News & Events

News and Events

Emergency Medicine and Critical Care for Your Pet

Cats and dogs can get colds and tummy aches, just like we can. But the difference is, our pets can’t communicate with us. They can’t tell us they want a cup of tea or some aspirin, or a warm blanket to cuddle up with—we just have to watch them carefully and make sure they’re getting what they need when they seem a little under the weather.

But, also just like us, there’s a difference for your pets between being “a little under the weather” and being really sick. When a pet is seriously unwell, it’s best to schedule them an immediate appointment with an emergency vet.

Just like being a parent, being a pet-owner means being on-call sometimes. emergency Vet careKnowing a good 24-hour critical care veterinarian is a crucial part of pet ownership, for those late-night moments when something goes really wrong, like an injury or sudden illness.

Always seek out a 24-hour vet if your pet is experiencing difficulty breathing, exhibiting shallow breathing, or choking. VRC has an excellent Respiratory and Critical Care specialist center that can help at these times. Other essential reasons to consider an urgent care clinic for your pet is if they are struck by a car, projectile, or if they are cut or burned. These injuries, especially being struck or burned, can lead to shock—which is a very real threat. Signs of shock include cold extremities, shivering, an abnormal heart rate, pale membranes in the mouth or around the nose, and general weakness.

Other times an emergency vet is necessary: if your animal is experiencing difficulty urinating, or is producing no urine, if they will not eat on their own, or if they are having a seizure. Also, any pet that does not recover well from anesthesia, from an earlier surgery, or who is not recovering well post-op may need to see an emergency veterinary specialist in Philadelphia.

The best thing to keep in mind when you find yourself in need of critical care for pets is this: you are not a vet! If you have concerns or questions, don’t diagnose them yourself—or worse yet, consult the Internet in a time of panic. But that said, it’s always better not to put things off—you’ll sleep better, anyway—so just get on the phone and give the emergency vet clinic a call. They’ll give you the advice you need, when you need it.

A good emergency vet is there for you and for your pet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 356 days a year. VRC in Malvern, PA, only 25 miles from Philadelphia, provides emergency medicine and critical care for pets, because we know that accidents, illnesses, and emergencies don’t take holidays.

VRC in Malvern, PA is a comprehensive, specialty veterinary healthcare clinic for pets in the Philadelphia area. If you are in need of critical care for your pet, give us a call at (610) 647-2950, 24/7, 365 days a year, for answers to your questions.

How to Help Your Pet Recover from Surgery or Trauma

Whether it’s getting your cat spayed or neutered, or patching up your pup after an encounter with a local porcupine or coyote, or helping your pet through cancer, the fact of the matter is… pets sometimes require surgery. It’s never fun, but it’s often necessary—and the road to recovery can be just as long as with people.

Unfortunately, with pets, you can’t explain to them what’s happening. They can become stressed and upset because they have no idea why their beloved owner is doing this or that to them, even if you as their guardian know that what you’re doing will help. Anyone who’s ever tried to give a cat something as simple as eye drops knows how challenging it can be to treat an animal. You can’t make them understand that the things you are doing are for their rehabilitation, or helping them manage their pain. It’s troubling time for owners, but we here at VRC are here to help.

Understand & Follow Your Take Home Instructions

Pet LossWhen your pet needs a surgery, the best thing you can do is get informed. Listen to your veterinarian, and make sure you understand everything he or she is telling you about the procedure. This can begin with letting your pet recover in the best way, even if it means not rushing in to the recovery room after surgery to see them! That can be tough, but trust your vet. Those first few hours after surgery can be crucial.

Once you’ve seen your pet, and are on the way to taking them back home, your vet will give you aftercare instructions. The best thing you can do at this point for pet rehabilitation is go over the aftercare a few times with your vet, and make sure you understand all of it. And, if there’s something you don’t think you can manage, due to your work schedule or perhaps a small child in your home, ask your vet about outpatient support for you and your pet.

Follow Vet’s Instructions

LebelUpon getting your pet home and settled, be sure to follow your vet’s instructions. Even if your dog hates crate rest, your vet’s advice should be followed. Same goes for cats who may be cranky about having their outside time restricted—while listening to your cat complain and scrabble at the door may seem like an avoidable annoyance, it may mean the difference between life and death, especially if post-surgery your vet has recommended pain management for pets in the form of painkillers. These can slow your pet’s reflexes!

Consider Professional Pet Rehabilitation

VRC.5.15_0907At VRC we have a rehabilitation center designed to treat all your pet’s rehabilitation and recovery needs. We specialize in recovery from surgery and trauma, and pay attention to things such as weight management, pain management, and rehabilitative therapies. We offer a range of treatments including hydrotherapy, laser therapy, acupuncture, massage, therapeutic ultrasound, and exercise sessions in a canine-designed gym. We believe in the power of rehabilitation when it comes to improving your beloved pet’s strength, range of motion, and mobility. Just 25 miles outside of Philadelphia in Malvern, PA, at VRC you can expect a comprehensive plan for pain management in your pet as well as a holistic approach to his or her rehabilitation.

If your pet is recovering from surgery, or in need of pain management, get in touch with us today. VRC Specialty Hospital will develop a plan to ease this troubling time for you and your pet.

What You Can Do When Your Pet is Suspected of Having Cancer

You looked up the telltale signs and symptoms online. You took your pet in to their veterinarian. Now you’ve gotten the diagnosis… and it seems like your pet has cancer.

It’s something no pet owner wants to hear, but unfortunately, our dogs and cats are just as susceptible to this disease as we are. Pets are such a large part of their owners’ lives, that our reactions to hearing the news can be similar to when we hear about a human friend with cancer… people experience grief, panic, confusion. We here at VRC understand this unfortunate part of pet guardianship, and we also understand that you’ll have questions—up to and including the biggest, scariest question of all: “what should I do next?”

Get A Consult with a Veterinary Oncologist

The best thing to do when you hear your pet has cancer is to get a consult with a veterinary oncologist. Sometimes, this can take the form of a biopsy, but not all cancers are able to be biopsied. There are other ways to determine the nature of your pet’s cancer other than biopsies, such as x-rays, MRIs, and so on. Not all veterinarians have access to such things, and it may be that you need to find one with access to advanced cancer assessment technologies. Pet oncology is crucial, when it seems like your pet might have cancer, and take it from us—a multidisciplinary approach will help you treat your pet’s cancer comprehensively.

Develop A Cancer Treatment Plan For Your Pet

Once you and your vet understand the extent of the cancer, then it’s time to determine a treatment plan. There are often multiple ways of approaching treating pet cancer, including surgical removal, chemotherapy, or radiation. Sometimes we use a combination of these treatments.  Rest assured, at VRC we strive to offer a multi-disciplinary approach to ease your pet’s discomfort and promote their healing.

With pet cancer, the goal is of course to cure it, if possible, but sometimes slowing the progression of the illness is all we can do, prolonging your pet’s life while making sure quality of life is not compromised. That’s why it’s so essential to develop a treatment plan tailored to your pet and your pet’s disease.

We here at VRC Specialty Hospital are committed to developing treatment plans for pets to help treat cancer in pets. We’re specialists who utilize a host of technologies and approaches to cancer in pets, such as diagnostic imaging, medical and radiation oncology, and surgical oncology. Additionally VRC can provide holistic medical approaches such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. Just because your pet has been diagnosed with cancer doesn’t mean it’s a death sentence—cancer in pets can be successfully treated, and that’s what we specialize in at our center in Malvern, PA.

If you’re looking for help regarding your pet’s cancer diagnosis, call VRC in Malvern, PA today at 610.647.2950 for a comprehensive, specialty approach to your questions.

Summer Pet Safety Tips

It’s that time of the year where we all love being outside enjoying the summer, including our furry friends. But just like you, they feel the heat and it’s important to make sure they’re taken care of in the hot summer sun.

Here are some tips to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort:

1. Understand your breed

Although all dogs should follow these guidelines in the summer heat, some breeds are more susceptible to heat induced problems than others.

  • English Bulldogs
  • French Bulldogs
  • Pekingese
  • Boxers
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzu’s
  • Boston Terriers
  • Any brachycephalic dogs (dogs with flat faces)

2. Be cool, drink plenty of water

When planning a trip to the park with your pet, pack plenty of fresh, clean water. Although different breeds tolerate heat differently, pets can dehydrate very easily!

It’s important to take time out in the shade and cool down. We recommend spending at least 15 minutes in the shade cooling down for every hour that you’re out in the sun.

3.  Stay alert, understand the symptoms of overheating

Be careful to not over-exercise your pets and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot or humid. It is safest to exercise with your pet in the cooler hours of the day, either early morning or in the evening.

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting

4. Never leave your pet in the car alone!

Please never leave your pet alone in the car. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can reach over 120 degrees in less than 10 minutes. On a 90 degree day, temperatures can reach over 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

5. Party Smart!

We all love our summer pool parties and barbecues, just try to remember some of the dangers these parties can bring to your pet. Some of these tips seem like common sense, but it never hurts to have a little reminder!

  • Not all dogs are good swimmers, do not leave pets unattended by the pool
  • Keep your pet away from the grilling supplies. Charcoal, lighter fluid, matches etc.
  • Keep all food and beverages out of reach. Corn on the cob and ribs seem to be the main culprits in these emergency situations.
  • Make sure all garbage cans are secure and stowed away. Your curious and hungry furry friend does not care that all the corn is off the cob, he or she will still make a dashing attempt at these tasty garbage snacks.


We hope these tips allow you and your pet to have a safe and enjoyable rest of summer!