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  1. Regional Vet Referral Center 6651 Backlick Rd Springfield, VA 22150 703-451-8900 Fax: 703-451-3343 http://www.vetreferralcenter.com/ Jim and I took our dog, Sophie, to the Vet Referral Center in Springfield, VA about 5 years ago when we found a cancerous tumor on her front leg. The first surgeon said our options were to remove the leg or try radiation and surgery to remove the tumor. Not wanting to nickname Sophie to something like Triopd Hop-along, we opted for radiation followed by removal of the tumor. This was followed by a year of low dose chemo pills. The doctors and staff at VCA were absolutely amazing. Over the course of the 18 months of regular visits, Sophie was given such great care, which included lots of hugs and smooches. She still bears the bald spot on her leg from the radiation which we have nicknamed the million dollar drumstick. Sophie is still going strong all thanks to the dedicated doctors and staff at VCA. Barbara Rice
  2. Hybla Valley Vet Hospital 7627 Richmond Highway Alexandria, Virginia 22306 (703) 765-9292 For many of us, our pets are part of our family, in fact we may like them better than some members of our family . So choosing a good vet is very important. Ten years ago when we adopted our dog Sophie from the DC Animal Shelter on NY Ave, we did our research and discovered Hybla Valley Veterinary Hospital. Not only are the doctors dedicated and caring professionals, they are affordable. The hospital was originally opened by Dr. E. J. Schrenzel in 1948. It is now run by his daughter Dr. Deborah Schrenzel. The two vets that see patients are Dr. Souri and Dr. Hong. Over the years, we have taken Sophie there more times than we can count. Anything from a nail trim to teeth cleaning to minor surgery and in-house lab work is all done with the utmost care and respect for the pets. The staff know many of their four-legged clients by name and you can tell they truly love the work they do. In addition to the veterinary services, they offer kenneling and you can get most of your pets medications filled. They also stock most of the Hills pet food varieties, both canned and dry. And, it's all the most affordable around. We've been very pleased with the care they have given us and Sophie over the years and have recommended them to friends and neighbors and now to you all on this board. Barbara Rice
  3. I first went to VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in 1991 (yes, 1991!), when my cat had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. At that time they were located in a large barn on Darnestown Road (Rte 28) in ‘North Potomac.’ They were affectionately known as ‘The Barn.’ They provided my cat with non-invasive, compassionate care and she lived another year. They have since moved to very large, modern facilities in Gaithersburg, very near the intersection of 355 & 124. In November 2009 we took another cat to VCA for specialized diagnostics, on the recommendation of our vet. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and, given that he was 15 years old and any kind of treatment would not gain him much time, and we did not want to subject him to any heroic treatment, we made the painful decision to euthanize him. I’ve had to euthanize other pets in the past, and I have to say that our experience with this procedure at VCA was the best ever. They have a dedicated private room that’s set up like a living room and they allow you to spend as much private time as you need saying goodbye to your pet – the room is connected to a private outdoor patio, so you have the option of spending your last moments with your pet there. When you are ready, you dial an extension and the vet comes and performs the procedure while you hold your pet, sitting on the sofa. Afterward, you can leave through the private door that opens to the patio and onto the parking lot, sparing you the experience of having to walk through the waiting room with your tear-streaked faces and swollen eyes. Over the Memorial Day weekend we had to make the painful decision to euthanize our beloved cat, Thomas, who had been terminally ill for many months. We were in phone contact with our regular vet (see my post about Kingsbrook Animal Hospital) over the weekend and he told us to take him to VCA. Once again, we had as good an experience as it’s possible to have, given the circumstances. VCA is a referral hospital, meaning that it’s not for regular veterinary care. You take your pet there only when they have a rare or very serious condition or for emergencies when your regular vet is not open – middle of the night, weekends. VCA is open 7 days a week, 24-hours a day and staffed with veterinary specialists of many disciplines who are also very caring, compassionate people. I can’t recommend them highly enough when your pet is seriously or gravely ill. VCA Veterinary Referral Associates 500 Perry Parkway Gaithersburg, MD 20877 301-926-3300 Website Laura Belden
  4. We first went to Kingsbrook in the summer of 2006. Another vet had performed dental surgery on one of our cats and he was not recovering well. That vet offered us no assistance in helping him. Our cat was near death when, in desperation, we took him to Kingsbrook. They were absolutely wonderful. They went the extra mile for Thomas and saved his life. Since then, we have been taking all of our cats to Kingsbrook and we could not be happier. Everyone on the staff, from the doctors to the techs to the front desk are warm, compassionate, and professional. We trust them completely. So much so, that we have allowed them to do dentistry on Thomas, despite our fears from our previous experience. They took extra precautions and Thomas sailed through it beautifully. Kingsbrook is not inexpensive, but it is very much worth it. In 2007 we moved from Frederick to Rockville, yet we still take our cats to Kingsbrook because we cannot imagine finding a better veterinary practice anywhere. Last week we had to say goodbye to Thomas, who was 15 years old. He had suffered from a terminal illness over the last many months. Dr. Morse Davis and staff treated him with palliative care and compassion. During the final week Dr. Davis was in regular phone contact with us, giving us his cellphone number over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. And, while we are especially grateful to Dr. Davis for his treatment of Thomas, the other doctors are equally skilled and compassionate: Dr. Brent Cook, Dr. Adrienne Cardella, and Dr. Jennifer Walker. I know that most DR members are not in Frederick, but if you live within a 30-minute drive of the practice, which is on the south end of Frederick, it's worth it. Kingsbrook Animal Hospital 5322 New Design Rd Frederick, MD 21703 301-631-6900 www.kingsbrookvet.com Laura Belden
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