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As with your own health, the key to maintaining your pets’ health is in preventative medicine. The gradual onset of health problems in an animal that seems healthy often goes unnoticed. Once symptoms appear, the condition may be more difficult or costly to diagnose. At least once and perhaps twice a year, your pet needs a complete physical examination. Remember, your pets’ life span is shorter than a persons. A lot can happen in 12 months. Today, many immunizations and preventive treatments are available for your pet.

With the advancement of Revolution, fleas and ticks are no longer the nuisance they once were for your pet. Heartworm testing, parasite checks and routine blood screens are all useful tools to keeping your pet healthy. The Doctors and staff at DocSide will help you decide what preventive measures are right for your pet to keep them healthy and happy.

Good dental care is as important for your pet as it is for you and possibly more so because our pets don’t brush their teeth daily. Proper dental care not only prevents bad breath and periodontal disease but also prevents infection from spreading through the blood stream to your pet’s liver, kidneys, and heart. This bacterial shower can lead to permanent organ damage affecting your pet’s overall health. DocSide provides a routine cleaning using both ultrasonic and hand scaling to remove tartar and plaque from your pet’s teeth followed by high speed polishing and a fluoride treatment.

In addition, we can give your pet a complete oral evaluation. If there are any
underlying problems, we provide complete dental care including tooth extraction,
dental radiographs and oral surgery. For the comfort of you pet, all dentistry
is done under general anesthesia.

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Our Doctors are experienced in a wide range of surgical procedures from routine spays and neuters to complicated abdominal and thoracic surgeries.  Our surgical facilities are completely sterile and equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and modern anesthesia and patient monitoring systems.
New, less painful Spay & Neuter Technique
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal structures of the abdominal cavity. It involves the use of a laparoscope (camera) inserted into the abdomen. This allows the veterinarian to view abdominal organs magnified on a monitor. Applications are as numerous in veterinary medicine as in human medicine, the most recent being the use of laparoscopy for performing an ovarectomy / ovariohysterectomy (spay) or retained testicle neuter. Veterinary laparoscopy is relatively new requiring special training and surgical expertise.  At Doc·Side Veterinary Medical Center we are proud of the unique level of training and experience of our Laparoscopic Team and even prouder to be one of the first animal hospitals in the state of Maryland to offer laparoscopy to our canine and feline friends.  All procedures are performed in our state-of-the art, minimally invasive surgi-center under the leadership of Dr. Irvin Herling

Preparing your pet for a laparoscopic spay / neuter procedure is no different than preparation made for a traditional spay or neuter.  Your pet should be fasted for 12 hours prior to surgery and preoperative blood work should be obtained. All laparoscopic spays / neuters are performed under general anesthesia.

Spay /Neuter Pricing

images courtesy of Dr. Ty Tankersly

Benefits to Laparoscopic spays / neuters:

images courtesy of Dr. Ty Tankersly
  1. Smaller incisions:  The entire surgery is performed through a few tiny incisions rather than a large abdominal opening.

  2. Less Pain: Smaller incisions are less painful and reduce recovery time.  Controlled cuts

  3. Safer: Laparoscopy is simple to perform
    and involves very few complications.


The use of laparoscopy in small animal spay/neuter procedures is quickly becoming the preferred surgical option among pet owners. Once available only for people, animals are now benefiting from the many advantages of these techniques. The most important of these advantages being a safer and less painful surgical experience.

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Please Call Hospital for Pricing


The availability of high resolution imaging is essential to the diagnosis of multiple medical problems.  DocSide has a state-of-the-art imaging center which allows the Doctors to examine your animal using digital x-ray, ultrasound, or various forms of endoscopy. These non-invasive imaging techniques, combined with our modern laboratory facilities, allow our Doctors to quickly and painlessly diagnose the full spectrum of animal conditions.

Ultrasound imaging, referred to as ultrasonography, allows the Doctors to get an inside view of soft tissues and body cavities, without using invasive techniques. DocSide is equipped with the most modern ultrasound equipment in the industry, which uses sound waves to visualize organs in the chest and abdomen.  This is extremely useful in diagnosing pregnancy and evaluating the heart, liver, kidneys, bladder, intestines, adrenal glands and pancreas.  Biopsies may be performed using ultrasound, avoiding traditional surgery and anesthesia.
Through the use of specialized fiber optic cameras, endoscopy allows direct visualization of an animals various body cavities.  This is especially useful in diagnosing many gastrointestinal problems.  Endoscopy permits biopsy or removal of suspected tumors or ingested foreign bodies, often times avoiding more painful and costly open surgery.

Belt retrieved from the abdomen of “Taz“, a 57lb English Bull Terrier. Without endoscopy, “Taz”, would have needed major, invasive surgery to go into the abdomen and remove the object.

Lucky for “Lacroix MacDonald” that Drs. Tierney & Herling were able to remove a Snak-Pak plastic package through the use of endoscopy saving him from a much greater and more painful operation.

Digital Dental X-Rays
Similar to human dentistry, regular preventive dental care and prompt treatment of problems are essential to an animals health.  DocSide uses high resolution digital dental x-rays that give immediate insight and provide early diagnosis of dental disease.

Getting your pets’ medications can be as simple as clicking a button!  DocSide provides both an in-house and on-line pharmacy for our clients.  We carry an extensive inventory of veterinary pharmaceutical items, supplies, food and medication and through our partnership with Vets First Choice can have your prescription ordered online and delivered right to your door.  One of our Doctors must write the prescription and approve all refills when needed.

Laboratory testing provides us with important information that we can utilize to help keep your pet a healthy member of the family.  Routine disease screening, such as for intestinal parasites, heartworm or feline leukemia, is an integral part of our wellness care recommendations.  Testing is always recommended before anesthesia and surgery because it can help to identify organ dysfunction, infection, or disease that could make anesthesia more dangerous or complicated for your pet.  When your pet is feeling “under the weather”, laboratory
testing can help us to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations to get your furry friend feeling better. We pride ourselves on using the most up-to-date testing methods, whether in our in-hospital laboratory or through the services of an outside reference lab.  Our hospital has the capability to perform in-house tests such as those for heartworm disease, lyme disease, feline leukemia virus, and feline aids virus.  Our technicians are certified in the performance of urinalysis, cytology, and blood film evaluation.  Because our goal at DocSide is to provide the highest standard of medical care for your pet, we have recently invested in a comprehensive suite of in-house diagnostic laboratory equipment.  We can now have lab results for your pet available in minutes as compared to the hours it would take to get that same information from an outside lab.  Rapid results allow us to more quickly diagnose and start treatment for a sick pet.  It also allows us to perform pre-anesthetic blood testing for those patients who are admitted to the hospital during an appointment for an anesthetic procedure that same day.

DocSide offers extended office calls for those seeking a 2nd opinion.  This allows the time necessary for the Doctors to perform a current evaluation as well as review any previous medical history, tests, x-rays, etc. critical to offering the best recommendation for your pet.

For clients with complicated or in-depth cases requiring additional time from the doctor,
an extended office call can provide the time necessary to evaluate and discuss your pets’ physical condition along with any test results, x-rays or studies that may have been completed, so that you can address all potential treatment options.

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Our doctor’s and facility are equipped to handle any emergency should the need arise.  Should your pet have an emergency after hours, DocSide utilizes the PetER in Towson or the Emergency Veterinary Clinic (EVC) in Catonsville, two of the most advanced emergency medicine, critical care hospitals in the country. 

If you require after hours emergency services please phone the PetER at 410-252-8387 or the EVC at 410-788-7040.

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