Medical Services

We are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions, including emergencies. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we can often give you immediate answers and start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Please take a look at the more detailed descriptions of medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your pet’s needs.

Hospitalization

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We provide facilities for routine hospitalization, intensive care, critical care and isolation. Our dedicated team of doctors, technicians and veterinary assistants will nurse and monitor your pet to ensure maximum comfort and care. Our in-hospital pharmacies are stocked with the therapeutics necessary for the treatment of your pet. We have immediate access through our local (human) hospitals for any highly specialized medications your pet may require. All patients’ treatment flow charts are regularly maintained and updated by our doctors and veterinary technicians. Your pet will be given a thorough examination 3 times daily (more if necessary) and your doctor will provide you with, the current health status of your pet, on a daily basis.

Cardiac Monitoring

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We provide on-site pet electrocardiograms and pet blood pressure readings. All pets undergoing a general anaesthetic are attached to a Doppler cardiac monitor or a pulse oximeter and have their blood pressure taken every 5 minutes in order to ensure an optimal anaesthetic status. We have direct access to Cardiopet and the Veterinary Heart Institute for complex cardiac cases; their panel of experts are immediately available for consultation and assistance in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

 

Outside Laboratory Services

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We utilize outside laboratory services for specialized blood, urine and faecal testing; histopathology and specialized cytology; viral and DNA testing; microbiology; and necropsy.

Annual Diagnostics

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Annual diagnostic testing allows your veterinarian to identify potential problems in time to prevent them from becoming major illnesses. Often treatment can begin before a crisis arises. As your pet grows older more comprehensive testing is necessary to determine its complete health status. We offer the following profiles for the various stages of your pet’s life:

  • Wellness Profile: For pets up to 6 years old. Annual testing includes a baseline whole blood and blood chemistry profile, which encompasses red and white cell, and kidney, liver and blood sugar status.
  • Life Enhancement Profile: For pets between 6 and 10 years of age. A more comprehensive annual whole blood and blood chemistry profile. Also includes thyroid function testing and a urinalysis. May include an electrocardiogram and/or X-rays if the veterinarian considers this necessary.
  • Mature Pet Profile: For pets greater than 10 years of age. Annual testing includes a comprehensive whole blood and blood chemistry profile; thyroid function testing; urinalysis; faecal analysis; chest X-rays; and an electrocardiogram.
  • Annual Faecal Analysis: A yearly stool check for internal parasites.
  • Pre-anaesthetic Testing: Pre-anaesthetic blood testing is required, as we need to know your pet’s physical status prior to the administration of a general anaesthetic. This greatly increases patient safety, reduces your anxiety level, and may disclose unknown medical conditions, which could indicate that the procedure should be postponed. The level of Pre-anaesthetic testing is dependant upon your pet’s age and current physical status.
Downtown Animal Hospital Dentistry

Dentistry

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Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.

Common signs of dental disease include:

  • Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes in eating or chewing habits
  • Pawing at the face
  • Loose teeth
  • Depression

Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.

Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems aren’t caught and treated quickly enough, they can result in death. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if infection in the mouth has spread.

Schedule your pet’s dental exam today! We can also show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup.

Downtown Animal Hospital Radiology

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 offer digital radiology (x-rays that are captured digitally rather than on film). This 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.

Downtown Animal Hospital Endoscopy

Endoscopy

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This minimally invasive procedure allows a veterinarian to see inside a pet’s body and, when necessary, take biopsies (tissue samples) without having to perform surgery. Endoscopy is commonly used to examine the inside of the ears, nose, esophagus, colon, bladder, stomach, and other internal organs. Endoscopy can also be used to assist with minimally invasive surgeries and is particularly valuable in retrieving swallowed items.

To perform this procedure, the veterinarian inserts the endoscope (a long tube with a camera at one end) into the area to be examined. Incisions are sometimes required; however, the incisions used for endoscopic procedures are considerably smaller than those used in traditional surgery. This means a much less painful and quicker recovery for your pet.

Endoscopy does require that your pet be placed under anesthesia. As with all such procedures, we follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his or her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

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

Downtown Animal Hospital Ultrasound

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.

Downtown Animal Hospital Complete Medical Assessment

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.