Commonly Asked Questions
Oncology Service at VMC
The VMC Oncology Service provides a variety of state-of-the art diagnostic services for pets with cancer. Examples include cytology, biopsy, digital radiographs, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, and bone marrow testing. There is also ready access to advanced diagnostics such as flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry. These comprehensive services help to develop the best treatment plan for your pet with cancer.
Your pet’s care on the VMC’s Oncology service is further enhanced the VMC’s other specialty services, particularly:
and Critical Care
24-hour availability takes away the worry that your pet will have complications after hours or when Dr. Rassnick is not available. These services are available, educated, and have access to your pet's oncology history, should your pet experience complications.
Patients move fluidly and rapidly between the Oncology and Surgical Services, ensuring that tumors and masses are removed and appropriate treatment is administered right away.
Pain Management Center
Our Pain Management Center at CARE Pet Therapy combines pharmaceutically based pain control with gentle physical rehabilitation, massage and acupuncture. This service works closely with all services to develop individual protocols for your pet.
In addition to these services, the Oncology Service will make sure you and your pet will have access to a full-range of care including Internal Medicine and Nutrition consultations. In addition to your pet’s medical needs, we are also committed to supporting the social and emotional needs of you and your family.
The mission of the Oncology Service is to provide cutting-edge treatments for your pet with cancer, while focusing on quality-of-life. The VMC Oncology Service has numerous, up-to-date chemotherapy protocols to treat a wide-range of cancers. The melanoma vaccine (Oncept®), and targeted drugs such as Palladia® and Masitinib® are also available. Radiation therapy is not offered on-site. Dr. Rassnick can provide consults regarding the potential usefulness of radiation in your pet’s treatment program. It may be beneficial in certain cases, and we can assist you in obtaining this treatment for your pet if appropriate.
What to Expect if Your Pet is Referred to the Oncology Service
The professional staff at the VMC offers pet owners experience and expertise, dedicated customer service and compassionate individualized care for your pet with cancer. The oncology consultation will provide you with information and peace of mind so that you can make the best possible choices for your family and your pet.
Initial oncology consultations usually take one hour. During that time your, pet’s complete medical history is reviewed and a comprehensive physical examination is performed. You will meet with Dr. Rassnick during the consultation and will discuss his recommendations for further diagnostics and/or treatments. With the exception of diabetic pets, no food should be given after 10 pm the evening before your pet’s initial oncology appointment, as some diagnostic tests can only be performed and accurately interpreted when pets are fasted. You should continue to allow your pet to have free access to water.