teedabb No Comments

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week to the Very Best LVTs—Ours!

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVTs) are truly the very best in their field and we are extremely proud to have them on our team. They are critical to our practice. Our LVTs are knowledgeable, highly trained, caring, compassionate, and dedicated to their profession and to all of the dogs and cats to whom they provide care.

Please join us in giving our LVTs a well-deserved round of applause!

teedabb No Comments

Dr. Keaton Massie Joins Our Emergency Team

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is pleased to announce that Keaton Massie, DVM has joined our highly qualified Emergency Team.

Dr. Massie grew up in Oregon and Washington with a childhood dream of working as a veterinarian.  After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology at Washington State University, he moved to Florida to work in the zoo industry on his eventual path to becoming a veterinarian.  During the first decade following college Dr. Massie worked as a mechanic, alligator wrestler, and zookeeper focusing on reptiles.  He worked with everything from the tiniest Poison Dart Frogs to large King Cobras and Crocodiles.  Dr. Massie joined the Army in 2011 and spent three years on active duty living in Italy as an animal care specialist/veterinary technician.

Following his active duty commitment, Dr. Massie earned his veterinary degree from Ross University in St. Kitts in 2018.  During veterinary school, Dr. Massie completed research studying the effects of Alfaxalone in Alligators.  In addition he assisted with research on Leptospirosis in Nevishian Donkeys.

In his free time Dr. Massie enjoys diving, sport/competition shooting, hunting, fishing, and working on cars and motorcycles.

teedabb No Comments

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Pets

Follow these recommendations to ensure your pets’ safety this Halloween.

• Don’t leave treats out. Many popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets. Chocolate and sugar substitutes are particularly dangerous.

• Carved pumpkins are festive but can injure your pet if lighted and knocked over. Ensure your pets do not have access to lighted pumpkins.

• Costumes on pets can cause unnecessary stress. It is best not to put a costume on your cat or dog unless they truly love it. It can limit their ability to move, see, or breathe normally. Easily chewed off parts are a choking hazard.

• Keep your pets calm and easy to identify. Many strangers coming to the door can be frightening and very stressful for your pets. It is advisable to keep them in a separate room away from the front door for trick-or-treating. When opening the door—be sure your dog or cat doesn’t slip outside. Make sure they are always wearing proper identification which can be a lifesaver for your pet.

teedabb No Comments

Safe Use of Flea & Tick Prevention Products

Fleas and ticks are not just an annoyance—they present health risks to people and animals. They suck your pet’s blood, your blood, and transmit disease. It is very important to protect your pets from these parasites and keep the parasites out of your home.

There are many effective flea and tick prevention products on the market. Some are topical products that you administer directly on your pet’s skin. Others are oral medications. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian about your options and which choice best meets your pet’s specific needs. Here are some important questions to ask your veterinarian:

• What parasites will this product protect my pet against?

• How often should I apply or administer this product?

• How long will it take for this product to be effective?

• What should I do if my pet has a reaction to this product?

• Do I need to use more than one product? If so, how do I apply or administer multiple products.

It is important that you and your veterinarian develop a customized plan that is best for your dog or cat considering their age, breed, lifestyle, health, and any other medications they are receiving. Caution is essential when considering flea and tick treatments for very young, very old, or unhealthy pets. Your veterinarian will help you choose wisely.

teedabb No Comments

Dr. Jessica Diebold Joins Our Emergency Team

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is pleased to announce that Jessica Diebold, DVM has joined our exceptionally well-qualified Emergency Team.

Jessica Diebold grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2001 with a major in English Literature and numerous minors including Chemistry, Biology, and History. After realizing that full-time students can’t support themselves, and with a lifetime love of animal science and zoology, she went on to veterinary school and graduated from St George’s University after completing her clinical year at the University of Florida in 2005.

Prior to joining the Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia’s Emergency Team in July 2018, Dr. Diebold worked as an Emergency Veterinarian for 13 years throughout Northern Virginia. Her professional interests include emergency surgery, emergency medicine, and animal welfare.

Jessica and her husband Nick have two children—five-year old Grayson and nine-year old Lyra.  She enjoys spending her limited free time with her family, caring for her hobby farm and rabbitry, and traveling. She currently has six dogs, one hairless cat, goats, chickens, ducks, ball pythons, saltwater fish, and innumerable rabbits.

teedabb No Comments

Getting Pet Health Information Online

Keeping your beloved dog and cat healthy and happy is very important to you. Understanding their health is a critical component to ensuring their well-being and happiness.

There are many sources of pet health information available to you—books, magazines, family and friends, newspapers and journals, and extensive online resources. The internet can be a great source of information—BUT it is also a major source of misinformation. It is often difficult to separate accurate, reliable information from information that can be extremely harmful to your pet.

What is the best source of reliable, accurate information regarding your pet’s health and well-being? Your veterinarian is your number one resource for correct, actionable information for your beloved four-legged family member. Here’s why:

• Your veterinarian knows you, your pet, and your pet’s individual health needs well and tailors their advice to what’s best for you and your pet.
• Your veterinarian has the education, training, and in-depth knowledge to provide you with the accurate information you need.

When you have questions about your pet’s health and care—contact your veterinarian for the right information.

teedabb No Comments

What is Elbow Dysplasia?

The term dysplasia means abnormal development. There are several different theories concerning the cause of dysplasia including defects in cartilage growth, trauma, genetics, and even exercise and diet. The exact cause is not known.

Elbow Dysplasia is a catch-all term used that includes several different conditions involving the elbow joint. These conditions include Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process (FCP), Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), and Ununited Anconeal Process (UAP):

• FCP is a small piece of bone on the inner (medial) side of the joint that has broken off the ulna. This fragment irritates the lining of the joint and grinds off the cartilage.
• OCD is a condition where a piece of cartilage becomes partially or completely detached from the surface of the bone.
• UAP is a condition where a part of the ulna bone, called the anconeal process, fails to fuse with the main ulna bone during the growth phase.

Most often seen in large and giant breeds, Elbow Dysplasia can affect any breed. It is the most common cause of forelimb lameness in large and giant breeds. Different breeds have different predispositions to different forms of the disease. Both forelimbs may be affected. Once the elbow joint is damaged a cycle of inflammation and further cartilage damage begins.

Most dogs show signs of Elbow Dysplasia at about five to seven months old. Usually diagnosis can be made with a physical examination and radiographs. Rarely additional diagnostics such as a CT scan are necessary to make a diagnosis.

Surgical intervention is needed to correct these elbow joint diseases. If the elbow disease has become too advanced—surgery may not be an option. As with hip dysplasia, the earlier the surgical intervention the better the long-term outcome will be. The goal of surgery is to slow the progression of arthritis and prolong the pet’s use of the affected leg.

The sooner any disease process is addressed—the more comfortable your pet can remain into their senior years.

teedabb No Comments

Do You Have a Senior Pet?

Thanks to better veterinary care—dogs and cats are living longer than they have before. As they age—they need extra care and attention. Cats and small breed dogs are considered senior citizens at seven years old. Large breed dogs have a shorter life span and are considered seniors at five to six years old.

Regular veterinary examinations for your pet can detect problems in older pets before they advance or become life-threatening. In many cases, solutions and relief for your pet are available.

Here are some signs to watch for that may indicate age-related problems:

• Sudden weight loss, especially in cats
• Less interested in active playing or running
• Having trouble with daily activities
• Seems more depressed or irritable
• Easily disturbed by loud sounds
• Unusually aggressive behavior
• Increased barking or meowing
• Anxiety or nervousness
• Confused or disoriented
• House soiling or “accidents”
• Change in sleep habits

Regular appointments with your veterinarian ensure that your senior dog or cat gets the care and attention they need as they age.

teedabb No Comments

Emergency LVT Positions Available with Signing Bonus

The Veterinary Referral Center of Northern Virginia is an award-winning locally owned and operated specialty practice that provides Emergency, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Behavior Medicine, and Ophthalmology services.  Our Emergency Services Division is open 24 hours a day/365 days a year, including holidays.  We provide an enriching, educational environment with a strong culture of teamwork and a progressive approach to medicine.  Please visit www.vrc-nova.com for more information about our practice.

Currently we have openings for full-time and part-time Emergency Licensed Veterinary Technicians.  The ideal candidate must have a great work ethic, possess strong client service skills, be self-motivated, observant, caring, team-focused, and honest.  Reliability, dependability, and flexibility are essential.  Emergency experience is preferred but not required.  New graduates are welcome to apply.  Salary is commensurate with experience.  Generous benefits are provided for full-time staff members.  Please send your resume to trish@vrc-nova.com.  You may call Trish at 703.361.8287 with any questions you may have.