Does your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, “dog breath” is not just a nuisance – it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and periodontal disease. As dental disease progresses, other signs can include drooling, discomfort while chewing, and loose or missing teeth. Even if you’re using treats and chews to help control tartar, these are generally not enough to keep dental disease in check. Ask us about the best ways to control tartar and help protect your pet from progressive dental disease.
We know that prevention and treatment of oral disease contributes to longer, healthier lives for our pets. Our dental services include education about prevention with home care, cleaning, polishing, digital dental x-rays, simple and surgical tooth extractions, and minor oral surgeries.
Call today to discuss your pet’s dental care needs and how we can help!
Radiography is a valuable diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. As we continually strive to offer the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer high quality (HDR) digital radiology services as a means of providing time efficient care to our patients. We also can digitally send your pets x-rays to a board certified veterinary radiologist for quick interpretations.
Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions—such as kidney, heart, or liver disease—can alter the size of these organs. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected as well as bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions.
A flea problem on your pet means a flea problem in your home. Understanding the flea life cycle and methods for its control can be a daunting task. We will gladly assist you in this process. We can provide you with safe, effective flea prevention and if necessary, flea treatment. See the flea article in the Pet Health Library of our site.
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.
Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. We offer thoracic radiographs (chest x-rays), blood pressure assessments, electrocardiograms and even have the ability to have a board certified Veterinary Cardiologist perform an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) in our clinic. 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.
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 easily and safely. 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 is a type of diagnostic technique that uses ultrasound waves to produce an imaging study. This means that when we perform an ultrasound, we can see internal images of the patient’s body. Unlike some other imaging studies, like x-rays, ultrasounds do not use radiation. Instead, it uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to create a picture of what is inside your pet’s body. An ultrasound is a completely non-invasive, painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases.
Because ultrasound images are produced in real time, this technology can be used to evaluate the heart as it beats. This can help us detect abnormalities in the motion of heart valves, blood flow through the heart, and contractions of the heart muscle. It can also be used to assess the heart for defects. As we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer ultrasound as one of our diagnostic capabilities. We can perform basic ultrasound studies as well as have more extensive studies performed by a board certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist here in our clinic.
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.
To ensure a proper diagnosis, we 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.