Medical Services

Our staff and facility allow us to deal with a variety of medical conditions your pet may experience. We hope we do not have to see you or your pet for an emergency but if we do, we are equipped to handle the situation. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Our website describes the medical services we offer in more detail.

veterinarian examining orange cat

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.

flea

Flea Prevention and Control

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Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a preventive today.

dog getting teeth brushed

Dentistry

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No matter where you have your dental procedure done, the clinic should have and use radiographs or you are wasting your time, money and not doing any real service to your pet.

We used to book off 5 hours for a dental procedure and we did the assessment and oral surgery (extractions etc) all at the same time. This was neither fair for the client (as we could not quote for the extractions till we saw what we needed by the assessment) nor efficient for us as some procedures were 2 hours long and others could be up to 5 hours long.

The OVMA (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association) suggested we do what human dentists do. That is, they have you come in for a cleaning and assessment first, and IF any other problems are found by probing and radiographs, we have you come back for any additional work, usually within a month of the cleaning. We then can give you a fixed cost to the second procedure (again, only if needed) since we then know what has to be done. We provide a detailed report to the client with photos and explanations if your pet needs more than a cleaning. So this makes the cleaning and assessment a simple quote for all. Unlike in humans where we can do these things awake, in animals it involves a general anesthetic.

What do we include in a dental cleaning and assessment?:

Pre-surgical blood work (if none has been done within the last year)

Pre-medicate to reduce anxiety and help make anesthesia safer and smoother.

Anesthesia (which includes monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation of tissues, EKG and body temperature). In addition to this we provide heating pads below and heating units above your pet to keep him/her warm during and after anesthesia. A technician monitors your pet before, during and after the procedure.

We give subcutaneous fluids for the cleaning and assessment.

Supragingival scaling (to remove calculus/tartar)
Subgingival therapy (to remove debris and bacteria from under the gums)
Polishing
Flouride
Sulcular irrigation
In some cases Gingivectomy and Gingivoplasty are needed as well

We probe around all quadrants of each tooth.

We radiograph all teeth.

We chart the results and if there are issues, create a detailed, easy to understand report with your pets radiographs.

We monitor recovery and small dogs and cats are put in our human pediatric incubator to keep them warm and comfortable.

This all takes about two hours of our time (and an additional hour to clean and sterilize all the equipment) and involves the veterinarian and technician and often an additional staff member.

No teeth extractions are generally done at this time as when we do extractions it involves not only removing the teeth (which have very, very long roots) but also removing the dead and infected bone around the tooth, level down the bone socket, so no rough edges are present, grafting the gums across the empty space and suturing with very fine absorbable material. This all involves a surgical head loop light source, special magnifying glasses designed for the surgeon and a good deal of experience. This also involves a great deal of time. Sometimes we see massive bone infections and cancer on these assessments.

If your pet needs extractions based on the assessment, we print out a detailed report with dental radiographs and explanations of what has to be done. We print a chart to show you which teeth need removal. We now know how long it will take for the extractions/dead bone removal (i.e. oral surgery) and we give you a fixed price for this procedure that should be done within 1-2 months. So there will be no surprises or unexpected cost.

 

 

xray

Radiology (X-rays)

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When we need to figure out what’s wrong with your pet, we routinely use x-rays to help identify the cause of the problem, rule out possible problems, or provide a list of possible causes. We may also use x-rays during a wellness exam to diagnose potential problems before they become serious.

X-rays provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). We use radiology alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.

We are proud to offer digital radiology (x-rays that are captured digitally rather than on film). This state-of-the-art technology allows us to provide you with a quicker diagnosis for your pet. Plus, it uses less radiation than traditional x-rays.

To avoid a blurry image, pets need to remain completely still while an x-ray is taken. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use short-acting general anesthesia.

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

cartoon skin cells

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 particularly 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.

cartoon heart

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.

cartoon dog diagram of kidney and adrenal gland

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 much 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 tumor 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 behavior, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.