At Your Service

The Neurology Team at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals

Our goal is to offer the best treatment and care for dogs and cats with neurological disorders – including brain, spinal cord, muscle and nerve diseases -seven days a week. New appointments are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Re-checks are seen on Fridays. All appointments can be scheduled by calling 508-887-4696. On weekends and holidays we are available for consultations via the emergency/critical care service. Surgical procedures, EMG and nerve conduction studies and hearing tests are performed every weekday except Tuesday. MRI, a highly effective, commonly used test for brain and spinal diseases, is available daily from 9am-5 pm.

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The neurology team is comprised of 2 faculty neurologists, 3 neurology residents and 2 certified veterinary technicians.

Phil March, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a graduate of Ohio State University, finished his neurology residency at Tufts University in 1991. After working as a neurologist for years he returned to Tufts University in 2006. His major clinical interest is medical neurology including epilepsy, brain tumors, meningoencephalitis and syringohydromyelia.

Dominik Faissler, DVM, DECVN, a graduate of the University of Bern, Switzerland finished his neurology residency at the University of Bern in 1997. He joined Tufts in the fall of 2000. He is a dedicated neurologist and neurosurgeon. His major interests include brain tumors, chronic cervical spinal cord compression and intervertebral disk disease. Continue reading

At Your Service

Zoological Companion Animal Medicine (ZCAM) provides emergency and critical care for avian and exotic pets available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wellness examinations and routine care are also provided. The ZCAM clinicians have years of experience treating numerous exotic species, including birds, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rodents, special small mammals (such as chinchillas or hedgehogs), reptiles and amphibians. The department has 2 dedicated ZCAM clinicians (Drs. Jennifer Graham and Julie DeCubellis) and 1 dedicated technician (Jessica Leonard) for 6-day-a-week coverage. The ZCAM ward is specifically designed for the care of avian and exotic patients and includes avian incubators, oxygen cages and specialty reptile hospital caging with 24/7 video and audio patient monitoring. Specialists in surgery, radiology, critical care, nutrition and internal medicine assist in providing in-depth case management for special species. Services include endoscopy, dentistry, radiology, ultrasonography, blood-work testing, avian and exotic animal surgery and advanced diagnostics including infectious disease testing. Advanced imaging such as CT, MRI and fluoroscopy are available for exotic patients. Appointments are generally available Monday through Saturday. The ZCAM liaison is Rose Shaughnessy, who can be reached at 508-887-4745.

Current Concepts

Thymoma in Rabbits

Rabbits normally have a large thymus that is placed cranial to the heart and extends into the thoracic inlet. Thymoma, thymic lymphoma and thymic carcinoma have all been reported in rabbits. Thymic lymphoma and carcinoma are rare in rabbits.The overall incidence of thymoma in rabbits is low (around 7% of reported neoplasms in 55 colony rabbits) with no apparent sex predilection. The mean age at presentation is 6.7 years based on one survey of 19 cases. Rabbit thymomas are generally slow growing and are potentially locally invasive tumors that rarely metastasize. Continue reading

At Your Service

An Interdisciplinary Team Approach to Hepatobiliary Disease

At the Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals at the Cummings School Veterinary Medicine, we rely heavily on a talented team of veterinary specialists to help treat small animals with hepatobiliary disease.  Often times, diagnosing hepatobiliary disease is a complicated process given the liver’s wide-ranging role in digestion, intermediary metabolism and biotransformation. Additionally, the liver is sensitive to secondary injury from many systemic disorders as well.

The diagnosis of hepatobiliary disease often requires expert diagnostic imaging (ultrasound and scintigraphy) as well as histopathologic interpretation of hepatic biopsy material.

Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals is fortunate to have Dr. Dominque Penninck, one of the pioneers of hepatobiliary ultrasound, on staff. He is joined by pathologists, Dr. Sam Jennings, who trained with the world renowned veterinary hepatic pathologist Dr. John Cullen, and Dr. Arlen Rogers, whose research interests include animals models of hepatic cancer.

Both of our soft tissue surgeons, Dr. Ray Kudej and Dr. John Berg, have interests in  hepatobiliary and portovascular surgery.

Our cardiologist, Dr. John Rush, is also available to manage intrahepatic shunts with interventional radiology.  These individuals are complemented by a skilled group of board certified anesthesiologists who often help us with the complicated management of our critically ill patients with hepatobiliary disease.

Lastly, we have a team of nutritionists, including Dr. Lisa Freeman and Dr. Calin Heinze, who help us meet the dietary requirement of our patients.  Some nutrients that could be of concern often include sodium, copper and/or protein balance. In addition, many hepatobiliary patients have a need for the placement of enteral nutrition tubes and occasionally formulation of balanced homemade diets.

Cynthia RL Webster, DVM, DACVIM (Small Animal Internal Medicine)
Professor, Associate Chair
DACVIM (Internal Medicine)
Post-Doctorate, Tufts Medical School, Department Physiology 1991-1993
DVM – Cornell University – 1985
BS – Simmons College – 1978

Dominique Penninck, DVM, ACVR
PhD – University of Liege, Belgium
DVM – University of Liege, Belgium
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology
Diplomate European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

Sam Jennings, DVM, ACVP
Assistant Professor
DVM – Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
MSpVM – North Carolina State University
American College of Veterinary Pathologists (Anatomic Pathology)

Arlen Rogers, DVM, Ph D, ACVP

John Berg, DVM, ACVS
Soft Tissue Surgery
MS – Colorado State University
DVM – Colorado State University
Board certification: ACVS

Ray Kudej, DVM, ACVS
Associate Professor
Soft Tissue Surgery
Post-Doctorate – Harvard Medical School
PhD – Iowa State University
DVM – Iowa State University
Board certification: ACVS

Lisa Freeman
PhD – Tufts University School of Nutrition
DVM with thesis – Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
BS – Tufts University
Board Certification:  American College of Veterinary Nutrition

Calin Heinze
Assistant Professor, Nutrition
MS – Nutritional Biology – University of California, Davis
VMD – University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Board Certification: American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN)

Lluis Ferrer, DVM, DACVD, PhD
Professor, Dermatology
DVM – Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, 1981
PhD – Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, 1985
Board certification – ECVD, 1995

John Rush
Interventional Radiology (IH Shunts)
DVM – Ohio State University
MS – Ohio State University
Board Certification Cardiology (ACVIM) and (ACVECC)