We are committed to caring for your pet – while maintaining the highest level of safety for our Associates and pet owners. We thank you for your continued patience and support. 
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Barbara Kitchell

DVM, DACVIM/Oncology
Barbara Kitchell
Veterinary Specialist
Barbara Kitchell

Dr. Barbara E. Kitchell graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. Dr. Kitchell completed an internship at the University of Minnesota, then residencies in Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at UC Davis from 1981-1985. She started an Oncology referral practice at Special Veterinary Services, Berkeley, California in 1985, and continued to manage that practice on a full time basis until 1989, when she embarked upon her graduate studies while continuing to work part time as a clinical oncologist. She received her Ph.D. degree (emphasis in Cancer Biology) from the Department of Comparative Pathology at UC Davis in 1994. In addition, Dr. Kitchell completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford Medical School from 1990-1994. She returned to academic medicine in 1994 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, University of Illinois School of Veterinary Medicine, where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Kitchell joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 2004 as Full Professor and Director of the Center for Comparative Oncology, and held this post until joining VCA Vet Care in August, 2013. Dr. Kitchell is an ACVIM Diplomate in the specialties of Internal Medicine and Oncology. She has received numerous awards including the National Cancer Institute Physician Scientist Award, the Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship Award at Stanford, and the Gaines Cycle "Golden Fido" award for Veterinarian of the Year at the American Animal Hospital Association Annual Conference in 1993. Dr. Kitchell has served veterinary and comparative medicine in many capacities, including committee membership on the Morris Animal Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, the Nestle Purina Nutrition Council, NCI-F Manpower and Training Study Section of NCI, the Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, and is a consultant and key opinion leader for several veterinary pharmaceutical companies. She is past president of the Veterinary Cancer Society and was elected Vice-President and Member of the Board of Regent of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2013. Dr. Kitchell is the author of over 100 scientific publications, abstracts, proceedings, book chapters, handbooks in her field of veterinary and comparative oncology. Like most veterinarians, she has a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. Dr. Kitchell also keeps busy as a single mom of 5 wonderful young people, and has been active in adoption, foster care and Transition to Independence for foster adolescents in Lansing, Michigan.

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When your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center we understand how confusing and stressful it is for pet owners. There are many misconceptions and myths about pets with cancer and treatment, especially with chemotherapy. Dr. Wright and his medical oncology team are here to help and to replace the misconceptions and fear with knowledge and hope. We strive to be a source of information and strength for your pet and your family.

If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, it is important not to become overwhelmed. Ask your veterinarian to write down the most important points for you to review later. Although the disease is serious, treatment decisions generally do not need to be made quickly. If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, however, you will either want to have your general practice veterinarian work in consultation with a veterinary oncologist, or be referred to one of these specialists for your pet's treatment.

Why a Board-certified Veterinary Oncologist?

Boarded oncologists have extensive training, including specialized internships and residencies, and must pass rigorous examinations to achieve their certification. Because their focus is exclusively devoted to the treatment of cancer, your pet is likely to have a better outcome when managed from the start by an oncologist.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Oncologist?

Just as in humans, a pet with cancer typically needs the help of an oncologist to help diagnose and treat the disease. Veterinary oncologists determine the most appropriate course of treatment and coordinate the treatment program for pets with cancer. They also frequently serve as consultants to veterinarians in private practice to ensure that their patients receive the best treatment possible for their cancer. You can be assured that a veterinarian who refers you and your pet to a veterinary oncologist is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her illness.

While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to simply consult with the veterinary oncologist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to actually refer you and your pet to the veterinary oncologist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board certified veterinary internists/oncologists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.

What Is A Veterinary Oncologist?

A board certified veterinary oncologist is a veterinary internal medicine specialist who has also obtained additional training in veterinary oncology. A veterinary oncologist has specialized knowledge in the diagnosis of cancer, the staging of tumors, the development of treatment plans, and the administration of chemotherapy. When your pet is faced with cancer, a veterinary oncologist will typically work in concert with your pet's general practitioner veterinarian in order to obtain the best possible medical outcome for your pet. A veterinary oncologist can help your pet by developing treatment plans that incorporate one or all of the following options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy

Why the Oncology Service at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center?

We are experts at diagnosing and treating cancer because Dr. Wright's sole focus is cancer. Our service tailors the treatment protocol for your pet's specific cancer and potential concurrent medical conditions to optimize the outcome and minimize side effects. In addition, our facility has a team of specialists who can assist in the treatment and care of your pet. We want your pet to not just live as long as possible, but to live well. The goal is for patients to have fewer complications and lead normal, happy lives.

Services we provide for your pet:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Melanoma vaccine
  • Advanced imaging: digital radiography, CT
  • Clinical trials
  • Pain management
  • Nutritional support
  • Stontium 90
  • Email exchange
  • Bereavement programs and support
  • 24-hour emergency care

We work in concert with your family veterinarian, who manages your pet's general care, and continually provide him/her with updates regarding your pet's treatment at VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center. Our Medical Oncology department offers expertise and compassion in treating your pet's cancer. For further information, please telephone us at 505 296-2982 or email us at [email protected].

My Pet Has Cancer. Now What?

Cancer does appear to be becoming more common in pets, most likely because they are simply living longer. The most important point to realize about this dreaded disease, however, is that just as in people, many forms of the disease can be easily treated, managed, and even cured. Early detection and specialized care are leading to increased survival and cure rates in almost all the types of cancers that afflict pets. From surgery to chemotherapy to radiation therapy, veterinary cancer specialists can offer your pet the very latest diagnostic and treatment options and the best chance of survival. With optimal treatment, cancer in many cases simply becomes another manageable chronic disease.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

In most cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care and will work in tandem with the veterinary oncologist, veterinary radiation oncologist, and any other members of your pet's veterinary health care team.

Did You Know?

Dogs and cats have higher age adjusted incidence rates for many kinds of cancers than do humans. For example, dogs are 35 times more likely to get skin cancer than are humans. They suffer from 8 times the amount of bone cancer and 4 times the amount of breast cancer. However, humans are more likely to get lung and stomach cancers than pets.

VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center

9901 Montgomery Blvd.

Albuquerque, NM 87111

Main: 505-296-2982

Fax: 866-822-2573 or 505-293-0324

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Other Hospital Hours:

Patient Care Coordinators available 7 days a week from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Specialty departments available by appointment.

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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