly every day. Your dog probably wants to exercise every day, hard enough to make them pant. And making sure your dog keeps active can help prevent a host of serious conditions and diseases.

When dogs become overweight, they suffer from the same sorts of problems as overweight humans do. Overall, they have a shorter life expectancy, and overweight dogs are at risk for diabetes, bone diseases and joint pain, diseases of the heart and the lungs, and cancer. While, as is the case with humans, daily exercise is no guarantee against chronic illness, the evidence suggests that it helps. Staying at a healthy weight can also help your dog once he or she gets older. Aging dogs can have a difficult time getting up, jumping into cars, and playing. Obesity puts extra strain on their joints, which compounds these struggles.

Of course, not all dogs are the same. The exercise your dog needs will vary based on its breed, age, size, and general health. A border collie will need a lot more active time to remain healthy than a teacup terrier, for example. But, an average dog will need between half an hour to two hours of activity every day.

Walking is a great way to get your dog up and moving, but that’s not the only way you can exercise them. In fact, your dog can be a great motivator for keeping you and your family active! A nice family hike can be a great way to get you and your dog’s heart rates up, as can a few runs a week. Even playing a game of fetch is great for you and your pet. You’re up off the couch or away from your desk, moving; they’re running happily to and fro, getting in the heart-healthy exercise they need.

Of course, it’s good to be cautious. Like older humans, older dogs may not be up to every challenge. Before embarking on a weight loss program for your pet, consider a visit to your primary veterinarian. Just like you’d consult a doctor before trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional about your dog’s unique needs. Your pet can’t tell you when he or she is tired, thirsty, or hurting, so it’s good to know everything before changing up a routine.

VRC is a specialty veterinary healthcare center in Malvern. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

What You Need to Know About Pet Rehab

pet rehabilitation therapyBodies are complicated, amazing machines. Just take a moment to think about all they do, every day, consciously and unconsciously. Whether they’re moving—running, jumping, playing—or sitting still, or resting, bodies are also unconsciously breathing, digesting, pumping blood… the list goes on.

But the truth is, all machines, no matter how astonishing or efficient they might be, break down from time to time or wear out with age. That’s why physical rehabilitation exists.

We used to think that after an injury or as bodies aged, resting was the best course of action for a speedy recovery. Now, we know so much more! These days, physical rehabilitation. is designed to help bodies recover and thrive after accidents or surgery, or maintain (or even gain!) strength as they get older.

Physical rehabilitation improves lives by helping to reduce pain, preventing future injuries, and improving range of motion. But just in case you were thinking we were talking about human bodies, we’re not! Physical rehabilitation can help your pet, as well!

Just like us, our pets are living longer these days, with all the wonderful advances being made in veterinary science every year and improvements in our general understanding of things like aging, nutritional science, and the various stresses the world puts on our bodies. But, as we all know, living longer means… well… aging. Stiff joints, surgeries, and changing nutritional needs affect us all, human and animal alike. And that’s where physical rehabilitation comes in!

Pet Rehab at VRC

Here at VRC, we’re your Malvern veterinary hospital, especially when it comes to pet rehabilitation in the Philadelphia area. We’re proud to have Dr. Elizabeth Perone on staff directing our rehab services. A former emergency vet, Dr. Perone has shifted away from emergency care for pets and toward a focus on rehab for animals. She’s certified in canine rehabilitation, has advanced knowledge of pet acupuncture, and is a member of both the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians and the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management. She’s even certified in canine sports massage!

Dr. Perone and her staff are dedicated to helping improve your pet’s quality of life via physical rehabilitation, whether your furry friend is an athlete, injured, or simply naturally aging. At VRC, we take into account the unique concerns that arise for every animal to determine the specific kind of physical rehabilitation your pet needs.

We keep up to date with the latest techniques to provide the best experience possible for your devoted companion. Whether your pet needs laser therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, or just a few massages and some fun sessions in our canine gym, we’re certain we have what your pet needs to feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed—and walk (or maybe leap or bound!) away feeling ever so much better than they did.

Contact our Rehabilitation Team today for more details about how our advanced rehabilitation techniques can help your pet. VRC in Malvern, PA is a specialty veterinary health care clinic for your pet in the Philadelphia area. Give us a call at (610) 647-2950, 24/7, 365 days a year.