OUR SERVICES


Veterinary Specialties Services is a multi-specialty referral-only practice committed to providing advanced veterinary care for pets. Our highly qualified and experienced board certified veterinarians are leaders in their fields. They collaborate with each other and referring veterinarians to provide exceptional care and service in the following areas:
VETERINARY SPECIALISTS
SURGERY
EMERGENCY/CRITICAL CARE
ONCOLOGY
INTERNAL MEDICINE
ENDOSCOPY
CARDIOLOGY
RADIOLOGY
REHABILITATION
INTENSIVE CARE


SURGERY
VSS surgeons are able to perform the most complex of surgeries. They can repair fractures and torn ligaments, and they can do total hip replacements. They can also remove cancerous growths, manage extensive or non-healing wounds, and do reconstructive surgery. Our surgeons are trained to repair heart defects, and they operate on pets with spinal injuries and herniated discs. In addition, VSS surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures, such as arthroscopy, thorascopy, and laparoscopy.

Pets that need orthopedic, thoracic, gastrointestinal, oncologic, neurologic, or urologic surgery are frequently referred to VSS. Our surgeons work closely with other VSS specialists to provide the most comprehensive care possible to pets that have undergone such complicated surgeries.

Preemptive pain management is a priority at VSS. Our veterinary health care team will prescribe pain management treatments that keep pets comfortable before, during, and after surgery.


EMERGENCY/CRITICAL CARE
Your primary care veterinarian can diagnose and treat many health problems and handle routine emergencies, but certain situations may require the assistance of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in handling emergency and critical care for you pet. The emergency team at VSS includes the only two board-certified specialists in emergency/critical care in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Additional members of the team include are doctors who have dedicated their careers to emergency medicine.

Our emergency/critical care veterinarians and veterinary technicians have been specially trained in the latest procedures and techniques related to the practice of emergency medicine. They routinely treat traumatic injuries (including fractures, bite wounds, burns and lacerations), respiratory emergencies that may require the use of a ventilator, animals in need of blood transfusions, animals that are in shock, and animals with life-threatening neurologic disease, such as coma or severe seizures.

Our emergency/critical care specialists work with family veterinarians and with the other specialists here at VSS to ensure that every pet gets the medical attention and critical care it needs.


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ONCOLOGY
New advances in veterinary technology and chemotherapy are allowing pets with cancer to live longer with an improved quality of life. When the disease is diagnosed during its early stages, more treatment options are available for the pet. At VSS, we take an innovative and progressive approach as we strive to provide the best possible care for animals with cancer.

We utilize advanced diagnostic cancer testing - including ultrasound, CT scans, and biopsy procedures - to identify the type, location, and behavior of a tumor. After collecting this information, our oncology specialist, along with other VSS specialists and the family veterinarian, provide treatment options to the pet owner. These options are tailored to the animal's particular cancer and consistent with the owner's goals for the pet.

Some types of cancer are responsive to chemotherapy, which includes oral and injectable medications. Dogs and cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy well and rarely experience side effects.


INTERNAL MEDICINE
A veterinary internist frequently treats complex problems affecting multiple organs in a pet. Our internal medicine department collaborates with other VSS specialty services to provide a comprehensive approach to health care, using sophisticated, state-of-the-art technology.

Our internal medicine specialist is trained and experienced in endoscopy (including gastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, rhinoscopy, and bronchoscopy), bone marrow aspirates, spinal taps, and the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine and infectious diseases.


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ENDOSCOPY
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive, diagnostic, medical procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ.

In veterinary medicine, endoscopy is commonly used to perform tissue and organ biopsies, remove foreign objects (particularly in the stomach), or view a pet's internal organ. Endoscopy is often indicated when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs, and ultrasounds do not give a complete diagnostic picture. While general anesthesia is required during endoscopy, the procedure is considered much less invasive than traditional surgery. The benefits of endoscopy include shortened anesthetic time, decreased inflammation, less physiologic stress and discomfort, quicker recovery time, and fewer complications.


CARDIOLOGY
Ten percent of dogs and cats are affected by heart disease from birth, and it is estimated that 30 percent of geriatric dogs develop some type of heart issue. Symptoms associated with heart disease include coughing, difficulty breathing, tiring easily after exercise, and general weakness. Primary care veterinarians often detect signs of a heart problem, such as irregular heart rhythms or sounds, in pets during a physical exam - even those that exhibit no indications of it.

Cardiac disease is diagnosed and evaluated using echocardiography, electrocardiogram, holter monitor, blood pressure measurement, cardiac catheterization, and angiography. With today's technology, our cardiologist is able to successfully treat heart problems, allowing pets to live long and happy lives.

While most pets with heart disease can be treated with medications, others may need a surgical procedure. At VSS, our cardiologist collaborates with our surgeons to correct cardiac conditions that do not respond well to medication.


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RADIOLOGY
Like conventional radiography, CT (Computed Tomography) uses x-rays to depict the internal structures of the body. Unlike conventional radiology, which takes one picture at a time, a single CT scan generates hundreds of x-ray images. A computer then takes the images and constructs them into highly accurate and detailed renditions of the patient. Despite the large number of images, the total amount of radiation from a CT scan can be less than radiation from a conventional x-ray procedure.


REHABILITATION
REHABILITATION Pets sometimes experience lingering pain and immobility after an injury or surgical procedure, making physical rehabilitation an essential part of the recovery process. Whether it's an older pet with arthritis, or a pet recovering from spinal surgery, studies show rehab speeds recovery and improves strength and mobility. At VSS, our rehabilitation specialists design a program to fit the pet's specific needs. Some pets benefit by exercising on our underwater treadmill, others improve by doing in-home exercises taught to them by one of our rehabilitation specialists.

After review of a pet's medical history, medications, and lifestyle, the specialists of HEALING PAWS REHABILITATION will examine the pet's range of motion and muscle girth, perform a gait analysis, and palpate the injured area. This thorough evaluation is used to create a treatment plan that promotes a pet's optimum health.

You may contact the rehab specialists directly. Jacquie Welkener: 314-651-8143 or Sherry Bunch: 314-651-8144


INTENSIVE CARE
Pets sometimes contract diseases and sustain injuries that can be complicated, deteriorate rapidly, and become life-threatening. These animals need continuing care and close monitoring.

At VSS, we provide 24-hour critical care services for pets in an intensive care unit (ICU) that is fully equipped with oxygen monitoring, mechanical ventilation, and ECG monitoring. Intravenous fluid therapy, medication, nutritional support, blood transfusions, oxygen supplementation, and pain relief are some of the treatments we provide. A pet's vital signs, heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and blood work are routinely monitored by the exceptional team of veterinary technicians and assistants in our ICU. By closely monitoring critically ill pets, we are able to identify potential problems early and alter treatments, if necessary, to improve the pet's chance for recovery. The dedicated nursing staff at VSS is committed to maintaining a caring and compassionate environment for pets in our ICU.


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