VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital
By Sophia Chiang, DVM
Published: August 31, 2012

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Meet D’Artagnan!

He is a 10 year old, male neutered German Shepherd, wonderful and sweet. He was seen through our emergency service for sudden lower back pain and weakness/lameness in the right rear leg. D’Artagnan has a history of several episodes of neck or back pain throughout the years and is suspected to have IVDD (intervertebral disc disease).

For this latest episode, he was treated with pain medications and plenty of rest. Although he responded well and seemed fairly comfortable, his owners were interested in acupuncture to help control pain and increase mobility.

At his first acupuncture visit, D’Artagnan showed pain throughout his lower back and wanted to sit immediately if slight pressure was applied over his pelvic/hip area. Although he was walking well, he also showed neurologic deficits of his rear paws. D’Artagnan can be very nervous here at the animal hospital, but tolerated his first acupuncture session very well.

By the second session, D’Artagnan already showed much less pain and was stronger in his lower back. His neurologic deficits were also improved.

D’Artagnan has now gone through four sessions of acupuncture and is doing very well! His mom reports that he jumped on the bed for the first time in a long while, has better energy and is much more comfortable overall. He is also less nervous while here and seems more relaxed for his needles. We are so happy to have D’Artagnan as an acupuncture patient!


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care


VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can count on our critical care team to be here when you need them the most.

Your pet's health deserves the finest care. Each member of our team strives for the advancement of veterinary medicine. When you bring your pet to us, you can be certain you will receive the dedication and compassion that makes our hospital stand out in patient care. 

Please call us at 703-823-3601 immediately if you believe your pet is experiencing an emergency.

Find out what might constitute an Emergencyor read more about our Services.