Next-Level Care for Canines (and Cats, Too!)

For the most complex animal ailments, a specialty center is just what the doctor ordered

\Photo courtesy of LVVSC

Photo courtesy of LVVSC

A miniature pinscher’s skull, fractured by an inadvertent practice golf swing, requiring weeks of intensive care. … Another dog born with a serious birth defect, surgeons and therapists working with a prosthetic company to improve its life. … Still another, accidentally run over by its owners, necessitating amputation of a rear leg and a hip replacement on the other side. …

Just as your own general practitioner will send you to a specialist for a complex case, your pet’s veterinarian can turn to the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center. “It’s unique in that we have multiple disciplines in one facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” administrator Dean Penniman says, noting that it’s rare for a city this size to have only one veterinary specialty center.

The LVVSC (8650 W. Tropicana Ave., has taken on the region’s most challenging cases from St. George to Flagstaff since 2005, averaging 100 referrals a month. More than a dozen specialists—including surgery, internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology and physical rehabilitation—and 80 employees make LVVSC a veritable Mayo Clinic for pets. Canines make up 85 percent of the practice; felines and exotic animals are treated as well.

The 20,000-square-foot facility recently upgraded its CT unit and added fluoroscopy equipment. In May 2011, an adjacent Veterinary Emergency + Critical Care facility debuted. A neurology department is on its way in September.

It’s another small step for man toward truly being dog’s best friend.