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.

Diagnostic Services

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At the Dog & Cat Clinic we have an in-house laboratory with the most advanced machines available. We are able to processes blood, urine, fecal, fluid and tissue samples. With the in-house laboratory we are able to get instantaneous results, so that we can get back to helping your pet as quickly as possible. We also use an external laboratory for complex analyses.

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.

Flea Control

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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.

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.

Ultrasound

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At The Dog & Cat Clinic we have an Ultrasound Technician who comes to the clinic offering mobile ultrasound services. This allows our patients to stay within the clinic when undergoing treatment and testing.

The importance of ultrasound cannot be understated. Pets can be stoic creatures and will often hide when they are not well making it challenging to diagnose their illness. Diagnostic imaging is typically performed after a physical examination and blood tests indicate a possible problem.

Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs. It does not involve radiation and has no known side effects. The belly is shaved and a gel is applied to the skin. This gel helps the ultrasound transducer (a small handheld tool) to slide easily over the skin and create a more accurate visual image. The transducer emits sound waves toward the body structures. These waves create echoes of varying degrees, depending on the density of the tissue. The echoes are then converted into detailed, three-dimensional, moving images that can be viewed on a monitor.

Ultrasound visualizes organs differently than a radiograph. For example, if the abdomen is filled with fluid, the organs cannot be viewed on a radiograph because the fluid and tissue have the same density. An ultrasound can see through the fluid and is able to distinguish organs from one another. It is also useful, for the same reason, for seeing inside an organ. Ultrasound does not replace radiography because it cannot see through air or bones. These procedures complement each other. It is common to advise both x-rays and an ultrasound in order to get a complete picture of a patient’s health.

By gathering information about your pet’s illness through the diagnostic process, we are able to better inform you about their prognosis and the treatment options available.

If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during the procedure, please do not 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.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) 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.

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 cat or dog, please call us to schedule a medical assessment. Depending on the symptoms, we may ask you to bring in your pet right away.