Medical

Our knowledgeable staff and modern facilities are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we often provide immediate answers to start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization for supportive care and further diagnostic testing. Please take a look at the medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your individual pet’s needs.

Medical Assessment

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To ensure a proper diagnosis, we often need to examine your pet. We begin a medical assessment by looking at your pet’s eyes, ears, and skin and checking his or her cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skeletal systems for any abnormalities. We will perform blood and/or urine tests as necessary to check your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Based on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as radiography (x-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound, or biopsy.

If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your pet, please call us to schedule a medical assessment. Depending on the symptoms, we may ask you to bring in your pet right away.

Pain Management

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Pain management is of great concern to both veterinary health care professionals and pet owners. As in human medicine, we have a variety of medications, nutraceuticals and ancillary treatments such as laser therapy to manage your pet’s pain, both before and after surgery or in the event of an injury or infection. We can also ease pain caused by chronic diseases, such as arthritis and cancers.

We would be pleased to discuss the options available to you and your pet under any of the above circumstances.

Behavioral Medicine

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Illness doesn’t always have a physical cause. With a thorough history, complete physical exam and ancillary laboratory work ups, the cause of such disorders as separation anxiety, aggression, dementia and obsessive behavior can be diagnosed.  Through the use of fatty acids, pheromones, calming nutriceuticals and animal approved drug modalities, a proper treatment program can then be implemented to set our patients back on track.

Dentistry

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Regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s teeth and subsequently vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver. We use modern and safe ultrasonic and hand scalers to clean each tooth thoroughly – above and below the gum line, front and back. A proper cleaning cannot be done in the awake animal although home brushing does help.  So general anesthesia is required to do a thorough job. Dental technicians polish the teeth to create a smooth, lustrous tooth surface that is more resistant to plaque buildup. Fluoride treatments help strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity. Full mouth xrays are also available to evaluate the tooth health that is hidden under the gumline.  Any teeth that are problematic are evaluated to determine if extractions are necessary.  Problematic teeth SHOULD be extracted to maintain the long-term health of your pet. Gum disease is painful and leads to loose teeth and is a source of serious infection to body organs. Our veterinarians are trained to know which teeth require removal and will only recommend extraction when there are no other options.  There is a misconception that dogs that have no teeth cannot eat.  This is not true.  Over the years, our clinic has never had a pet that would not eat after having multiple teeth (and in rare cases “ALL” teeth) pulled.  In fact, pets that are pain free are happier and healthier and owners have commented that once those diseased teeth were removed, their pet was acting like a youngster again.

Computerized Radiology

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Radiology – or X-rays – help our veterinarians evaluate muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular (cardiopulmonary), gastrointestinal, dental, reproductive and urinary systems.  These procedures can be of great diagnostic value. Barium and other products can be used to further enhance the intestinal tract and aid in identifying bowel obstructions or foreign bodies. OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) hip and elbow radiographs are performed routinely at our practice. With the advancement to DIGITAL radiography, images at our clinic are available for evaluation in less than 90 seconds!

Dermatology (Skin)

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Skin problems are common in dogs and cats and can be caused by hormonal disorders, allergies, infections, or parasites such as fleas and mites. These issues can be difficult to treat and should be addressed promptly.

We can often diagnose a skin problem by simply examining your pet. Some dermatologic diseases or conditions do require additional diagnostic procedures to ensure a correct diagnosis. Depending on your pet’s symptoms and the results of our physical exam, we may run blood work or perform a urinalysis, skin scraping, or biopsies.

Contact us if you notice your dog or cat scratching excessively or if he or she develops any bare patches, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps, or bumps.

Cardiology (Heart)

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Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can be cured.

Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.

Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems weak, or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.

Tonometry

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It is crucial for your pet’s vision that we detect and treat glaucoma and other problems with intraocular pressure (pressure within the eye) as quickly as possible. We can test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure. The test, performed with a device called a tonometer, is not painful and does not require sedation.

If not treated immediately (within hours to days), glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even blindness. Pets that have suffered eye injuries should have this test performed. In addition, we recommend that breeds that are prone to developing glaucoma come in for regular measurements so we can monitor eye pressure and begin treatment before any problem becomes irreversible. Please call us to discuss whether your pet may be at higher risk for glaucoma.

Call us right away if you notice any of the following problems in either or both of your pet’s eyes: dilated (enlarged) pupils, clouding of the cornea (the normally clear outer layer of the eye), red or bloodshot eyes, one eye protruding or appearing larger than the other, squinting, or tearing. Because glaucoma is painful, your pet may react by rubbing or pawing at the eyes or rubbing his or her head against the floor or furniture more than normal.

Ultrasonography

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Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body. It can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and bladder; to detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses; and to confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy.

We may use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician.

The ultrasonographer applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and create a more accurate visual image.

The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.

Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized. The hair in the area to be examined usually needs to be shaved so the ultrasonographer can obtain a good result.

If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Endocrinology (Hormones)

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Identifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in dogs and cats. These serious, potentially life-threatening conditions are more manageable when caught early, allowing us to begin proper treatment.

The endocrine system is made up of a group of tissues (mostly glands) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction and are dispersed to different areas of the body, depending on the hormone’s function. When a hormonal balance is disturbed (by a tumour or autoimmune disease, for instance), an endocrine disorder can develop. “Hyper” refers to an excess of hormone, and “hypo” refers to a deficiency in a hormone. Treatment varies depending on the disease.

There are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats:

  • Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin.
  • Hypothyroidism, which is often diagnosed in dogs, indicates that the animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) can also affect both species, although Cushing’s disease is rare in cats.

Contact us if your pet begins panting excessively, develops any skin issues (such as hair loss or dull coat), or shows any changes in behaviour, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.