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.
Appointments are available every Friday starting in July.
Our Behavioral Medicine Specialists:
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 by, Corinne Durand, DVM, 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
Corinne Durand, DVM
Appointments & Surgery available 4 days a week
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
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.
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:
Risa Roland, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)
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,
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 Specialists:
Melissa Logan, Ph.D, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology)
Appointments & Procedures available 4 days a week
MRI available 7 days week
Our Oncology service 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 Specialist:
Suzanne Rau, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology)
Appointments available 4 days a week
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:
Amanda Corr, VMD, DACVO
Appointments available 4 days a week
Procedures & Surgery available 2 days week
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.
PetRad has a dedicated imaging center and radiologist, Robert C. McLear, VMD, ACVR, within Metropolitan Veterinary Associates offering computed tomography (CT), digital radiography, ultrasound, and Iodine-131 radiotherapy.
Computed tomography (CT) imaging, in cooperation with PetRad, is available on-site at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates. 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.
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, 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
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