About Our Initiative
Thirty years ago, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) opened the Small Animal Hospital. The hospital’s primary focus has always been the care and long-term health of our patients, but as we expand the number of patients and services offered we have a responsibility to grow and improve our facilities.
From the standpoint of veterinarians and animal owners, we have realized through the years how inextricably linked animal health is to human health. This connection is what drives our commitment to:
- educating the veterinary leaders of tomorrow,
- creating a better understanding of veterinary medicine and drawing a corollary to human medicine, and
- providing animals with the most comprehensive treatments available and the utmost in compassionate care.
To honor this commitment, we have made expanding and renovating our Small Animal Hospital an immediate priority.
Our vision for the new Small Animal Hospital is to create an even better environment in which animals can heal comfortably,
veterinary health care professionals can provide expertise with compassionate care, veterinary students can be fully prepared to
enter the profession, and Texans will be better served.
We will design the new hospital with specific attention to creating a positive experience for referring veterinarians, animal owners, and patients. Our plans include:
- a reception area designed for the comfort of animals and people,
- designated feline and canine waiting areas to reduce the anxiety patients may have as they prepare for their appointments,
- new consultation rooms to create private settings for clients and clinicians to discuss diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and discharge recommendations, and
- additional space in our clinical service areas to help us continue to grow and develop important specialty services that serve the residents of Texas and beyond.
A new Small Animal Hospital will play a vital role in the future advancements made within the CVMBS. As the world faces the rapidly growing problems of disease proliferation and obstacles to healthcare, our faculty and students continue to explore new frontiers of knowledge in order to provide solutions.
Through seeking partnerships with the outside medical community and offering the most sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic technology, we are prepared to provide animals with the best care possible while also advancing human medicine.
We invite you to become a part of this exciting initiative.
Impacting Our Services
About 120 dogs that develop sudden onset hind limb paralysis after spinal cord injury are brought to the Small Animal Hospital each year. The treatment they receive is similar to that given to humans with spinal cord injury and could influence how we heal human injuries in the future. The neurology component of the clinic also cares for many animals with brain tumors using powerful technology such as our image-guided neuronavigation unit. The new facility will help more animals, as well as create possibilities for new technologies, experimental drug studies, and research partnerships.
The Small Animal Hospital has collaborated with MD Anderson Cancer Center to search for answers in the fight against common cancers such as lymphomas, sarcomas, and mammary tumors in animals. Clinical trials are the first line of defense to improving the survival of dogs and cats with cancer. These results are already making an impact on human cancer treatment. Added space in the new clinic will offer our clinical faculty and students more room to explore therapies and diagnostic options.
Our world-class cardiology service boasts leaders in the fields of heart failure management, interventional cardiology, and cardiovascular surgery. Our team of cardiologists specializes in valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies, congenital heart disease, and heart failure among many other cardiovascular diseases. We are one of the only facilities in the country with a dedicated cardiovascular surgery suite and digital catheterization laboratory; however, the new facility would allow us to modernize equipment by providing more space.
Our imaging service is one of a select few to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging for small animals, large animals, and exotic pets. Rivaling most human hospitals, the Small Animal Hospital is fully equipped with digital radiography, fluoroscopy, numerous ultrasound technologies, high-speed Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, and the highest-powered Magnet Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit in the state of Texas. We perform nearly 10,000 imaging studies per year and assist all services within the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in order to expedite diagnosis and treatment.
Our emergency and critical care service is open 24/7 to patients and referring veterinarians. A new hospital will allow the ICU to expand to three times its current size, creating more space for dogs like Vonn (pictured below), who got a second chance at life at our clinic after sustaining severe first-degree burns. The new space will also contain a dedicated feline ICU, a much-needed addition to our facility, as well as more space for our veterinarians to protect and isolate animals with highly contagious and zoonotic diseases.
Dental disease is the primary ailment affecting adult pets. Poor hygiene within animals’ mouths is now linked to heart disease and certain cancers. In a study by the American Veterinary Dental Society, roughly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop some degree of periodontal disease by the age of three. Our dentistry team provides the most progressive oral healthcare. Our goal is to be able to have multiple dental tables operating at once as our current setup only allows us to treat one patient at a time and does not accommodate a full rotation of students.
The greatest percentage of our veterinary students will go on to practice primary care. Educating them in this area is one of our highest priorities and will be greatly enhanced by the new facility. Within this field, we carefully instruct students about effective and safe patient handling as well as how to communicate the importance of vaccinations and spaying/neutering. In addition to serving our veterinarians in training, our primary care facility is also an integral part of our community. Many clients use the center for their pets’ everyday healthcare needs.
This unique service provides students with a rare and exciting opportunity to diagnose, treat and observe a range of exotic animals, including small rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Past patients have also included “predator” animals such as lions, bears, tigers, and wolves. As exotic-focused programs across the country steadily decline, we are committed to educating tomorrow’s experts in zoological medicine. The CVM is simultaneously building a new aviary that will partner with the Small Animal Hospital to teach veterinary students about medical techniques specific to birds.
Impacting Our Patients
In 2011, we opened our Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center (DICTC). The center combines the latest in imaging and cancer treatment technology under one roof with support of specialists in radiology, oncology, neurology and orthopedics. Thanks to the center’s advanced equipment, Robin Moore was able to find the answer to what was causing her border collie mix, Happy, to limp. A 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan revealed that Happy had a nerve sheath tumor on his left front shoulder. Our experts used the TomoTherapy unit to conduct specialized radiation treatment on Happy. Following treatment, Happy’s prognosis improved and so did his quality of life.
Lions, Tigers, & Bears
We may be called the Small Animal Hospital, but our zoological medicine team specializes in creatures small and large. This tiger required a root canal, which, if left untreated, could have turned into a severe infection and abscess. Our doctors are trained to be able to safely anesthetize and operate on animals of all sizes, and thanks to the advanced technology and equipment at our hospital, we are able to provide services that very few other veterinary hospitals in the nation are able to offer.
Our TomoTherapy unit combines linear radiation therapy and CT scanning technology to treat tumors once considered untreatable. In order to protect healthy tissue and organs, the machine provides the patient with specific dosages of radiation within millimeters of the site. The TomoTherapy unit, which is part of the Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center, can target microscopic cancers and prevent the animal from sustaining other invasive treatments or amputation. The CVM is one of only two vet schools in the country to house technology of this caliber, and we are the only school with a TomoTherapy unit that can also serve large animals.