VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital
By Sophia Chiang, DVM
Published: October 18, 2012

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Meet Sebastian Frederick!

Sebastian is a sweet and funny 12 year old Domestic Short Hair who presented in August 2011 for left forelimb lameness. He had a suspected soft tissue injury and seemed to respond well to pain medication and joint supplements. However, over the following months, Sebastian began to show more consistent lameness.

Radiographs taken in February 2012 confirmed that Sebastian has arthritis. Interestingly enough, he has mild changes in his left carpus (wrist), but more significant changes in his right shoulder. Yet his lameness is more pronounced in his left forelimb. This is a great example of why radiographs are useful. They help us identify problem areas that may not be apparent on physical examination or patient history. Our treatment can then be targeted towards all affected areas.

Sebastian received his first acupuncture session in early April 2012. He responded beautifully and stopped limping. His owner brought him back for a repeat treatment one month later, when he started showing signs of mild pain when jumping down. After his second treatment, he did not need to return again for three months. He received his latest treatment in August 2012 and is still doing great!


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.