Veterinary Medical Specialists of Pittsburgh was founded in 2004 as one of the specialty practices at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialists. Since moving to the new 807 Camp Horne Road hospital, the practice has expanded its staffing and scope, and continues to provide specialty care, diagnostics and treatment of medical diseases in dogs and cats. In the Fall of 2008, the oncology service was founded with the the addition of Rebecca Newman, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology). Prior to the arrival of Dr. Newman, our internal medicine service led by Dr. Sherwood Johnson treated cancer patients.
In August 2010, we welcomed Dr. Todd Erfourth to the PVSEC-Oncology service and in October 2012, a third medical oncologist, Dr. Bridgit Urie joined PVSEC-Oncology, allowing the oncology service to expand its appointment hours for Monday-Saturday and minimize the wait-time for appointments.
The Oncology department sees patients by referral from primary care veterinarians, the emergency service, and the other specialty services at PVSEC. New patient appointments are scheduled Monday-Friday mornings. Following initial consultation, diagnostic procedures and treatments are often done the afternoon of the same day. Patients generally spend the entire day with the oncology group, and return home in the evening.
Because diagnostic testing generally follows the initial consultation, owners should withhold food after midnight the evening prior to the appointment. Water should be provided at all times, and medications should be continued as directed by the pet's referring veterinarian until directed otherwise.
If your pet is diabetic or you have other questions prior to your pet's appointment, please call the office at 412-366-3400.
When the patient is ready to leave the hospital, a doctor, technician or receptionist will call the owner to schedule an appointment for the pet's discharge. This appointment allows the owner and a veterinary technician to discuss discharge instructions, medications and to answer any questions. If the owner has additional questions or concerns, the doctor will address them in person or by phone.
If chemotherapy is recommended, treatments are typically scheduled on an outpatient basis. Depending on the type of chemotherapy prescribed, your pet may need to spend the day with PVSEC- Oncology. These patients are generally dropped off in the morning and return home in the late afternoon or early evening.
HOURS: Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-6:00 PM and Saturday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Visiting Hours: Monday-Friday 12:00-2:00 PM and 5:00-6:30 PM
Owners are asked to call to schedule a time to visit their hospitalized pet to minimize the time spent waiting to visit. Unless otherwise arranged, the doctor may not be available to discuss the case during the visit. Please refrain from touching other animals while visiting to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and possibility of personal injury.
A doctor will call with a medical update once at the end of each day, unless arranged otherwise. Calls may be made as late as 8:00 or 9:00 PM to allow our doctors to place priority on patient care. We realize it is difficult to wait for information regarding your pet. Rest assured that we will call immediately in the event of an emergency or change in medical status requiring significant decisions. A technician is available to provide inpatient updates to owners calling between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Communication is greatly expedited and simplified by the designation of one family member as a contact person. Owners are asked to leave all appropriate phone numbers with the receptionists.
PVSEC will call with test results and the doctor's recommendations (e.g. medications or re-checks) as they become available. Please note that repeated calls to check on results require that we pull the patient file from the results bin, causing delays. A veterinary technician will contact you if your pet's results are normal or indicate minor abnormalities. This expedites communication of results and allows our doctors to report critical results more efficiently. If questions or concerns remain after reviewing results with a technician, a doctor will call back to address them.
Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center is a unique veterinary hospital. There are fewer than 30 hospitals like us in the country. Because we are open 24 hours a day and provide specialized services in addition to emergency services, our fees for the care given and procedures performed may be higher than a normal veterinary visit.
And that's why we make sure you are given an estimate during your initial visit. When you are dealing with a sick pet, the last thing you need is a surprise on your vet bill.
A deposit equal to the low end of the estimate is required for pets needing hospitalization. As we gather diagnostic information and assess response to treatment, we may find that your pet requires additional hospitalization and care. Our policy is to call the owners of all hospitalized patients once a day to inform them of the current charges. Estimates are updated when the charges start to exceed the high end of the initial estimate. We encourage you to ask questions so that you feel comfortable.
Pet owners may ask us for estimates to treat and diagnose their pet over the phone. Please understand that we are unable to give you an accurate estimate without first examining your pet at our facility. We feel that one of the most valuable services we can offer to you is the initial consultation with one of our veterinarians. The doctor will review the history with you, look over any prior medical records including laboratory work and radiographs, perform a complete physical examination and sometimes even consult with other specialists in the hospital. During the consultation we also want to determine your wishes and goals. We believe that this process is the best way to give you the most accurate information about your pets medical condition, the prognosis, options for care, and the costs associated with treatment.
Complete payment is due when your pet is discharged. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and personal checks. If one of these payment options is not preferable, third party financing through Care Credit is available.
If you are interested in this option please visit the Care Credit Website to fill out an application. Type in our hospital name (Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center) and our phone number (412-366-3400) when it asks for your doctor's information. We accept two different plans from Care Credit so that you can make the best decision for your current financial position.