In addition to core services such as medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, and interventional radiology, the Comprehensive Cancer Care service at Ryan Hospital offers additional cross-disciplinary resources.
Penn Vet was one of the first veterinary hospitals to have anesthesia as a special department. Throughout the years, veterinary anesthesiology has followed human medicine with regard to providing the safest possible anesthetics, assisted ventilation and oxygen delivery, and constant monitoring and support of vital status. Penn Vet’s anesthesia staff members are responsible for understanding and monitoring EKG, blood pressure, pulse oximetry, and end tidal CO2 using state-of-the-art anesthesia machines, ventilators, and monitors.
The Anesthesia Service at Ryan Veterinary Hospital is a subsection of the Critical Care Service, along with the Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Service, and we collaborate with numerous clinical services at Penn Vet, including Comprehensive Cancer Care, Emergency/Critical Care, Dentistry & Oral Surgery, Neurology, Oncology, Radiology, and Surgery. Our faculty and clinical staff are all board-certified, and, over the past ten years, several of our nurses were instrumental in the development of the certification process for specialized veterinary nurse anesthetists.
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Penn Vet is one of only a few veterinary schools in North America with board-certified small animal clinical nutrition specialists on staff. Nutrition is essential in managing any disease, either by providing nutrients to support a pet through illness and treatment, or by affecting the disease process directly. This is particularly true in pets with cancer. Nutritional assessment and intervention can result in changes in diet or feeding strategies that may improve quality of life or treatment outcomes. Penn Vet’s clinical nutritionists and oncologists are collaborating on research to determine the relationships between nutritional status and response to cancer treatment. Types and symptoms of cancer vary widely, and there is much conflicting advice available to pet owners regarding types of diets and particular supplements, ingredients, or nutrients. Nutritional counseling can help pet owners provide the best care possible to their pet.
Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging
Veterinary radiology at Penn Vet combines trailblazing research, outstanding education, and clinical excellence. Clinicians with specialty expertise provide clinical imaging and radiation therapy for Ryan Hospital patients. Our diagnostic imaging capabilities include digital radiography, fluoroscopy, ultrasonography, 16-slice helical computed tomography (CT Scan), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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Intensive Care Unit
The Intensive Care Unit at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to critically ill patients. The unit is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by a team of board-certified faculty and specialty-trained technicians who work closely with residents, interns, and students. Sometimes cancer patients need stabilization in order to gain time to allow cancer treatments to work. The ICU team has particular expertise in managing frail cancer patients with problems such as difficulty breathing, bleeding from tumors, severe pain, or nutritional deficiencies. In addition, the team provides complete support to post-operative cancer patients during their recovery from life-saving cancer surgery, with a particular focus on cardiovascular stabilization, pain management, and heading off complications.
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Extracorporeal therapies, including hemodialysis and therapeutic plasma exchange, are lifesaving procedures that utilize advanced technologies to filter the blood to remove harmful substances from the body.
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Support for Pet Owners
In addition to offering comprehensive diagnostics and treatment options, the Ryan Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Care team is also committed to excellent communication and emotional support for owners of pets suffering with cancer. Penn Vet's social work team currently offers a monthly virtual pet loss support group, and hosts a wealth of resources to guide you through the challenges of supporting a pet with cancer.
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