Veterinary specialist's office is customized 'to fit the way we work'

Specialist's office is customized 'to fit the way we work'

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comNovember 8, 2010 

The attention to detail at Bluegrass Veterinary Specialists is apparent as soon as you enter the waiting room.

There are separate waiting areas for dogs and cats — complete with Cat Fancy magazine on one table and Dog Fancy on another.

Back in the clinic, light wood cabinets are accented with sleek steel handles amid calming walls of blue. Healing rooms also are species-specific, and a powerful centralized vacuum has been installed for quick, efficient cleanup.

The procedure room has a flat steel table, an ultrasound machine and other equipment.

"It is designed to fit the way we work," said Dr. Antu Radhakrishnan, who has operated the clinic for four years and opened a new office on Winchester Road this spring.

What makes the clinic unique is that it provides a variety of services that were previously available only in Cincinnati and Louisville, including oncology evaluation and treatment. The clinic also provides minimally invasive procedures, including laparoscopy and endoscopy, and it treats lower urinary tract diseases.

A dermatologist and surgeon visit the clinic several times a month.

All the vets at the clinic are board-certified in their field, Radhakrishnan said. Board certification requires four years of additional training after veterinary school, much like specialists who treat humans.

Business has been so busy that Radhakrishnan has yet to hang his diplomas on the walls of his office.

Most of Radhakrishnan's patients are referred from a primary-care veterinarian and often are very sick.

One recent day, the doctor, who went to veterinary school at the University of Georgia and did his residency at the University of Pennsylvania, had to euthanize two animals and test a tumor on a third, a dog named Winston, for cancer.

To test for the tumor, Winston, a mixed-breed, had to be sedated and lifted onto the table. As two techs kept careful watch on his vital signs, the doctor located the tumor with an ultrasound machine, then inserted a needle into the sleeping dog's stomach to extract a sample to be sent to a lab.

Once the results are back, he will discuss options with Winston's owner.

"We try to take a practical approach," Radhakrishnan said.

Radhakrishnan said he tries to lay out all the options for treatment, but he encourages owners to think about how treatment will affect their pets' day-to-day abilities.

"We see so many sad cases, but the reason we do it is to give them a chance to have a good quality of life even when there is only a little hope," said Radhakrishnan, whose own dog is being treated for cancer.

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