Annual examinations are the best way for us to determine the overall health of a patient and help to detect problems in an early stage before serious illness or complications occur. Early detection and preventative medicine save lives and can save owners the expense of dealing with problems that have been allowed to progress into more complicated stages. Our caring veterinarians are here for you. During an annual exam the veterinarian will review vaccination status, diet and parasite control. A thorough physical exam will follow, looking at dental health, eyes, ears, coat, skin and body condition. The heart and lungs are ausculted for abnormalities such as heart murmurs, arrhythmias, atypical breath sounds or other issues. The veterinarian will palpate the abdomen feeling for any changes in abdominal organs (such as kidneys, liver, bladder, spleen, intestinal tract) or other abnormal findings such as free fluid or masses. The veterinarian will also evaluate the urogenital tract and lymph nodes and look for any changes in the musculoskeletal or nervous systems. Specific bloodwork and other diagnostic tests are done based upon the animals age and health condition.
Vaccinations are given annually or every three years depending on the patient and the specific vaccinations administered. We treat every patient as an individual and design a vaccination protocol that best fits your pet. Routine vaccinations for canine patients include Rabies, DA2PPV, Leptospirosis, Canine Flu (H3N2 & H3N8), and Bordetella, while routine vaccinations for feline patients include Rabies, FVRCP and Leukemia.
Home Again microchipping can be performed at any time in our office. We include the first year's registration in our cost because of how important we feel it is to get your pet's information in the database right away.
This simple procedure involves placing a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) between the shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number. In the event that your pet is lost they can be scanned by a local veterinary hospital, shelter or humane society and returned home to you. This procedure is quick and inexpensive and provides great peace of mind for you and your pet in the event they were to ever become lost.
Living in Florida we see a lot of itchy pets! If you have noticed your pet itching, biting, licking or chewing at himself it’s time for a visit. Itchy pet? See the vet! Skin that is red, dry, flaky or oozing may be signs of other problems that need to be addressed. After a thorough evaluation and diagnostics the doctor will determine if your pets problems are due to parasites, fungal or bacterial infection or allergies and treat appropriately. Our goal is to find the underlying cause and bring the patient relief as soon as possible.
Quality nutrition is a very important part of your pets everyday health. Some pets require special diets due to health needs while others are on healthy maintenance formulas. Not all brands are created equal and it is important to feed a product that is backed by science and studies proving its nutritional superiority. There are several diets on the market that may be tempting with their commercials and claims –consult with your veterinarian before selecting a new food. We feed and recommend Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet for our patients. For more information and money saving coupons visit www.hillspet.com
Sometimes it’s difficult to know if our pet is acting strangely due to behavior or a health concern. Our veterinarians will sometimes see an otherwise kind pet turn aggressive due to the oral pain of a broken tooth or a kitty begin to urinate outside of the litterbox due to a urinary tract infection. The safest way to determine what is causing a new or unwanted behavior is to schedule an exam. During this time the veterinarians and hospital staff will discuss what is going on with your pet and take the steps needed to determine what is causing the behavior.
Our veterinarians provide a wide range of surgical services from routine spay and neuter procedures to more complex surgeries such as those involving the stomach, intestinal tract, and urinary bladder. Our main focus is patient safety and comfort during procedures. Our veterinarians continually review the most up to date surgical practices and attend continuing education programs to ensure that we are employing the most current surgical protocols and safety measures. A staff member monitors your pet during surgery charting their heart rate, oxygen saturation levels, respiration rate and anesthesia level. We make sure that they are kept at a comfortable temperature with heat support as needed throughout surgery and recovery.
We offer electrosurgery, by using radio frequency (RF) alternate current, per the doctor's discretion for some procedures at no additional cost. This is a big benefit to our patients and offers superior advantages to traditional or laser surgery. There is no risk of accidentally burning other areas of tissue through reflection or penetration of a light beam, as with a laser. Electrosurgery provides a tactile incision requiring minimal pressure, which allows the veterinary surgeon to sense what he is cutting. Radio frequency energy is also low temperature, minimizing the occurrence of tissue necrosis and burning.
Electrosurgery causes minimal tissue damage and therefore decreases post-operative pain. The low temperature of the RF also leads to less tissue destruction and decreased post-surgical edema. This procedure vaporizes bacteria, preventing infectious agents from being seeded along the length of the incision and reduces the risk of infection. There are minimal safety precautions with electrosurgery deeming it safer to use then electrocautery or laser. With less tissue destruction, healing is hastened and patients recover quicker.
After the procedure a discharge time will be appointed to go over medications and instructions. We will answer any questions that you may have about post operative pain management and will be available through every step of the recovery.
We know that surgery can sometimes be a cause of stress and worry. You may have questions about the safety of anesthesia or worry about how your pet will be cared for. Let us address your questions and concerns and put your mind at ease. Whether the procedure is routine or more complex, give us a call and let us discuss how our services may benefit your pet. Remember we have a licensed vet on staff to answer any questions you may have.
SPECIALTY SURGERY (BY REFERRAL ONLY)
Dr. Ronald Montgomery is a board certified surgeon. He visits our hospital every Tuesday through Thursday to perform orthopedic evaluations and surgeries for patients who are referred to him in the area. He also performs selective soft-tissue surgeries. Some of the many surgeries performed in our hospital by Dr. Montgomery include TECA, TPLO, FHO, lateral suture, patella luxation repair, OCD, amputation and fracture repair.
What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure orthopedic surgeons use to visualize, treat, and diagnose problems within a joint.
During this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the patient's skin and inserts an instrument that has a miniature video camera and light to magnify the joint up to 20x. This is an ideal procedure that can help avoid large incisions needed for surgery.
We can find many different conditions in the joint during this procedure including:
Loose bodies of bone and cartilage: OCD (Osteochondrosis/Osteochondritis Dissecans) of the knee, shoulder, elbow, and hock (ankle).
Inflammation: Acute and Chronic Synovitis – inflamed lining (synovium) in stifle (knee), shoulder, elbow, or hip
Bursitis: Inflammation of a sac-like structure that surrounds ligaments
Injury: Shoulder: OCD, inflammation or tears of the bicipital tendon, rotator cuff injuries Knee: Cranial cruciate ligament tears with instability, meniscal (fibrocartilage) tears, chondromalacia (softening, wearing, or injury of cartilage) Elbow: OCD, UAP, and FCP associated with elbow dysplasia Hip: Tearing of the ligaments or joint capsule, cartilage damage
Several disorders can be treated with a combination of traditional and arthroscopic surgery including:
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury in the Knee Patella Luxation OCD of the Shoulder, Elbow, Knee, or Hock Elbow Dysplasia: Coronoid Disease, UAP Shoulder Injuries
Many patients feel little to no pain from an arthroscopic procedure.
Have you flipped the lip of your pet lately? Have you noticed difficulty eating or missing teeth? If you are smelling bad breath or are seeing red swollen gums or a yellow/brown crust of plaque on your pets teeth it’s time for a dental cleaning. These cleanings are important to the overall health of your pet and are recommended on an annual basis.
A dental cleaning starts with first doing a physical exam prior to the procedure, getting some pre-anesthetic bloodwork sent to our lab, and giving you, the owner, a written estimate of what we believe will need to be addressed.
On the morning of surgery, (if we haven’t had bloodwork performed at our previous visit), a small amount of blood will be drawn to check liver and kidney function as well as a platelet count, and an IV catheter will be placed to begin fluids.
The doctor will perform a preanesthetic evaluation prior to giving an injection to help relax the patient, start pain control and prepare them for anesthesia.
Once the dental area is prepared, the patient is anesthetized and digital dental radiographs (“x-rays”) are taken of every tooth. Digital x-rays are wonderful because we can quickly isolate an issue with the teeth versus waiting for the film to develop which takes more time and longer anesthesia on your pet.
While the veterinarian is reading the radiographs a technician is beginning to clean and scale away the dental tartar. The doctor then does a full probe and chart of the mouth and uses that information in conjunction with the dental radiographs to determine if any extractions will be needed. Extractions may be performed on teeth with abscesses, advanced mobility, fractures, bone loss, resorptive lesions or other indications for removal. Once extractions are complete and the surgical site sutured the remaining teeth are cleaned and polished. Anesthesia is then discontinued and the pet is monitored while recovering. They are able to go home the same day. A discharge appointment will be held at the end of the day and home care recommendations will be reviewed.
Our hospital has an advanced digital radiograph system. This machine allows us to quickly take a radiograph of your pet and view the image in only a few seconds. This is better for your pet in that radiographs can be taken quickly, without the waiting time for developing the film. The radiographic image itself may be enhanced and manipulated on the screen allowing the veterinarian to detect things that may not have been evident on a traditional film. The ability to store all of our radiographs on a digital storage system allows us to view the images on multiple locations throughout the hospital or e-mail the images to other veterinarians or specialists if needed.
Wellness testing is recommended every year to help us evaluate the overall health of your pet and discover any health concerns early. While it may seem silly to do testing on a dog or cat that is healthy it is anything but. While we are anticipating results to come back normal this is not always the case. Often times we are alerted to underlying health issues that were not yet showing a physical sign. These issues can be quickly addressed and allow our patients to live longer and healthier lives. When results do come back normal we are given peace of mind and a reference range to compare to for future labwork. This helps us to determine if any values may be changing slowly over time or need to be looked into further.
IN-HOUSE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY
Our in-house lab permits rapid in-house evaluation of many critical blood values when timing may be crucial or for the convenience of rapid results.
*IDEXX VET LAB STATION
This integrated in-house vet lab diagnostics system combines results from the separate in-house lab machines into a single report. This vet lab station also shows your pet's results from that day as well as previous testing that we have done on your pet. This allows us to compare results and watch for trending that may be occurring, (for example – a kidney value slowly increasing over the years may alert us to early renal disease). This vet lab machine imports patient info from avimark, our practice management software, to help ensure accuracy and also exports results back to avimark to aid in accurate record keeping. The Idexx vet lab station also has another great feature in that it is able to connect to our reference lab (the blood that we send out of the hospital) and is able to correlate in-house and send-out dat in an easy to read timeline. This allows us to safely store a lifetime of your pet's bloodwork for easy viewing and keeps all of their information together should we need to consult with a specialist at the Idexx reference laboratory.
*IDEXX LASERCYTE In-house CBC Machine This sophisticated blood machine performs a complete blood cell count in just a few minutes. This allows us to evaluate red blood cells, including absolute reticulocyte count, offers a full 5 part white blood cell differential and platelet count. This machine has the capability to read not just whole blood but also other body fluids (such as abdominal fluid).
*IDEXX CATALYST IN-HOUSE CHEMISTRY ANALYZER This wonderful diagnostic tool permits rapid “bedside” evaluation of standard basic blood chemistries/systems such as hepatic and renal values (live and kidney), protein levels, amylase/lipase, calcium/phosphorus as well as electrolytes. We often use this machine to test a patient the morning of surgery prior to performing anesthesia or if a patient is ill in the hospital. This machine can run multiple patient samples simultaneously to aid in rapidity of results.
*HESKA ANTIGEN HEARTWORM TEST This test utilizes only 3 drops of blood and takes a mere 10 minutes for immediate knowledge of current heartworm testing results in cases where a patient is ill or may wish to being taking a certain heartworm medication that day.
*IDEXX SNAP FELV/FIV TEST This test checks a cat for Feline Leukemia as well as the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. This test also utilizes only 3 drops of blood and a short 10 minutes for rapid results of your cats’ status for immediate need in case of illness or to confirm negative status before bringing home a new addition to your feline family. This test is also done prior to start the Leukemia series.
*IDEXX SNAP PARVOVIRUS TEST This test checks a symptomatic puppy for Parvovirus. This test uses only a few drops of fecal material and a short 10 minutes for rapid results for immediate need to confirm positive status and start supportive treatment.