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'Tail Wagging' Event Opens New
Veterinary Facility in San Diego

By Pat Bailey | May 1, 2006

Clients, pets and other community members gathered. Saturday for the "Grand Opening and Tail Wagging Reception" at the new clinical facilities for the UC Veterinary Medical Center-San Diego.

The UC program occupies 4,000 square feet of reception and administrative space, exam rooms, a hemodialysis treatment room, conference facilities, a nutrition laboratory and faculty offices in the new 26,000-square-foot Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego on Sorrento Valley Road.

The current clinical services include renal (kidney) medicine and kidney dialysis, clinical behavior and a novel pharmacy service that will provide medications and nutritional formulas that must be compounded especially for animals. A clinical nutrition program is scheduled to open there later this year.

"This new, academic and clinical facility allows us to expand our vital training programs and extend specialty services to the San Diego community," said Larry Cowgill, a pioneer in kidney dialysis for animals and director of the UC Veterinary Medical Center-San Diego. "It also continues our long-standing collaboration with the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of San Diego and continued interaction with the many veterinary practices in San Diego County. We look forward to future interactions with all of them and to the opportunity to complement their services."

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and UC San Diego established the UC Veterinary Medical Center-San Diego in 1998 to enable faculty members from the two institutions to collaborate in teaching and research activities and to promote emerging specialty services in Southern California.

The center's staff, which includes four specialty-certified veterinarians, two veterinary technicians and an administrative officer, is projected to nearly double during the next few years as these programs mature. It moved in January into the new facility, located just south of the juncture of interstates 5 and 805. It was previously located at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe.

The center features:

The renal (kidney) medicine service and kidney dialysis unit with two dialysis machines for treating acute and chronic kidney failure. It is one of only two veterinary clinics in California and five in the nation equipped to provide intermittent dialysis for cats and dogs.
The clinical animal behavior service, which helps clients deal with their pets' behavior problems. Veterinarians with special training in animal behavior can diagnose underlying diseases or conditions that influence pet behavior and help clients deal with nuisance or dangerous behavior problems that do not have a medical cause. A veterinary horse behaviorist has recently joined this team.

The established clinical pharmacy program, staffed by a doctor of pharmacy with additional training in veterinary pharmaceuticals. The pharmacist consults regularly with veterinarians and clients about the actions of pharmaceuticals in animals. The pharmacist also works closely with the center's nutrition service and the UC San Diego School of Pharmacy to provide a veterinary perspective to pharmacy students.

The Waltham/UCVMC-SD Clinical Nutrition Program, which was established in March and will become operational later this year. The service will be headed by a veterinary nutritionist, who will recommend commercial diets or formulate home-prepared diets to help manage pet diseases that have a nutritional foundation or require dietary intervention. The nutrition service also will oversee individualized weight-loss and weight-management programs tailored to treat obesity. The San Diego-based program is an extension of the parent service at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, which serves veterinarians in private practice throughout the United States.

Faculty members affiliated with the center also collaborate with UC Davis and UC San Diego faculty on animal-related health programs and work with San Diego area shelter and wildlife organizations to enhance veterinary teaching, research and service programs.

To reach the new facility at 10435 Sorrento Valley Road, exit Interstate 805 at Mira Mesa Blvd., just south of the juncture of 805 and Interstate 5. As you drive west, Mira Mesa will become Sorrento Valley Road. The new veterinary facility is at the first driveway on the right.

Pat Bailey is a writer wit the UC Davis News Service

 

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