Buffalo Grove veterinary clinic wins rare distinction for trauma treatment

A Buffalo Grove veterinary clinic that last year drew attention when it opened an 8,600-square-foot rehab and exercise center for pets now has become the first in the Midwest to win Level 1 trauma center certification for its emergency care facilities.

"The majority of trauma cases we see are animals that are either hit by cars or attacked by other animals," Dr. Kara Osterbur said when the certification won by Veterinary Specialty Center was formally announced Wednesday. "We see a lot of dog bite wounds; coyote attacks are becoming more prevalent, too."

Sharon Harris of Libertyville talked about the care her Jack Russell terrier Dasey received at the center after her hide was ripped off in a dog attack last January.

"I took her to a local vet and spent about two days there, but they couldn't save her," Harris said. "I took her to another clinic and they couldn't save her. And then I brought her here."

The dog had a severe infection, and the clinic did emergency surgery on Christmas Day.

"She was here off and on for two months, but they did a wonderful job," Harris said

  Paul Klassman of Elk Grove Village brings his Lab mix Milo to at Buffalo Grove's Veterinary Specialty Center, Illinois' only Level 1 Veterinary Trauma Center. Milo had a tumor on his spleen that ruptured. "Hopefully he's on the road to recovery," Klassman said. Bob Chwedyk/

Paul Klassman of Elk Grove Village said the clinic was able to save his dog Milo, a Lab mix, after a tumor on his spleen ruptured and vets removed both.

"He bled 1.8 liters into his abdomen," Klassman said. "Hopefully he's on the road to recovery."

Tranetta McComb of Barrington brought her 6-month-old dog Penny to the center with a fractured skull.

"I've had three different dogs here, and on a rating from one to 10, I would rate them 12," McComb said.

Veterinary Specialty Center is one of just five Level 1 Veterinary Trauma Centers in the United States designated by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the Veterinary Committee on Trauma. Of the pets with traumatic injury seen over the past two years, nearly 90 percent have survived and been successfully discharged, clinic officials said.

  Tranetta McComb of Barrington brings her Irish Cream Golden Retriever Penny to Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, which is Illinois' only Level 1 Veterinary Trauma Center. Bob Chwedyk/

"The trauma initiative is a network of hospitals that work together to help improve trauma medicine," said Dr. Jennifer Herring. "There are three main goals: To improve the patient's care, to improve research on trauma medicine, and a way to gain exposure and allow us to gather information on cases so that we can work together to come up with solutions for some of these more complicated cases."

The center's team comprises 12 emergency veterinarians, three technician specialists and a team of certified veterinary technicians and technician assistants, all of whom collaborate closely with 20 other specialists throughout the hospital to provide the highest level of care.

  Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove is Illinois' only Level 1 Veterinary Trauma Center. Bob Chwedyk/

"It's exciting to see our hospital and team recognized for their strong collaborative effort," Dr. Mitch Robbins, chief of surgery, said in a news release, crediting Herring with being the driving force behind the certification.

The clinic at 1515 Busch Parkway was founded in 1976. More information is at or

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