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Q: What is a veterinary specialist?
  • A veterinarian in the USA usually earns a four-year undergraduate degree. They then attend an accredited veterinary school for another 4 years. Upon graduation, they must pass rigorous national and state board examinations before they can practice veterinary medicine. Every veterinarian in the United States completes this process.A small number of veterinarians have a desire to focus on a specific area of veterinary medicine such as internal medicine, sports medicine, surgery, etc. To become a specialist one must complete more extensive clinical training to gain experience in a particular area of practice. This schooling often includes a 1-year rigorous internship and a residency that is 3-5 years in length (each specialty has its own specific requirements). Internship and residency training is not required for veterinarians as it is for medical doctors. The culmination of a veterinary residency or credentialing program is successful passing of an intense, multi-day, board-certifying examination (and some veterinary specialties have more than 1 test). To be able to sit for this examination, a qualified doctor must meet very specific criteria, including demonstrated expertise in specific skills and procedures, prowess in teaching, and publication of one or more research papers in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Essentially the process to become a specialist is more intense and time consuming than it is to earn the veterinary degree.
Q: Why would my pet need a specialist?
  • Just as in human medicine, not every doctor is an expert in every condition, and in some cases it is necessary to have a second set of eyes that provide expert insight into the diagnosis and management of certain diseases and conditions. Our specialists stay on the cutting edge of their areas of expertise and rely on a team of specialists, both from within our hospital and throughout the country, to provide your pet with the best possible care.
Q: I trust and enjoy working with my veterinarian and they haven’t suggested a specialist. Can I still come to your practice?
  • Yes, whether you are referred by your veterinarian or you seek out our services on your own we think it is vitally important to maintain the relationship and continuity of care with your primary veterinarian. We will keep them updated with any diagnostic tests we perform, diagnoses we make and continued plans for your pet’s care.
Q: Do you provide routine service?
  • At Best Care Pet Hospital we are passionate about preventative medicine and wellness care. We do not believe anything about your pet’s care should be routine or cookbook and as such we individualize any treatments or preventative plans to you and your pet’s unique situation and risks. Our annual exam schedules, vaccine schedules and parasiticide schedules are tailored to your individual pet. We will provide detailed nutritional and health counseling if desired because we believe the best way to avoid having to utilize our specialists advanced training is through prevention. We are constantly evaluating the latest research and products and choose those that have proven to be the safest and most effective available. With the ever changing landscape of veterinary pharmaceuticals and pet foods we think it is vitally important for our doctors and staff to stay up-to-date and current on the latest information and research available. We won’t carry, use or recommend products we do not use in our own pets. Our primary concern is your pet’s health and well-being and we make our product choices and recommendations with that in mind.
Q: Do you have emergency services?
  • During our normal business hours we are always prepared to handle any emergency your pet may have. Dr. Krista Hardy DABVP (canine/feline) practiced for 9-years as an emergency veterinarian in a 20-doctor, 150-employee specialty hospital in the Fort Lauderdale area that cares for more than 50,000 pets a year. She has brought that experience and level of care to Best Care Pet Hospital. In addition, our doctors are available 24/7 to the staff of the Veterinary Emergency Hospital should your pet require after hours treatment there. Our doctors work very closely with the doctors of the Veterinary Emergency Hospital to ensure seamless care for your pet in times of need.
Q: What makes your AAHA accreditation important?
  • Unlike human hospitals, animal hospitals are not required to be accredited. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. Veterinary hospitals are evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence in order to become accredited. The Standards of Accreditation are continuously reviewed and updated in order to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. Our standards address patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education. To maintain accredited status, we undergo comprehensive on-site evaluations every three years.
Q: Why is board certification and the AAHA accreditation necessary?
  • Neither of these things are necessary. Our veterinarians and staff all have one thing in common and that has been a life-long goal to provide the highest level of care to pets as possible. It is very possible for a regular veterinarian to provide excellent care and it is possible for a non-accredited hospital to have good protocols, procedures and care in place. At Best Care Pet Hospital our veterinarians decided it was important to them to be experts in the field and to hold their knowledge and skills up to a different standard and have that be judged independently by the specialty colleges they are diplomates of in order to prove they are leaders in the field. Similarly it was important to have our facility, procedures and care independently reviewed and accredited. It is one thing for us to blow our own horn and say we practice good medicine, but for us that wasn’t enough. We wanted to independently show our clients that through our board-certification as veterinarians and our facility accreditation that we are among the top veterinary hospitals in the country.
Q: I see there are a lot of practices in the area that have ultrasounds available what is different about your service? My veterinarian suggested I take my pet to a university for the ultrasound, how does your service compare?
  • As a board-certified specialist Dr. Krista Hardy DABVP (canine/feline) received specialized training available only to veterinary specialists in ultrasound techniques. In addition we have developed a technology to livestream our ultrasound cases. This allows us to consult with a veterinary radiologist in real-time, during the ultrasound, with cases that present a challenge through our standard ultrasound procedures.
Q: My dog needs surgery for an orthopedic condition (ruptured cruciate, shoulder tendonopathy, elbow disease, hip dysplasia, etc.) and I’m curious about my options. Can you offer help?
  • Joe Spoo DACVSMR has devoted his entire career to the canine athlete and to the treatment and return to function of injured pets. As a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation he is among only a handful of private practice veterinarians in the world recognized as experts in the structural, physiological, medical and surgical needs of athletic animals and the restoration of normal form and function after injury or illness. He strongly believes that there is not just one answer to every injury and that your pet’s injury is unique to your pet and your situation. He is well versed in all of the possible surgical techniques (TPLO, TTA, extra-cap, arthoscopy, FHO, TPO, etc) and will help you determine what is the best route for your pet. As more research is being produced we are also finding that in certain conditions surgery isn’t always the best option even though for many years it was presented as the only option for some patients. We take great pride in non-surgical management of many conditions that were previously viewed as surgical necessity. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option for your pet and help you come to a decision that best fits both of your needs. Whether conservative treatment or surgery is recommended we will have a coordinated recovery plan to address your pet’s pain, comfort and recovery.
Q: Will you perform the orthopedic surgery if it is needed?
  • We are passionate about providing your pet with the best possible outcome, and because of this belief all of our orthopedic surgeries are performed by a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Brent Reimer DACVS. While it is possible for a regular veterinarian to perform many of these surgeries, we feel it is important to provide our patients with the best possible shot at a successful outcome. Dr. Reimer has performed many of these procedures thousands of times to earn the title of specialist and expert. While many veterinarians will become very proficient at many of these procedures we feel Dr. Reimer’s vast experience and skill are vitally important to the best possible outcome.
Q: What about other surgeries, do you perform them at your clinic?
  • Yes, all of our veterinarians perform a wide-range of surgeries from spays and neuters to tumor removals, emergency surgeries, etc. With other complicated procedures such as advanced soft tissue procedures or intrathoracic surgeries, we rely on our board-certified surgeon Dr. Brent Reimer.
Q: My veterinarian gave me some post-surgery instructions and never mentioned rehabilitation. Why would it be necessary?
  • Unfortunately this has been an area of veterinary medicine to lag behind human medicine. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, physiatrists and athletic trainers are an integral part of human medicine. Thirteen years ago, Dr. Spoo had his own ACL and meniscus repair. At that time, over a decade ago, he met with physical therapists pre-surgery, woke up from surgery with his knee in a constant range-of-motion machine with compressive ice and worked closely with physical therapists and athletic trainers during recovery. Since that time he has went on to complete numerous marathons, half-marathons and triathlons with no adverse issues with his knee. Because of that experience he felt it was vitally important to provide the same type of care to his canine athletes in an effort to return them to their normal function. Over the years we have learned this type of post-surgical management will help even the couch-potato dog have smoother, more pain free recovery with a better long-term outcomes. While your pet may “recover” from surgery without specialized rehabilitation our goal isn’t just to get them by. We do everything we can to ease post-op pain, provide rehabilitation services, work towards a faster recovery, improvement mobility, and increase functionality in order to provide the best possible outcome.
Q: You mentioned earlier about non-surgical care for cases previously thought to only have surgical solutions. What did you mean by that?
  • In human medicine, it has been shown that 90% of all sports injuries are non-surgical. Our team is here to help recognize those conditions and provide solutions. For many years, dogs with ruptured disks were automatically taken to surgery or in some cases euthanized. In some of these cases, surgery isn’t the best option and we can develop a conservative treatment plan to aid in recovery. In other cases where surgery isn’t performed because of expense and travel, we can provide options in those cases as well in order to address pain and ambulation issues.. We also perform a wide-range of non-surgical options for shoulder disease, Achilles tendon rupture and other injuries and neurologic conditions.
Q: My dog is paralyzed is there anything you can do?
  • Depending on the degree of your dog’s condition, we can provide options which can include rehabilitation programs to help in your dog’s recovery and in cases where neurologic function will not be recovered we work very closely with cart manufacturers to provide your pet with mobility solutions. Our goal is to provide options to improve the quality of care for you and your pet.
Q: I’ve seen dogs on the internet with prosthetics and braces, do you deal with those as well?
  • As part of our advanced training we are trained in fitting pets for braces, orthoses and prosthetics. We work closely with custom and non-custom manufacturers to provide assistive devices for your pet when it is needed.

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After Hours Emergency: 605-977-6200