We have made so many friends along the way. Click on the images below to read pet testimonials.
JouetJouet, our six month old golden retriever was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia. We were referred to Dr. Suess, who explained in detail the TPO procedure she would need on one hip, and then the other. We decided on the surgery, because without it she would have lived a short painful life. She recovered and the other hip was done. By 1 1/2 years she was walking, swimming and had completed her CGC, novice title, therapy dog certification, and her CD companion dog title.Over the years, we kept in touch with Dr. Suess, letting him know of Jouet's progress. She was an active working therapy dog appearing on local television, newspaper and a documentary highlighting her work on the cancer unit of a local hospital. Jouet was a member of the Buddy Brigade pet therapy program at the children's hospital on the child abuse unit. She showed no signs of having any surgeries. Her sit and gait were aligned allowing her to jump in the car, the boat, walk 2 miles a day and vacation with us on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where she loved riding the waves in the strong currents of the ocean. Around 9, she began limping .I placed a call to Dr. Suess describing the problem. She had torn an ACL and she needed a TPLO procedure to repair her knee. We were concerned about anesthesia and her age, however Dr. Suess reassured us she would recover with continued quality of life. The procedure went well and we were able to take her home the day of surgery. Jouet had 3 surgeries performed by Dr. Suess . She lived a happy, pain free life until the age of almost 12 when we lost her to a brain tumor. Dr. Suess possess the technical equipment, skills and expertise in orthopedics, but most importantly, he maintains compassion and the understanding that many clients view their pets as children and family members and want the best quality care for them. He always took the time to explain in detail the surgical procedure, post surgical care and rehabilitation, as well as promptly returning telephone calls. His staff was always available to answer our questions. Dr. Suess and his staff at VVSA are a professional group of people who share the love for animals as the owners who put faith and confidence in their care. Thank you Dr. Suess and staff, Dorothy and Carter Winn Norfolk, Virginia
MadisonI was born on June 3, 2006 in a little town outside of Madison, Wisconsin. I was one of a litter of six. Around two months of age this woman stopped by and when my four legged mom wasn’t looking placed me in, what I now know is, a car and drove off with me. I was scared and whimpered for some time as I did not know what was happening to me. She played classical music and sang to me as we drove all the way to Nevada. The music helped to soothe my fears. Even today, I enjoy listening to classical music and my parents play it for me while they are at work. Once we got to Nevada I met this man who had food in his hand, a smile on his face, and tears in his eyes. I soon realized this woman and man were my new two legged parents. When I was around one year of age we moved to Washington State from Nevada. I often traveled with my parents to beaches in California and Oregon. After going to Cannon beach in Oregon, I tore my Cranial Cruciate Ligament and began to limp. As a result, a procedure was performed on my knee by a local veterinarian in Washington State. Unfortunately, it only helped my knee for a short time. After moving to Virginia I started to limp once again. A wonderful veterinarian by the name of Dr. Andrew Murphie, of Anderson’s Corner, examined my knee. He was a very warm and compassionate man who cares a great deal about his patients. He referred me to Dr. Aktay at Virginia Veterinary Surgical Associates in Richmond, Virginia. I was very impressed that they saw me the next day and immediately took me into surgery. In spite of the fears that I saw in my parents' eyes, I felt secure with Dr. Aktay and her staff. I could feel the warmth and love that they had for me, as well as the rest of their patients. My first surgery was five hours long because Dr. Aktay and her colleagues had to remove the previous implants from my leg. I am grateful they did not give up on me, as I know it can be a risk to undo someone else’s work. After the surgery Dr. Aktay met with my parents; she was obviously tired. However, the smile on her face assured my parents that I was in good hands. Dr. Aktay was not only concerned about me but was also concerned about my parents and asked if they had eaten or if they had been able to get any rest. My parents were so touched by Dr. Atkay’s compassion that they had tears in their eyes. The following day, my parents came to pick me up. In spite of my enormous strength, as I do weigh about 180 lbs, I was not able to walk. Instead of having their technicians carry me out to my car; Dr. Suess, Dr. Barnes, and Dr. Aktay took their time to do so. This made me feel so loved and cared about. My mother actually began to cry when she saw these three highly skilled and compassionate professionals handle me with such love, care, and kindness. It took me about two months to heal from this surgery. Then about one month ago, I had my second surgery, the TPLO procedure, performed by Dr. Aktay. Once again, she demonstrated her highly skilled art of surgery with her usual love and compassion for her patients. I am well on my way to healing from this second procedure. Dr. Aktay truly has a gift to heal us four legged beings. The entire staff at Virginia Veterinary Surgical Associates has always treated me with a kind word, a pleasant smile, and a gentle touch. I am fortunate to have received the care from Dr. Aktay and her entire staff. They are a blessing. Thank you so much for caring about my parents and me. -Miss Madison
JerichoJericho's journey to healing began with Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective, a rescue group dedicated to saving pitbull type dogs. Born with two crooked legs that would eventually lead to painful mobility issues, he underwent corrective surgeries from Virginia Veterinary Surgical Associates located at Dogwood. His first surgery by Dr. Barnes was in April 2015 to fix his left leg. After 8 weeks of recovery, it was time to move on the right leg. Many people came together to raise funds for Jericho's procedures and care and his second surgery was in September 2015. After months of rest and recovery, it was determined in January that another surgery was needed. Through it all, his foster mom was right by his side nursing him through recovery periods and long activity restriction. In July 2016, Jericho was finally given the "all clear". Shortly afterward, he went to his forever home in Virginia Beach, VA. His forever family had been helping with transport for surgeries and hosting doggy slumber parties to spend quality time with Jericho until the day Dr. Barnes released him from care. Today, he is happy, healthy and living it up with his forever family which also includes two doggie siblings, Ellie and Bo. You can follow his adventures on his Facebook page, Rebuilding Jericho.
CharleyWe love hearing these wonderful testimonials! Special thanks to Tracy for sharing the following story this weekend about her and Charley's VVSA experience: "On a rainy cold day in November someone brought their dog to our neighborhood park. And then they left... without him. Fortunately, all the neighbors immediately became attached to the dog, and made it their mission to find his home. After 30 days with no luck in locating his people, they chose our family to take him in, and we all named him Charley! This boy settled in quickly and has been receiving invitations from family and friends to "sleep-over" whenever he wants. He's just so popular and well mannered. Soon after getting settled we noticed that his thigh muscles on each side were not symmetrical, and that one side was much more firm than the other. The next day he was scheduled to visit Dr. Richard Suess for an examination. During that exam the doctor discovered it was cancer and determined the best option for Charley was hemipelvectomy. During the very thorough examination, they also discovered that there was a large rock in his stomach that was on the verge of causing serious damage. Apparently he had eaten it while enjoying some drippins' from the grill while we weren't looking. So, with Charley already sedated, they wasted no time in getting him all fixed up. He was there with them for a couple of days while he was loved and made ready to come home. We are VERY grateful to Dr. Suess and to Dr. Padron for showing so much concern for Charley, and for helping us to make the best decisions for him. They helped us to understand that animals deal with these situations much better than their human families, and together we all returned to our normal routine. Our Tri-Pawd is one safe and happy boy thanks to them."
AstraAstra began limping in a hind leg - for a dog who is active and has lots of acres to run this was a severe injury. Thankfully Dr. Barnes and staff were of the same thoughts as I; the least invasive treatment first. She had pulled her Achilles - after 6 months of a brace; numerous trips for checks; she was ready to go without the brace. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We made it through the winter - using the brace on the snowy/icy days; when she played with her friend and now is running happily through her woods again - jumping, running, chasing, etc. She has even completed her first leg in Rally Novice. Without your wonderful, kind and open to suggestion care, I'm not sure where we would be! I can't thank you enough when I see her running free from the brace and pain!!! Only the best, Dr. Barnes and staff!!
CandyJust over five years ago, my girl Candy was found to have cancer cells present in her right lung. On 12-29-2011, I met with Dr. Suess to discuss her prognosis and options for treatment. Candy was 11 years and 8 months old at the time, already drifting towards old age. Dr. Suess was so thorough and inspired such confidence that I took that leap of faith and said yes to surgery. I had some doubts, worried about her quality of life and wondered if I was doing the right thing, but I HAD to take a chance. Candy is now 16 years 8 months old. She is amazing and one tough old girl. She still enjoys playing for goodies, there is a very short video of her jumping and taking the tunnel in my front yard. She still jumps into the van on her own although I hover very close to catch her if needed. I help her get out as she might fall on the way down. Thank you Dr. Suess, thank you Dogwood Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center!
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