Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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The decision for amputation has been made. Does anyone have any recommendations for a surgeon in Baltimore or DC? The specialist at South Paws in DC had suggested Eileen Snakard in Bowie, MD. Has anyone had experience with her? I really like the folks at Pet-ER in Baltimore, but don't know anything of the surgeon(s) there. Any thoughts or personal experiences would be appreciated! Ted
Don't have one specifically but we posted this in Facebook, hopefully you'll get some tips there too. Good luck and let us know how things are going OK?
28 October 2010
19 March 2013
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to add my experiences for those searching for DC/Baltimore area vets.
My normal veterinary visits are at Kindness Animal Hospital (http://www.kind…..pital.com/) in the Wheaton area of Silver Spring, MD. I find their name appropriate… the staff from top to bottom are very kind and really seem to want to help your pet. I have seen all of the vets there at some point or another, but Dr. Hoffeld is my favorite. When it’s time for an exam, she immediately hops down on the ground in the exam room to my dog’s level. Norah takes to her… she is clearly a dog person and cares a lot.
When more significant procedures need to be done, the work is usually brought to Dr. Zolkiewicz. He seemed to do all of the ultrasound and xray work with Norah, and he made the initial osteosarcoma diagnosis. He is very patient and made several follow up calls over the course of a week to check in on Norah. I also appreciate the fact that he acknowledged that he did not have all of the answers. When his assessment of Norah’s xrays differed with the biopsy lab results and the radiologists assessment, he told me that he felt a second opinion was needed. He referred us to a specialist.
Since Norah’s osteosarcoma diagnosis, we have been going to VCA Veterinary Referral Associates (http://www.vcas…..associates) in Gaithersburg, MD. They are a relatively big animal hospital with a variety of specialists. We initially saw Dr. Hershenson, who is a surgeon. His assessment of Norah’s leg was that it was highly likely to be osteosarcoma, and discussed amputation with us. At this point, we were pretty much convinced that it was the way to go, but we had him do one more set of xrays. These showed that the questionable area grew, so we scheduled the amputation with him. Again, I couldn’t ask for a more responsive veterinarian. He literally called us right after scrubbing out of surgery with Norah. His staff followed up with us several times post-amputation to make sure everything was going well.
Upon having her staples removed, he referred us to Dr. Intile in the oncology department (who happens to be his wife!). I met with Dr. Intile and, like everyone else at VCA, she was very responsive to my questions and concerns and really seemed to care for my dog. We discussed the different chemo options as well as nutrition for Norah. She had some time and I had made a decision on chemo, so they were able to take her back right away and give her the first round of carboplatin right then and there! I was pleased to get it started. Her staff followed up with me by phone to see if Norah’s been having any reactions to the chemo. Again, I couldn’t be more pleased.
I am blessed that I am in a financial position where these things were possible. I feel that VCA is probably more expensive than a regular vet for most procedures, but they are specialists and it is a full service, fully staffed 24/7 animal hospital. They even have a physical therapy department. It is truly impressive, but may not be within reach if money is tight.
The amputation could have been done by Kindness Animal Hospital and it would have been less expensive, but I feel VCA is a higher level of care. I still plan on using Kindness for any other general veterinary needs, however. I would not hesitate to recommend either location for your pets.
Norah is an 8 year old Alaskan Husky. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right hind leg on 3/26/12. She had her amputation on 4/1/13. Chemotherapy (Carboplatin) started on 4/16/13 and she has completed three rounds.
Aww thanks for taking time to come here and share your experience! It’s always so good to hear about everyone’s individual experiences at different clinics.
Dr. Intile is also an author for The Daily Vet, a PetMD blog, a terrific resource for pet pawrents.