(Santa Rosa, California)– A building along Mendocino Avenue that used to house Heald College and later a church, has been transformed into a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art trauma center and hospital for pets. Opened in May 2011, PetCare East is the work of eight veterinarians, who joined forces to provide the latest in technology and medical care for companion animals of Northern California. The partnership originally formed to create PetCare West on Fulton Road in Santa Rosa.
Dr. Roger Bradley DVM, says the west hospital became too crowded and the doctors recognized “that things have changed in veterinary medicine and we wanted to keep up with the times, both medically and technologically.” This is one of the few pet hospitals that is totally paperless. All of the patient charts are on computer. Also the hospital is equipped with the latest medical technology normally reserved for human patients, right down to the lighting used in the surgery suites. The lights are designed to never cast a shadow onto the operating table.
But Dr. Bradley says a lot of thought went into the design of the hospital from the calming colors and recessed weight scale. Most dogs are hesitant to walk up even two inches onto a table to be weighed. The hospitals weight scales are recessed into the floor with a yoga mat on top to provide traction. The dogs often do not know they are being weighed.
There is a specially designed room that looks very much like a living room in a house, where family members can visit a hospitalized pet. “Nobody likes to be in a hospital, including our pets so we want to take into consideration that stress and the need for the humans to be in a calming environment too,” says Dr. Bradley. The animal care technicians have noticed the animals’ heart rates are lower when they are in a less hospital-like environment.
Behind the mustard and purple walls is equipment that some rural hospitals for humans might find scarce, including a CT scanner and other imaging tools, two separate surgery suites; one for orthopedic surgeries and the other for “soft-tissue” surgeries. There is a separate dental laboratory, where in addition to regular teeth cleanings, technicians have the ability to take dental x-rays. There is a separate chemotherapy-oncology laboratory where drugs to combat cancers are mixed and delivered to patients on site.
Animals from throughout northern California are sent to PetCare East for specialized care often unavailable in more rural areas. “We have 27 veterinarians and 100 employees total, plus six interns from the University of California-Davis Veterinary School,” says Dr. Bradley.
The facility was designed by Animal Arts of Boulder, Colorado which has designed an estimated 600 pet hospitals, veterinary clinics and humane society shelters across the United States.