Veterinary behavioral medicine is a field of veterinary medicine dedicated to preventing and treating behavior problems in domestic animals. Its goal is to improve the safety and quality of life of pets, their owners, and the general public. Behavioral medicine is evidence-based, which means that the diagnosis and treatment of behavior problems is founded in science’s current understanding of learning, genetics, physiology, and neurology.
Some undesirable behaviors in companion animals are voluntary in origin; this means that the pet performs the behavior either because doing so provides them with a desirable outcome, or not doing so results in an undesirable outcome. For instance, a dog may pull on walks because pulling has been reinforced by movement forward and the opportunity to sniff many interesting odors. Other undesirable behaviors are based in involuntary and sometimes pronounced emotional responses, such as fear and/or stress. As veterinary professionals, behaviorists also evaluate each pet for medical conditions that may contribute to or even cause behavior problems.
Behaviorists treat problems stemming from both voluntary and involuntary causes. The former may include common but undesirable behaviors such as inappropriate toileting, scratching furniture, and inappropriate play in cats. In dogs, it may include lack of housetraining, jumping up, stealing objects, mouthing, barking, pulling on lead, and failure to come when called. Many of these issues can also be addressed by a knowledgeable and humane trainer. Importantly, however, veterinary behaviorists also diagnose and treat problems that derive from stress or fear: separation-related distress, confinement-related distress, marking, inappropriate elimination, aggression, predatory behavior, generalized anxiety disorder, inappropriate social skills, and noise and thunderstorm fear.
Our goal is to help you understand your dog or cat’s behavior, and enable both pet and owner to lead safer, happier lives.
Our Behavioral Medicine Specialist:
Behavioral Medicine Appointments available every Friday.
Dr. Risa Roland: “Cardiologist specialty is actually pretty fantastic. When we see puppies or kitties that have congenital cardiac abnormalities, sometimes we can fix those abnormalities, or palliate them, so that they have a normal quality and quantity of life, so that’s really exciting. And then when we have older animals, it’s actually quite nice as well, because we’ve got animal that a very sick hearts, but we can often give them a good quality of life, for months to even years, so the goal is to give them as much time, and make them feel as fantastic as I can, for as long as I can. So, it’s actually kind of a nice little specialty to have, ’cause it fixes some things, and it makes some things feel better for a period of time, so it’s kinda warm and fuzzy.”
Dr. Michael Miller: “Many cases come to me with symptoms of suspected heart disease, and after our diagnostic workup, we find out that the heart is not the problem. And very often, in my echocardiograms, I will look at other parts of the body to make sure that there’s no congestion or fluid backup, and I’ll see something. And that will allow me to offer other specialists to fine tune what we see. For instance, I would refer to a radiologist, to detect cancer, or tumor cells in the abdomen, and there the radiologist would refer them to one of our surgeons here, for definitive surgery. So, it’s very rewarding, because very often it turns out not to be a heart case, but we’re able to fine tune what the diagnosis is, and to help that patient, even though it turns out to be something not from our specialty.”
Dr. Risa Roland: “It’s not only a service in and of itself, but it’s also a consultation service. So, anytime you have an animal that has some sort of abnormality, a heart murmur, an abnormal heartbeat or what have you, that means, let’s say, surgery with Dr. Cavill, or one of the other surgeons, or internal medicine that has to give chemotherapy agents that effect the heart, they always need consultations with cardiologists first to make sure things are safe and if they’re not safe, how to go about changing therapies to make it safe for that animal. So, it’s actually very integral in veterinary medicine as a whole, and interacts with all of the specialties almost on a daily basis.”
Dr. Michael Miller: “Clients don’t want their pets to suffer, they’re very concerned not only about the diagnosis and what the problem is, but about their pet’s suffering. And my goal is to, again, diagnose the problem, with attempted medical treatment, or surgical treatment if necessary, but, again, to really focus on giving their pet the best quality of life possible. I let them know that we’re on the same page, I don’t want their pet to suffer, we’re not gonna do anything experimental, all of our medicines are established in the field, with the goal of giving their pet the best quality of life.”
Dr. Risa Roland: “Metropolitan is fantastic, because we have all the specialties here, and everyone works really really well together. And so, you never feel as if you’ve got a client on the cardiology service, versus the surgery service, versus internal medicine versus derm, you know at any one time if something changes with that patient, as often times it does, you know, I’ve got a chronic cardiology patient that needs a derm consult, I know that they’re gonna get to see the dermatologist. So it’s kinda nice that way, because there’s cohesiveness in each one of your cases. And it’s just a fun place to be, everyone’s really nice to each other, and we work really well with each other. We joke around, we have a good time. And at the same time we practice really good, high quality medicine, which is what, you know, we signed up for veterinary medicine to do.”
Your pet may be referred for cardiac consultation if your veterinarian suspects an underlying heart condition is present or a heart condition has been diagnosed and may help evaluate the heart prior to treatment of other diseases in the body that may affect the heart. Heart disease may be suspected based on your pet’s symptoms (coughing, rapid or difficult breathing, fainting) or abnormal physical examination findings (heart murmer or abnormal heart rhythm). Heart disease may lead to heart failure and early evaluation can be very important.
The cardiology service offers expertise in heart disease evaluation and diagnosis, heart failure and arrhythmia management and interventional cardiology. We specialize in acquired cardiac diseases (such as chronic valvular disease, dilated cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), as well as cardiac manifestations of systemic disease. We are proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease, including catheter-based treatment of patent ductus arteriousus and pulmonic stenosis as an alternative to surgery. We also offer interventional management of acquired diseases such as tracheal collapse and portosystemic shunts. Most importantly, we provide a love for the field, thorough and compassionate patient care and open communication with our referring veterinarians. We’re available for consultation with all in-house veterinary services and we are happy to consult with referring veterinarians over the phone about cardiac cases!
Your appointment will include a cardiac history evaluation, a complete cardiac physical examination, thorough explanation of diagnostic test results, an explanation of the disease and prognosis, and an explanation of drug therapy and side effects.
Our diagnostic capabilities include:
- Echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound)
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
- Radiographic Interpretation
- Blood pressure management
- Holter monitoring
Cardiac interventional procedures:
Adequate oral care is an important part in the management of the overall health of your pet. Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. An astounding 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three according to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). Common indications of oral disease include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, drooling or dropping food from the mouth, loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar, pawing at the face or mouth, and depression. After a thorough examination we will discuss treatment options and recommendations. Services performed include:
- Dental radiographs, cleanings
- Periodontics (gum disease)
- Endodontics (root canals)
- Orthodontics (correction of malocclusion)
- Restorative dentistry
- General oral surgery
- Jaw fracture repair
- Oral neoplasia therapy
Our Dental Specialist:
Appointments & Surgery available 4 days a week
Dr. Karen Farver: “In dermatology, we see all things that are skin and allergy, which could be auto-immune disease, it could be resistant infection, but the main focus is on allergy and we really like to focus on the diagnostic approach of intradermal skin testing, and then treating that. And by doing an intradermal skin test, which is similar to what human MDs do, which is skin prick test, we get reliable results that allow us to treat the patient. When you have allergic dermatitis, it can be a lifelong problem, and that can be very concerning to the client, and our main focus is to make sure that the dog is comfortable, that it fits in with the client, within their situation, within their budget, and each case is different, and we really try to focus on the patient and the client, making sure that it’s focused for them and it’s not just a cookbook situation. Here at Metropolitan, we really are focused on the patient and the client, and we want to give the best service. We are involved in research in dermatology, where we have clinical trials going on for clients that have tried everything, and who’ve gone through everything and it’s something that we can offer them that a lot of places do not offer, and there’s no cost to the client, which is nice for them. I think our staff here is absolutely excellent and at the top of their field and very focused on the client and the patient.”
A veterinary dermatologist has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of animals with benign and malignant disorders of the skin, ears, hair, and nails. They have extensive training and expertise in immunology and are experienced at treating allergies. Some of the disorders that a dermatologist treats includes allergic induced skin disease, chronic ear infections, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disease, peri-anal furunculosis, cancer of the skin, and parasitic infections.
During your ninety-minute appointment our veterinary dermatologist Karen Farver, DVM, ACVD, will take a detailed history and may perform many specialized procedures including intradermal allergy skin testing with the gold standard, Greer Laboratories allergens; microscopic examination and interpretation of skin biopsies, aspirates, cytologic smears, fungal cultures, skin scrapings; and fibro-optic video magnified evaluation of the otic canal and middle ear.
Treatment methods offered at MVA’s dermatology and allergy clinic include: in-house customized allergy vaccine, intense allergy hyposensitization management which includes client consultation throughout the hyposensitization process including vaccine frequency, concentration, and duration modifications. We also perform video fibro-optic otoscopic ear flushes, design treatment protocols to manage chronic infections and reduce reliance on steroids, and in hospital rush immunotherapy to speed the hyposensitization process. Excellent communication with the client is the goal of MVA’s allergy and dermatology service.
- Allergy induced skin disease
- Chronic ear infections
- Autoimmune diseases
- Endocrine disease
- Peri-anal furunculosis
- Cancer of the skin
- Parasitic infections
Our Dermatological Specialist:
Karen B. Farver, DVM, DACVD
Appointment & Procedures available 4 days a week
Dr. Marisa Suvannavejh: “On the emergency service we work as a team. We all are passing notes between each other trying to make sure that there is continuity of care between all of our patients and we work with a specialist too to try to help us to get more information about our patients and to make sure that we’re giving everything the best care that we could possibly have.”
Dr. Owen Fink: “On the emergency service we’re pretty comfortable handling a lot of routine cases but when things get complicated or certainly we’re getting over our heads we consult or we transfer cases to the specialists.”
Dr. James Buckman: “There’s a great resource pool here. If I don’t know how to do something I can go ask the next person who’s done it many, many times before and vice versa and we all work together well that way. It’s very easy.”
Dr. Owen Fink: “We focus a lot I think as a practice and on the emergency service on communicating with clients very regularly and it’s actually very, I hear commonly from owners, ‘Oh I wish that when I’d been in the hospital or when my human family member had been in the hospital they had as good strong communication with the doctors.’”
Dr. Marisa Suvannavejh: “The way that I think about every single patient that comes into this hospital is the way that I would want my own animal to be treated. So any animal that’s here is gonna get the same care that I would provide to my own pet. I know that they’re family members. So, any animal who’s here in the hospital is going to be comfortable and well cared for.”
MVA’s emergency and critical care services are available every day of the year twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We offer our veterinary clients the highest-level emergency veterinary medicine, emergency veterinary surgery and critical care for their pets.
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY call your regular veterinarian. Many area veterinary hospitals refer emergency calls to us in the evenings and on weekends and holidays.
Please call MVA at 610-666-1050 before coming. Even in a dire emergency the staff may be able to suggest immediate first aid measures and give you specific travel directions to the hospital. In addition the staff will be able to prepare for your animal’s arrival and care based on this initial estimation of your pet’s situation. To aid our staff in swift, accurate diagnosis, our facility is equipped for blood analysis, radiology, cardiac EKG’s, as well as many routine diagnostic procedures.
Like a human emergency room, we work on a triage basis to decide which patients are in most immediate need of care. Unfortunately, like the ER there is often a wait. Our patients are triaged upon arrival. We see patients based on the life threatening nature of their problems. It is possible that patients who arrive after you will be seen first. It is possible that patients who are seen before you may not appear to be injured or sick. However, there are often things happening to these patients that require immediate attention. This is why we triage.
What to Expect:
- We get an initial estimation of your pet’s situation from your phone call to us.
- If your pet is not in an immediate crisis situation, we will ask you to complete our Admissions Form. One of our nurses will assess your pet as quickly as possible.
- Pets with life-threatening conditions are brought immediately into our treatment area. We understand that separating you from your pet may be very upsetting. We ask for your patience while we begin treatment. In these cases, the doctor will stabilize your pet before discussing the condition with you. Clients are not allowed into the treatment area during this time.
Dr. James Dougherty: “In total medicine is the study of the diseases of the body for the most part. So we deal with diseases of the lungs, diseases of the liver, the reproductive system if they have one, the intestinal tract, the urinary tract.”
Dr. John DeBiasio: “It is a very interesting field. I think of all the specialties it is the least defined. So there’s always something new. Always, there’s not as many typical cases for instance. So no two cases seem to present the same way. There’s a lot of detective work that goes into it. And I really like to think about things and mull over and look at a lot of different ways that a case can go one way or the other. And try to figure things out.”
Dr. James Dougherty: “In this building, for internal medicine, not only do we have all the radiology equipment that’s run by Petra, we have the standard radiograph machine, we have the CT scanner, and then in conjunction with the MRI people, we have an MRI in here as well. We also have a full suite of endoscopic equipment, so there’s a whole compliment of endoscopes, so we can pretty much scope any area that from the nose, mouth, upper GI tract, lower GI tract, urinary tract. We have a number of ultrasound machines here. Most of the time we use the radiologist for that. But often times we’ll use it as well, to help us get urine samples or other samples that we might be aspirating.”
Dr. John DeBiasio: “Internal medicine is one of the, I would say, core specialties in that a lot of the other sub specialties rely on us as sort of the deciding, in terms of where it goes.”
Dr. James Dougherty: “Something comes in, and it’s coming into internal medicine and we notice something that’s not quite right neurologically, then we just find Dr. Northington and he’s always very willing to take a look, do a neurologic exam, tell us what he thinks about that, find a skin lesion, we’ll go to Dr. Farver, ask the dermatologist what does she think that is, what should we do about it, how can we treat it, she’ll consult, usually right on the spot. And most of the doctors will consult right on the spot.”
Dr. John DeBiasio: “We’ll commonly bounce ideas off each other, a case will come in for one of the surgeons and then they’ll find a problem that is not just surgical and they’ll want that worked up. When we work closely together, it’s very easy to consult with each other, here we all work very well together and are very friendly together here.”
A small animal internal medicine specialist can provide health care for your pet when you and your pet’s regular veterinarian decide it would be advantageous to seek more aggressive diagnostic tests, therapeutic interventions, and/or a second opinion. Our internists, John V. DeBiasio, DVM, DACVIM, Leslie A. Kuczynski, VMD, DACVIM, Tabitha A. Hutton, DVM, MTR, DACVIM(SAIM) and James F. Dougherty, MS, VMD have advanced knowledge of internal diseases including those involving the stomach and intestine, kidneys, bladder, endocrine system (including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and Addison’s disease), liver, respiratory conditions, diseases of the heart and lungs, and cancer treatment in dogs and cats.
Due to their advanced training beyond veterinary school they are also skilled in diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that include endoscopic procedures of the esophagus, stomach, intestines, nasal cavity and urinary tract. Additionally, ultrasound of the abdomen and heart, contrast radiographic studies, ultrasound guided biopsies, bone marrow aspirates and biopsies are regularly performed. It is the appropriate interpretation of these results that allows implementation of a solid treatment plan for your pet.
Your initial ninety minute appointment with an internist will include a detailed review of your pet’s history, a thorough physical examination, and a discussion of recommended diagnostic and treatment plans for your pet. Most diagnostics not requiring general anesthesia can be performed the same day as your appointment as well as any treatment that may be required. We strive to work with you, your pet, and family doctor to provide the best possible care and help to provide answers needed to make informed decisions.
MVA offers a full range of cardiac as well as non-cardiac interventional radiology procedures. Interventional radiology involves the use of contemporary imaging methods (primarily video x-ray, called fluoroscopy) to gain access to different structures of the pet’s body for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons without the need for traditional surgery.
Our Diagnostic Capabilities Include:
- Diagnostic Fluoroscopy
- Diagnostic Angiography
- Tracheal Stent Placement
- Urethral and Ureteral Stent Placement
- Portosystemic Shunt Embolization
- Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy
- Arterio-Venous Fistula Embolization
- Catheter Retrieval
Our Interventional Radiology Specialist:
Minimally Invasive Surgery
MVA’s arthroscopy services provide a level of minimally invasive care that has typically only been available to humans. Arthroscopy provides excellent magnified visualization of the joint surfaces through a large range of motion, which enhances the ability to diagnose and treat a multitude of intra-articular pathologies. Arthroscopy has become the gold standard for diagnosing and treating intra-articular disease, and we are excited to be offering this service to our small animal patients.
We offer diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopic procedures for all joints. Arthroscopic procedures may be performed in patients as small as cats and toy breed dogs all the way up to giant breed dogs.
Some of the common conditions that can be diagnosed and treated arthroscopically include:
- Osteochondrosis (OCD) of the shoulder, elbow, stifle and hock
- Elbow dysplasia – including medial coronoid fragmentation (FCP), traumatic FCP (jump down syndrome), ununited anconeal process (UAP), OCD, end stage osteoarthritis.
- Medial shoulder instability (rotator cuff injury), biceps tendon injuries, glenoid fractures, OCD, end stage osteoarthritis
- Cruciate ligament disease of the stifle for confirmation of suspected early partial tears, debridement of the torn cruciate and meniscal injuries as indicated prior to stabilization using an extracapsular repair or tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), latent meniscal injuries,
Dr. Jerry Northington: “I’m Dr. Jerry Northington. Practice limited veterinary neurology here at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates. When I was a senior student in veterinary school, one of my professors was the man who wrote one of the very first veterinary neurology textbooks. And he introduced me to a field and a world that I’d never know. I was fascinated. So, I’ve followed it ever since. The original practice was three veterinarians and a staff of four. Soon after, we’ve added dermatology and ophthalmology. And then over the course of years, we’ve expanded the surgery section. We’ve developed our own emergency service. The growth is just an almost exponential on the course of years. Truly, it’s been amazing to watch. The exam rooms are right down the hallway. So any time we have a question, we can just take a pet down the hallway and get somebody else to have a look. One of the reasons we all work together is that we like that kind of cooperative interaction. None of us knows everything there is to know. But we’re all pretty good about our little corner. Pretty much all of us have the same feeling. We try to treat people the way we’d want to be treated if we were the one bringing our pet in to their place. We look at their pets as though it was our pet. We don’t recommend things we wouldn’t do for our own animal. We do our best to be human beings in addition to being veterinarians. Over the course of years, I’ve had a chance to visit and spend time with other practices. For me, personally, this has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. I’ve had a great career. I’ve done a lot of different things. I’ve not always been in private practice. The feeling around here is a good one. It’s nice that people get along. It’s a wonderful place to work. I can’t imagine being any place else.”
The nervous system, comprising the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, is a very complex and sensitive system. Our pets can suffer a wide array of neurological and neuromuscular disorders that are treatable with the expertise of a veterinary neurologist. Some of these problems may manifest themselves as seizures, limb paralysis, weakness, balance disorders, vision disorders, and pain.
Animals experience many of the same brain, spinal cord, nerve, and muscle problems that humans face, including epilepsy, concussions, spinal cord injuries resulting from slipped discs or spinal fractures, and tumors.
In addition to performing neurological examinations, neurologists also utilize advanced diagnostic techniques using Myelography, Computed tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sampling and analysis, muscle and nerve biopsy, BAER testing to evaluate hearing, and electric nerve impulse tests to diagnose conditions. These procedures can identify the problem and guide the neurologist towards an appropriate treatment plan for your pet.
Our Neurology Specialist:
Appointments & Procedures available 4 days a week
MRI available 7 days week
Our Oncology team concentrates on the care of patients diagnosed with cancer. A focus is placed on education to help owners understand their pet’s condition in order to make the most informed decision possible regarding treatment. Advanced cancer therapies are used to treat patients, and recommendations may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Treatment plans also consider all aspects of the pet’s health including pain relief, nutrition, and complementary therapies. By aggressively managing patient discomfort and any possible side effects, we anticipate that many pets will enjoy a higher quality of life than they did prior to diagnosis.
Our Oncology Specialists:
Appointments available 5 days a week
Dr. Stephen Gross: “In the Veterinary Ophthalmology world we’ve been doing this kind of specialty work probably for the last 40 years. And we do almost everything that can be done in the human world. We do cataract surgery the exact same way that it’s done in people. We deal with glaucoma, injuries to eyes and other eyelid abnormalities that are birth defects in many different breeds of dogs.”
Dr. Amanda Corr: “We see a lot of problems that are isolated to the eye but really are a manifestations of something going on in the rest of the body. So I think that we work really well as part of the team. There are even some surgeries that we do in conjunction with the surgeons, depending on what’s going on. And, like I said, a lot of the cases that we look at, we see the eye problem, but we know there’s something else going on in the rest of the body. So it’s nice to have Internists here, to help do full systemic workups.”
Dr. Stephen Gross: “The Neurologist works very closely with the Ophthalmologist as the optic nerves, and nerves going to the brain are really an extension of the brain. We also deal with Dermatology, the eyelids have many eye skin problems. And Internal Medicine because the general health of the animal is often reflected in the eye. Issues and aging of high blood pressure can often be first looked at in the very back of the eye where we’re looking at the blood vessels of the retina. The types of surgery we do in Veterinary Ophthalmology often involve specialized equipment. Here we have the operating microscope, which is an absolute necessity when we’re doing very fine work within the eye, on the surface of the eye.”
Dr. Amanda Corr: “We’re compassionate about animals, and we’re compassionate about the love the owners have for their animals and that you can’t separate the two.”
Dr. Stephen Gross: “We have to be up close and personal with them using instruments to actually look within their eyes. The animals, if you just take your time and are very slow and work with them in a calm way, seem to be quite trusting.”
Dr. Amanda Corr: “Hopefully they see us be tender and gentle with their pets and they know that we have our own pets and we understand what they’re going through. And that we would be doing the same thing for their pet that we would do for our own pet. So hopefully they can just tell in our mannerisms and that I think we are all really good about taking the extra time to care and listen and understand people’s concerns when it comes to their pets.”
Dr. Stephen Gross: “The great thing about Metropolitan is that everyone is here. All the different specialties are here. We all know each other for many years, we’re friends, we co-operate, work together to try to have everything done at once on the pets. Treat them as efficiently as we can, with the highest quality we can.”
MVA is proud to announce the addition of a state-of-the-art Alcon Centurion Vision System for the treatment of cataracts in companion animals! Learn more about the Centurion Vision System.
Animals suffer from eye problems that are similar to those which affect humans. These problems include cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, corneal ulceration, tumors of the eye, eyelid defects, inflammation of the eye and surrounding tissues, retinal degeneration, and many others. Owners may notice a loss of vision, a change in appearance of the eye, discharge, pain, or a combination of these symptoms. Most cases seen by a veterinary ophthalmologist are referred by a general practice veterinarian. This individual is in the best position to provide an initial examination and determine if referral to a specialist is indicated.
Veterinary ophthalmologists, like Amanda Corr, VMD, DACVO, have advanced knowledge, techniques, and equipment necessary to provide specialty eye care to your pet. Your appointment will involve a comprehensive ophthalmic examination as well as treatment option recommendations. Cataract surgery is performed in pets with the exact technique and equipment used in human cataract surgery. The veterinary ophthalmologist may be able to preserve or restore vision, treat a painful eye, or diagnose a troubling ophthalmic condition.
Typical Ophthalmological Problems:
- Dry eye
- Corneal ulceration
- Tumors of the eye
- Eyelid defects
- Retinal degeneration
Our Ophthalmology Specialists:
Appointments available 4 days a week
Procedures & Surgery available 2 days a week
Dr. Robert McLear: “It used to be that radiologists basically just looked at radiographs which a lot of people will refer to as X-rays. These days a radiologist will, that’s a big part of the job doing interpretation of radiographs but we also do CT or cat scans, MRI, nuclear medicine, and ultrasounds. Those are all modalities that a radiologist is trained in. As far as nuclear medicine goes, we do radio-iodine therapy for cats with feline hyperthyroidism. So we’re dealing with radioactive materials to basically do direct treatment of a condition that otherwise has to be managed with surgery or medication. Radiology ends up being a fairly central part of a lot of the patient workups I deal with. The specialists, the surgeons have a lot of cases where there are tumors or other abnormalities that need to be worked up and we do additional imaging like CT and ultrasound. Ultrasound is a big part of a lot of the internal medicine workups. Occasionally I’ll be working with the veterinary dentists or the ophthalmologists to work up their cases and so yeah, with very few exceptions I interact with all of the specialists on some level pretty much everyday. It’s a very collegial atmosphere. Everybody takes their jobs very seriously but we also have a lot of fun. Easy to work with everyone and everybody from the specialists to the nurses to even the support staff are very focused on patient care and I think it shows. I mean I think that we have very good results and in general we have very happy clients.”
Radiology is the specialty of directing medical imaging technologies to diagnose and sometimes treat diseases. Radiography involves the use of X-rays to produce radiographs. Following extensive training, veterinary radiologists also direct other imaging technologies such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine to treat disease.
Computed tomography (CT) imaging, in cooperation with PetRad, is available on-site at MVA. A CT uses X-rays in conjunction with computing algorithms to image the body. Radiocontrast agents are often used with CT for enhanced delineation of anatomy and angiography. With computer manipulation, CT images can be reconstructed into 3D images.
Nuclear medicine involves the administration of radiopharmaceuticals like Iodine-131. Hyperthyroidism in cats can be cured with radioactive iodine therapy. This treatment is very safe and very effective. Radioactive iodine has a high cure rate (over 95% of cats are cured after a single treatment) and is given as a single injection under the skin (similar to how a vaccine is given). After treatment your cat needs to stay in a special isolation area until the radioactive iodine is cleared. Most cats stay for about three days. During this time you will be unable to visit, but your cat will be well cared for and you will be given daily updates. A state of the art ultrasound machine is used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, their size, structure and any pathological lesions with real time tomographic images. Ultrasound has been used to image the human body for at least 50 years. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. Ultrasounds performed by our radiologist usually last about twenty minutes. Although you will not be present for your pet’s ultrasound, you can rest assured that your pet is in the best of hands.
Dr. Timothy Schwab – “The surgery department here at Metropolitan is great in that we work with everybody to provide the best surgical care for all of our patients.”
Dr. Jacqui Niles – “It’s one of the biggest areas, one of the busiest areas of the practice, but it meshes with all the other areas. You can’t have surgery without medicine, You can’t have medicine without surgery. So, you know, all of the different areas and different specialties work together because there’s such a crossover. Nothing is black and white, nothing is purely one problem.”
Dr. Catherine Popovitch: “We all have our areas of interest that we’re, tend to be good at and like to do. And again, we all work together and try and provide new kind of broad-spectrum care for the patients.”
Dr. Jon Nannos: “Well, we have all similar equipment to what’s used on the human side. We have a CT scanner, we have x-ray machines, we have an MRI unit, ultrasound. We use the same surgical equipment that’s used on the human side, the same implants that go into people, to fix fractures we use in our dogs and cats. So it really is as close to human medicine as we can get.
Dr. Catherine Popovitch: “The patients here certainly get a very comprehensive case management when they’re in the hospital.”
Dr. Lori Cabell: “It’s important to those people to know that while they’re here, that their pet is being treated very similar to, or in some respects, even better than they might get in a human hospital sometimes. And so, I think that compassion and the ability to provide comfort to the pet, to the pets while they’re here, through the nursing staff all the way up through the doctors and the receptionist is a very important part of what we do here.”
Dr. Jon Nannos: “We treat the clients’ pets like they’re our own pets, and we treat our own pets like they’re part of the family. Everybody plays with them, pets them, talks to them. And so, they just become part of our extended family.”
Dr. Timothy Schwab – “From the time people walk in the door to the time their animals are discharged, they’re always getting great care, compassionate care. And it’s the only place that’s I’ve ever worked that I can say that the animals are loved as much as they were at home.”
Difficult surgical cases may be best managed by a specialist. Possessing the instruction, expertise and equipment to perform the most demanding procedures, a residency trained surgeon can help the family veterinarian provide the best possible care to the patient. Rapid advances in the veterinary profession can make it difficult for veterinarians to remain current with recent developments in techniques and technologies required to manage some of today’s complex surgical problems.
The veterinary surgeons on staff, Kendra Hearon, VMD, DACVS-SA, ACVS Fellow, Surgical Oncology, A. Jon Nannos, DVM, Jacqui Niles, BVetMed, SAS, ACVS, Catherine Popovitch, DVM, ACVS, ECVS, Timothy M. Schwab, VMD, ACVS-SA and Rebecca Wolf, VMD, ACVS-SA commonly perform many types of soft-tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures. Referral consultations are seen on an appointment basis. Consultations are often in reference to cruciate ligament injuries, luxating patellas, and limb amputations. Be sure to bring any medical records to your appointment including laboratory results and X-rays.
This will enable the surgical specialist to be properly informed as to your pet’s history and the scope of the current problem. This information in addition to an examination of your pet will enable the surgeon to make appropriate recommendations. Continuity of care between the surgical specialist and your family veterinarian ensures the best possible outcome for your pet.
Our Surgery Specialists:
Kendra Hearon, VMD, DACVS-SA, ACVS Fellow, Surgical Oncology
A. Jon Nannos, DVM
Jacqui Niles, BVETMed, SAS, DACVS
Catherine Popovitch, DVM, DACVS, ECVS
Timothy M. Schwab, VMD, DACVS-SA
Rebecca Wolf, VMD, DACVS-SA
Appointments available 6 days a week
Procedures & Surgery available 5 days a week
Emergency Surgery available 7 days a week