News & Events


News and Events

Introducing Joseph Jacovino, DVM, Practice Limited to Radiation Oncology

WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS

 

We have added another member to our team! Joseph Jacovino, DVM, Practice Limited to Radiation Oncology is now available to offer radiation therapy treatments on-site at VRC with our Varian linear accelerator. He will be treating current VRC cases and is accepting new clients.

MORE ABOUT DR. JACOVINO

Joseph Jacovino, DVM, Practice Limited to Radiation Oncology earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tampa and later his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Western University of Health and Sciences. He participated in a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Carolina Veterinary Specialists, an internship in radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a residency in radiation oncology at The Animal Medical Center.

 

 

On-Site MRI: Available November 2017

On-Site MRI
Available November 2017

High-resolution, fast, and accurate, this state-of-the-art machine will provide patients with the advanced diagnostic imaging they need for higher-quality care.

AFFORDABLE, ADVANCED CARE

A sick pet is stressful enough for clients without considering the cost of quality care. We want to provide patients with the technology they deserve at a price clients can afford. We are proud to offer competitive pricing packages for our MRI imaging services.

SAFER TREATMENT

With state-of-the-art equipment and highly-trained and skilled staff, we take every measure to ensure that patients undergo procedures as safely and efficiently as possible at our hospital. With an on-site MRI, patients can have a scan performed, and when applicable, be transferred seamlessly to either surgery or additional diagnostics without experiencing multiple anesthetic inductions. Despite the safety and overall benefits of anesthetics, complications can arise and with fewer inductions performed on a patient within a short period of time, the risk significantly declines. We also offer MRI scanning on an outpatient basis.

FAST, RELIABLE IMAGING

Our state-of-the-art GE 1.5T Signa 9x MRI provides fantastic image quality with a four channel multi-coil for convenient, time-tested responses as well as many optional coils for specialized applications and a broader diagnostic scope. With a board-certified neurologist on-site, we can scan and review results for a diagnosis in minutes.

NEUROLOGY AT VRC

 


Christine Senneca, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
 is the new board-certified neurologist at VRC. In conjunction with the introduction of our MRI machine, she brings significant experience and a variety of new services that will further the scope of care that we can offer to patients.

Her services and areas of expertise include:

  • Surgical removal of brain tumors
  • Seizure disorder management
  • Inflammatory brain diseases
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • MRI scanning and review
  • Spinal trauma
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Lunch & Learns at your hospital
  • And much more

How to Manage Your Cat’s Weight

Obesity is a major cause for concern in any being and it can quickly lead to other health issues. In cats, excess weight and obesity can cause serious medical conditions that can lead to a deteriorating overall health. Feline weight management can be difficult, because cats that are overweight tend to be less active, and a diet that isn’t approved by a vet can cause serious health complications.

VRC knows how difficult it can be to manage your cat’s weight properly, and we wanted to share some important information to keep in mind regarding feline obesity.

Why Does Your Cat Need to Lose Weight?

If your cat is overweight or obese, he or she will be at a higher risk for many health conditions. Instead of worrying about if your cat will develop a serious medical condition, you should be worried about when it will happen.

Overweight or obese cats are three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than cats with a healthy weight. Type 2 diabetes can be a very serious condition, and it can lead to further medical issues as well. Cats with type 2 diabetes may become dehydrated, depressed, or comatose when left untreated, and may need to visit with a veterinary internist in the Greater Philadelphia area for management. Diabetes can even be fatal in cats.

Heart disease is also a concern in felines that are overweight or obese. The additional weight causes cardiovascular stress, which can lead to heart disease that would need to be addressed by a veterinary cardiologist in the Greater Philadelphia area. Heart disease can lead to heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure include lethargy, unhealthy weight loss, weakness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Eventually, heart failure can cause death.

Orthopedic injuries are common in cats with obesity. These injuries can cause pain and stiffness, as well as permanent damage to joints. It is very important to keep cats at a healthy weight to avoid injuries such as these that can cause chronic pain and a decreased quality of life. Orthopedic injuries can also be debilitating and may require vet surgery at VRC to correct.

Another concern in cats that are overweight or obese is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage cushion in the joints to break down. In turn, bones start to rub together and cause pain, stiff joints, and bone spurs. Over time, you may notice your cat is less active due to the discomfort osteoarthritis causes, which can further exacerbate weight problems.

How to Tell If Your Cat is Overweight or Obese?

VRC’s number one advice for determining whether or not your cat is overweight or obese is visiting your family veterinarian. However, you can also try the following tests at home.

First, cats with a healthy weight have ribs that are easy to feel. Just behind the shoulder blades, run your fingers flat against your cat’s ribcage. If you can’t easily feel individual ribs, your cat may be overweight. Second, at the end of the ribcage, you should be able to see and feel an indentation that creates a similar shape to an hourglass on your cat.

Overweight cats may also have a droopy stomach. The stomach of a healthy cat should feel like it is “tucked up” under the pelvis. This can be the hardest way to test for excess weight or obesity, but imagine that a line extends from your cat’s breastbone to the pelvis. This line should form an angle between 30° and 45°.

If you notice that these conditions are not met, take your cat to a veterinarian for further examination. A vet can quickly tell you if your cat is overweight or obese and help you get started on a path to better health for your pet.

What to Do If Your Cat is Overweight or Obese?

The first thing you should do if your cat is overweight or obese is consult with your veterinarian. Vets have access to resources and knowledge that you might not be able to get. With the help of a veterinarian, you can set up a diet and exercise plan that will reduce your cat’s weight.

Many vets will offer suggestions for getting your cat to be more active. Your vet can help you personalize your cat’s exercise routine to something he or she will be likely to participate in. Playing with your cat for a few minutes a day can dramatically help with weight loss. Take ten minutes in the morning and another ten minutes in the evening to get out some toys and let your cat burn some calories while having fun.

Not all cats like playing with toys, however. If your cat doesn’t like toys, it won’t be beneficial to attempt playtime. Instead, your vet can offer up suggestions like walking your cat or moving your cat’s food bowl to require more physical activity. Feeding your pet from a food puzzle can help your cat lose weight by requiring him or her to work for food.

One great way to help your cat safely lose weight is through a veterinary physical rehabilitation program at VRC. With therapies such as hydrotherapy, vets can safely exercise your cat down to a healthier weight in ways that are easy on delicate joints. In cases where injuries caused by obesity are severe, surgery may be necessary to repair it. After surgery, physical rehabilitation provides a safe way for your pet to heal while still being active enough to lose some of the problem weight during recovery. VRC’s rehabilitation program can help cats lose weight in a safe, injury-free way.

Dieting is very tricky with cats. Putting your cat on a diet can cause him or her to avoid eating altogether. If your cat doesn’t eat for a few days in a row, he or she can be at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis, a life-threatening liver disease sometimes referred to as fatty liver syndrome. Consulting with your vet before restricting or changing food is extremely important in the process of healthy weight loss for your cat. If a food change is necessary, your vet will provide you with a timeline for gradually switching over food formulas.

VRC is well-equipped to assist your cat with losing weight, as well as addressing medical issues that arise from pet obesity. If you believe that you have a cat with weight issues or a resulting medical condition and you live in Greater Philadelphia area, contact VRC at 610-647-2950 today.

What Do Soft Tissue and Orthopedic Surgeries in Pets Entail?

Much like humans, pets can suffer from a number of different painful ailments that may require surgery as treatment. At VRC , our board-certified surgeons are prepared for your pet’s surgical needs, including veterinary soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries.

Dogs and cats of certain breeds may be more prone to diseases and conditions that require surgery at some point during the course of their lives. Whether the problem with your pet is congenital, traumatic or age-related, and either soft tissue or orthopedic, the veterinary surgeons at VRC are ready to help.

VRC is a great option for people near Malvern, Pennsylvania or the Greater Philadelphia area who have pets in need of surgical care. Our team is dedicated to helping treat your beloved pets during all stages of the surgical process.

Orthopedic Surgery

Veterinary orthopedic surgery is used to treat musculoskeletal issues found in pets. If a pet suffers from a traumatic injury that leads to, fractured bone or torn ligament, or if he or she has a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis, your family veterinarian may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for treatment. It’s important to keep in mind that orthopedic surgeries can require multiple follow-up visits and radiographs to monitor progress during recovery.

Soft Tissue Surgery

Veterinary soft tissue surgery encompasses procedures relating to the internal organs, skin and muscle. Some common soft tissue surgeries procedures obstructive intestinal foreign body, shunt, airway, reconstructive, and cancer-related surgeries

One common need for a soft tissue surgery is tumor removal. When a cat or dog has a potentially cancerous mass, it is treated much like tumors in humans, and when possible,  soft tissue surgeons will remove it. Your pet would then meet with an oncologist, if needed, for further care.

What to Do After Your Pet’s Surgery

After a surgical procedure, your dog or cat will require time in the hospital and special care at home. Our surgeons will discuss post-operative care with you during your appointment so you can better understand what the surgery will entail and what care will be needed. While each surgery and pet is different, there are a few common post-operative care tips that can help you make it through.

If our doctors are concerned about your pet’s well-being immediately after surgery, he or she may want to keep your pet at the hospital for a few days. This is normal—especially if the surgery was extensive to make sure they are comfortable and recovered from their anesthesia in the initial post-operative period. However, if you pick your dog or cat up only a few hours after surgery, there are a few things you should expect.

First, your dog or cat will need a lot of rest. The first 12 to 24 hours after surgery, they will likely be groggy and confused. This is a normal side-effect of anesthesia and should wear off after 24 hours or so. After this point, you will need to make sure that your pet continues getting enough rest to heal properly.

To help your pet heal, you will need to make sure that they aren’t too active. It can be helpful to confine them to a small room or pen in your home to prevent them from running around, which can hinder the healing process and even cause infection. You can add blankets or bedding to the room or kennel to make your pet more comfortable.

Even if you have to keep your pet in a restricted area, you need to be able to give him or her plenty of attention. Surgery causes stress for your pets and you can help calm them down by sitting and talking to them. Further stress can affect healing times and require longer confinement.

In most cases, your pet will be prescribed medications for you to administer while he or she recovers. Antibiotics and pain relief medications help your pet to heal properly without infection or severe pain. Dogs that are usually extremely active may also require sedatives. It can be tricky to get cats and dogs to take medications, but it is very important that you find something that works so your pet can get the medication they need. Pill pockets often work wonders for a picky pet.

You will also need to monitor the incision from your pet’s surgery. While you may not need to clean it, you need to check it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t look like it is getting infected and that it is healing properly. You also need to prevent your pet from licking and scratching the incision site. At VRC, we always provide you with an e-collar after surgery to ensure your pet does not aggravate his or her incision. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please give us a call for further instruction.

Especially in the case of orthopedic surgery, your cat or dog may require physical rehabilitation therapy. Our in-house physical rehabilitation center is an ideal way after surgery to get your pet comfortable and moving after surgery.  At VRC, we offer a variety of different rehabilitation services to help get your pet back to his or her normal, pain-free life., Water treadmill, acupuncture, laser therapy, and massage are just a few of the treatments VRC can use to help your pet regain mobility and prevent future injuries, as well as provide pain relief. Physical rehabilitation is also beneficial for the conditioning of canine (and feline!) athletes as well as to keep arthritic pets mobile and active.

Remember that after any kind of surgery, your pet’s surgeon may request subsequent visits to check on your pet’s progress. After each visit, your vet may have new instructions for helping your pet heal. It can be frustrating, but you and your vet have the same goal—getting your pet well. Be honest with your pet’s doctor about what you can and cannot handle, however, as it may affect further treatment plans.

If your vet believes that your cat or dog is suffering from an ailment that requires either orthopedic or soft tissue surgery and you live in the Malvern, Pennsylvania or the Greater Philadelphia area, give VRC a call today at 610-647-2950.