New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Extracorporeal Therapies

Extracorporeal Therapies offers your pet a variety of life saving procedures that can help remove harmful substances from the blood. These procedures include kidney replacement therapies such as hemodialysis, ultrafiltration, hemoperfusion, plasma adsorption, therapeutic plasma exchange, and cell collection therapies. The doctors at PennVet are board certified in emergency and critical care medicine and have advanced training and expertise in extracorporeal therapies and nephrology. They are part of a team of doctors in the Penn Vet’s Advanced Urinary Care center providing comprehensive care to your pet. Our dedicated nurse is specifically trained in providing extracorporeal therapy ensuring that your pet’s treatment is safe and comfortable.

Learn more about ECT (PDF)

For Clients

If you think your pet could benefit from Extracorporeal therapy, have your vet contact us at or call our Emergency Service. We will work together to create a plan for your pet's care and possible referral.


In order to provide the best care for our patients, we use the following equipment: two intermittent hemodialysis machines, one continuous kidney replacement machine (CarpediemTM), one centrifugal apheresis machine, and one hemoperfusion pump. We follow strict AAMI water standards for hemodialysis, conducting heavy metal testing and screening for bacterial contamination to ensure patient safety.

Additionally, we are proud to be one of the few hospitals in the world to offer the CarpediemTM Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine, which is designed specifically for treating babies and allows for safer kidney replacement therapy for cats and small dogs. This advanced machine features a small circuit and low pump flow, reducing the need for blood transfusions and minimizing the risks of low blood pressure during treatment.

Our Services

    • Hemodialysis

      The hemodialysis machine acts as an artificial kidney to process blood and remove toxins and excess water. Hemodialysis may be recommended for many diseases including treatment of acute kidney injury, toxin ingestion, or prior to surgical treatment for kidney disease.

      Hemodialysis and Kidneys

      • Hemodialysis helps remove the wastes and toxins that build up in the body when the kidneys are unable to do their job.
      • Hemodialysis does not treat an injury to the kidney. 
      • Hemodialysis helps patients to feel better while the kidneys rest and recover.

      We will recommend additional treatments during hospitalization to treat the underlying kidney disease. These treatments will vary, but will include nutritional management, pain management, and disease specific recommendations.

    • Hemoperfusion and plasma adsorption

      Using a specialized filter, this treatment removes substances from the blood or plasma such as toxins, cytokines and pathogens. It can be provided alone or in combination with hemodialysis or therapeutic plasma exchange.

    • Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

      Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) utilizes a machine that separates blood into red blood cells and plasma. TPE may be recommended for specific intoxications or to treat immune mediated diseases. During the treatment, the plasma containing toxins or antibodies is removed and replaced with fresh plasma.

    • Treatments

      The exact number of treatments required depend on the cause and severity of the underlying disease. For many intoxications, only a single treatment is necessary. These patients may even be able to go home the next day. In patients with acute kidney injury or immune mediated disease, multiple treatments are necessary over a period of days. During this time, animals stay with us in the hospital and additional therapies will be initiated to help treat the underlying disease. At the time of consultation, we will make a recommendation for the initial number of treatments to expect for your pet.

      What Happens During a Treatment

      Treatments are not painful and do not require anesthesia. Prior to the first treatment, a large catheter will be placed. This will require sedation or, in some cases, a short anesthesia. During the treatment, we provide a soft and warm bed. We keep the lights turned down in the room to make therapy as relaxing as possible. Many animals even take a nap during their treatment. We monitor heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature regularly. Each treatment lasts between 3-6 hours. Over time, our patients begin to associate the dialysis room with feeling better and look forward to coming in to see us!

    • Ultrafiltration

      The purpose of ultrafiltration is to remove excess fluid from the body that may accumulate due to kidney injury or from congestive heart failure resulting in fluid overload.

    • Cell collection therapy

      This procedure utilizes a machine in which the blood is separated into its major components red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and plasma. We can then collect specific cells such as lymphocytes and granulocytes that may be used in immunotherapy treatments for patients with cancer or other autoimmune diseases.

    • Costs

      Costs vary, depending on the reason for treatment and duration of therapy. We will give you an estimate of the cost of care during the initial consultation.

Meet the Team

We work with your regular veterinarian, the Penn Vet team of veterinarians, and our highly trained veterinary technicians.

Extracorporeal Therapies

Erica L. Reineke, VMD, DACVECC


Vince Thawley, VMD, DACVECC

Leanne Deskiewicz, CVT
Extracorporeal Therapy Nursing Coordinator

More about Nursing

Referring veterinarian?

To best help you, please contact us via our email at, the referral office, or the Emergency Service to discuss potential cases.