Your pet is an important part of your family, and when he or she is ill, you want the best medical care available.
The veterinarians and staff at our clinic are ready to provide your pet with cutting edge veterinary medical care. From wellness exams and vaccines to advanced diagnostics and complex surgical procedures, your dog, cat or ferret will receive high quality care at our hospital.
Adult Pet Wellness
We provide diagnostic and wellness services for your adult pet including but not limited to: blood testing, fecal testing, and urine testing. Your personal yearly check up at your doctor is likely to include these tests and so should your pet’s yearly exam. Every year we detect many disease processes in apparently ‘normal’ adult animals. The results help us address problems in the early stages. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatments can result in your companion living a longer healthier life.
Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring
Anesthesia and patient monitoring varies greatly among clinics. When you choose your veterinarian, be sure to question the types of anesthetics used and the protocols for monitoring anesthesia.
Often the more expensive anesthetics are safer to use; however, anesthetics are also chosen for other reasons including their ability to control pain.
- Local Anesthesia: A local anesthetic causes a loss of sensation to a ‘local’ area. Small surgical or diagnostic procedures may require a local anesthetic to perform. A biopsy is a common diagnostic procedure where local anesthetic can be used to control pain. A biopsy involves surgical removal of a small portion of tissue. Dental nerve blocks are also a common form of local anesthesia and a way of reducing pain and speeding recovery after a dental procedure.
- Tranquilization/Sedation: Tranquilization or sedation is used to calm an animal under various conditions. The animal remains awake or may ‘sleep’ but is easily aroused when stimulated. Pet owners frequently request sedation for their animals during travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. Sedation and tranquilization are not without risk and each animal should be assessed prior to dispensing these medicines.
- General Anesthesia: A general anesthetic results in a loss of consciousness in the animal and a loss of sensation throughout the body. Most general anesthetic procedures involve several steps beginning with the administration of a sedative. An intravenous injection of an anesthetic renders the animal unconscious while a breathing tube is placed into the animal’s trachea. A gas anesthetic is delivered in combination with oxygen to the animal via the breathing tube to maintain the state of unconsciousness.
- Although general anesthetics are significantly safer than they have been in the past, there is still the remote chance of an anesthetic accident. There are many ways to reduce the risk associated with anesthesia including a thorough physical examination and blood work prior to anesthesia. Anesthetic monitoring equipment and protocol can also contribute to a safer anesthesia.
- Patient Monitoring: During general anesthesia, our patients are monitored closely by a registered animal health technician for heart rate and rhythm with electrocardiography, respiratory rate, capillary refill time, peripheral pulses, oxygenation of the blood, and auscultation. Our staff is with your pet the entire time that they are under anesthesia.
We offer individualized dog and cat behavioral counseling on a variety of issues including aggressive behavior and inappropriate elimination. If you are concerned about some aspect of your pet’s behavior, please contact us. You are also welcome to use our website library.
We also advise additional tests be performed on your breeding female prior to her estrus cycle. Blood work including a thyroid analysis will rule out any potential breeding problems that may be addressed prior to the breeding period. Please call and set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians to discuss your breeding program in greater detail.
- Caesarian Section: Most animals deliver their young without any complication. There are times when mothers require assistance and medical therapy is usually attempted to resolve the problem first. When medical therapy fails to assist the mother with delivery, a caesarian section is performed. During a caesarian section, the mother is given an anesthetic. An incision is made along her abdomen and through the uterus to retrieve unborn puppies or kittens. In some situations, it is recommended the mother be spayed at the same time as the c-section is performed. This is usually recommended to prevent future problems of this nature.
- Vaginal Cytology: Vaginal cytology is performed on female dogs during their estrus cycle to help determine the optimum time to breed and enhance the success of pregnancy. The types of cells present in the vagina vary depending on the stage of estrus. A swab is taken of the cells lining the vagina and analyzed under a microscope. Usually more than one swab is required to determine the optimum time to breed.
- Artificial Insemination: More information to come.
- Surgical Insemination: More information to come.
A heart problem can affect your pet at any age although it is more often found in older pets. Heart failure occurs when the heart no longer has the ability to pump blood around the body effectively. Heart failure can lead to congestive heart failure. If an animal is suffering from congestive heart failure, it usually accumulates fluid in the lungs although it can result in fluid accumulation in the abdomen as well. Animals suffering from congestive heart failure often experience difficulty breathing and frequent coughing. Some causes of heart failure include: congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the valves of the heart), heartworm disease, and arrythmias (rhythm disturbances).
Many heart problems can be identified on physical examination. Additional tests are usually required to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease. Additional tests include EKGs (electrocardiograms), radiographs (X-rays). Sometimes a referral to a Cardiologist for echocardiogram (ultrasound) and evaluation will be recommended.
Heart disease is a serious life threatening condition but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life.
Chemotherapy & Cancer Treatment
Unfortunately, animals are also susceptible to cancer. They can develop cancer (abnormal cell growth) of the blood, the bone, the skin, the liver, etc. Spaying and neutering dogs and cats at an early age can prevent some forms of cancer. Recent advancements in cancer treatment can extend the lives of some pets dramatically. It may involve a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. An accurate diagnosis is necessary before we may begin any form of treatment.
Complete Medical Assessment
A complete medical assessment begins with a thorough physical examination whereby your pet’s eyes, ears, skin, cardiovascular, neurologic, gastrointestinal and skeletal system are examined for any abnormalities. Blood tests can be performed as necessary to assess the proper functioning of your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system including the thyroid gland and adrenal glands. Urine tests can detect similar problems. Depending on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests such as radiography (X-rays), or surgery.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Insufficiency
One of the most common orthopedic injuries seen in our canine patients is the rupture of the Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL). When your pet ruptures this ligament it causes lameness and pain. This injury will lead to long term osteoarthritis of the knee as well as damaging other structures, such as the meniscus. Surgical options for this injury are the Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA), Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) and the Extracapsular Stabilization. We recommend the TTA or TPLO to treat this injury.
- Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA): TTA is a surgical procedure designed to correct cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) deficient stifles. The objective of the TTA is to advance the tibial tuberosity, which changes the angle of the patellar ligament to neutralize the tibiofemoral shear force during weight bearing. By neutralizing the shear forces in the stifle caused by a ruptured or weakened CCL, the joint becomes more stable without compromising joint congruency. TTA appears to be a less invasive procedure than some other techniques for stabilizing the deficient cranial cruciate ligament such as TPLO (Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy), as TTA does not disrupt the primary weight-bearing axis of the tibia.
- Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO): The TPLO procedure stabilizes the knee by leveling the tibial plateau. The TPLO surgery provides a more rapid recovery, improved range of motion, reduction in the progression of arthritis and can return the patient to complete pre-injury performance as compared to other surgical options. It is important that the veterinarian performing the surgery be certified to perform the TPLO procedure.
- TPLO Certified Veterinarians
- Extracapsular Stabilization: This procedure stabilizes the knee joint through the use of high strength monofilament nylon suture. This monofilament material is placed on the outside of the joint capsule (extracapsular), and simulates the biomechanical angle of the ruptured cruciate ligament.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of oral disease include tartar buildup, red and swollen gums, bad breath, changes in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and generalized depression.
A veterinarian should evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. We recommend this because bacteria and food debris accumulates around a pet’s teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.
There are other reasons why you should pay close attention to your pet’s dental health. Dental disease can affect other organs in the body: bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood stream and may cause serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and heart valve disease. Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in a pet’s body. A thorough physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if this is the case.
Animal Care Center cares about the oral health of your pet and offers a wide range of oral health procedures for its veterinary patient. All dental procedures begin with a thorough oral examination, complete dental charting of all teeth and oral lesions. We use modern state-of-the-art equipment to perform a complete prophylaxis (cleaning).
Through specialized training our staff and doctors are now equipped to provide advanced oral surgeries and tooth repair for you pet. Modern procedures now allow the option to repair of perform therapies to important teeth that not long ago had to be extracted. These procedures include:
- Digital Dental Radiographs (x-rays)
- Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy, Vital Pulpectomy and Pulp Capping)
- Surgical Tooth Extractions
- Crown Restorations
- Jaw Fracture Repair
- Gingivectomies (excess gum tissue removal)
- Oral Neoplasia (cancer) Surgeries
- Closure of Oronasal Fistuals
Dermatology refers to the study of the skin. Skin disease is a frequently observed problem in dogs and cats. Diagnosing a skin problem in your pet may simply require an examination by a veterinarian; however, most skin diseases or problems require additional steps to accurately obtain a diagnosis. Additional diagnostic procedures may include blood work, urinalysis, skin scraping, biopsies, etc.
The cause of skin problems range from hormonal disorders to the common flea. You should book an appointment for your animal if you notice any excessive itchy behavior, loss of hair, and / or the presence of scabs or scale on the skin.
Emergency and/or Extended Care
24-Hour On-Call Emergency Service: Using other area Veterinarians we are able to provide emergency service to our clients.
House Calls: Occasionally, for special circumstances we find it necessary to accommodate our client’s needs through a home visit. Many animals find a visit to their local veterinarian to be a very stressful experience. If your pet finds these visits uncomfortable, or if you find that it is time to say goodbye to your furry friend and prefer to have one of our doctors come to your home please call to see if we are able to arrange an appointment.
Endocrinology is the study of hormones and there are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats. Hypothyroidism is often diagnosed in dogs. Hypothyroidism indicates that the animal has low levels of circulating thyroid hormone. The opposite is true for cats. They are frequently diagnosed with high levels of circulating thyroid hormones.
Additional endocrine problems include Cushing’s Disease and Addison’s Disease.
There are many signs observable in pets with endocrine disease. These signs include (but are not limited to) the following: abnormal energy levels, abnormal behavior, abnormal drinking, urinating and eating behavior, excessive panting, skin disorders, and weight gain or loss.
Making end-of-life decisions for our companion animals can be a very difficult and emotional experience. At Animal Care Center, we understand that it can be hard to make the decision of whether or not to have a pet euthanized. We are willing and able to consult with you regarding your pet’s health concerns and whether or not their current quality of life may warrant making this difficult choice. Our staff does everything that we can to make the euthanasia process as easy and smooth as possible, and you are welcome to be present with your pet as they pass. Please ask us if you have any more detailed questions about the euthanasia process. Any time a pet is euthanized, Animal Care Center prepares an imprint of one of your pet’s paws in a circle of clay (Clay Paw) to be brought home and baked as a keepsake to help carry on your pet’s memory. Please also ask us about our cremation options, as well as remembrance urns/boxes for your pet’s cremains.
Click Here For Help With Pet Loss and Grief Support
Exotic Pet Medicine & Surgery
We are pleased to offer you veterinary services for ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, and other small but important pets. If our doctors are not compfortable treating your species of exotic pet, we can refer you to a local veterinarian with more specialized experience with exotic pets.
Your ferret should be examined yearly by a veterinarian. A stool sample for parasite check should be submitted at the same time as the yearly check up. Vaccines are available for ferrets and can be discussed with you during your visit.
Common problems associated with ferrets include gastrointestinal disease (diarrhea), parasites and cancer. Ferrets are inquisitive creatures by nature and frequently ingest objects they shouldn’t. Any loss of appetite or abnormal behavior should alert you to a potential problem and the need for veterinary consultation.
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.
Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice & Rats
Your furry friends require veterinary attention too! You should seek veterinary attention if your pet stops eating, appears quieter than normal, exhibits discharge from the eyes or nose, and/or develops a lump on its body. Teeth grow continuously in these small animals and often require attention.
Grief Support (Pet Loss)
The loss of a pet can be a tragic event. The emotions we have as a result of this loss are real, justifiable and nothing to be ashamed of. Our team understands these feelings, as many of us have faced this in our own lives. We also have literature that can help you and your children deal with the loss of a family pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding this issue.
Link to Midwest Veterinary Cremation: http://www.mcsofmn.com/
Midwest Cremation Service of MN is our pet cremation service provider.
Your pet is an important part of your life and deserves a dignified and respectful final disposition. Let us help you with our professional and ethical services.
We specialize in unique, one of a kind ceramic pet urns. Made to order for your special friend
We are able to offer grooming services for both dogs and cats at our clinic. Grooming can have many additional health benefits to your pet beside the usual ‘beauty parlor’ look and smell! A matted pet can quickly become a target for flies in the summer months. Remember also that an ‘unkept’ animal may be a sign that the animal is not well and should be examined by one of our veterinarians. During many months of the year our grooming schedule can get very busy and appointments are sometimes not available for 8 weeks. We recommend setting up your grooming appointments well in advance. We can even help you set them up for the entire year spaced as far apart as your pet needs.
Health Screening Tests
- Hip Dysplasia:OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certification: We are able to radiograph your dog’s hips for hip dysplasia at 24 months of age. We will forward these radiographs to a Board Certified Radiologist for OFA certification. Correct positioning of your dog is essential for proper radiographic evaluation, so a general anesthetic is required to make the procedure less stressful for him or her.
- Renal Dysplasia: Renal dysplasia is an uncommon but significant disease found in some Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos and Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers. Renal dysplasia is a disease in which the kidneys fail to develop normally. Dogs usually become clinically ill before one year of age. If you are a breeder testing for this can significantly reduce your chances of breeding this inherited problem in your dogs.
- VonWillebrands Disease: We offer testing for this disease which, in some breeds, is a highly inheritable trait. Von Willebrand’s disease is similar to hemophilia in humans and can result in life threatening bleeding. Often dogs that carry this disease in their genetic makeup go undetected until an emergency situation arises during a routine procedure such as a spay or neuter. In some cases, the disease may become apparent when a small superficial injury results in significant blood loss. Knowing your dog’s condition ahead of time can make the difference between life and death.
Commonly affected breeds include Doberman Pinschers, Scottish Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Poodles and Pembrooke Welsh Corgis. As many as 50% of Dobermans are affected with this disease.
Some animals show no signs of the disease but are carriers of the genetic problem. If these dogs are allowed to reproduce, they can pass the disease on to their offspring. If you are a breeder, consider using this test before breeding your dogs.
Our kitten wellness program is designed to offer your new kitten all the benefits of veterinary services available to him / or her from 6 weeks of age to 16 weeks of age. Included in this service is a series of examinations and vaccinations including rabies, panleukopenia (distemper), leukemia, etc. In addition, your kitten will be tested for worms and be treated for the most common intestinal worm of kittens – roundworms. Roundworms can cause your kitten to vomit and / or experience diarrhea; however, it is possible for your kitten to have roundworms and not show any signs of harboring the worms. A microscopic fecal examination will allow us to evaluate the presence of these worms. The examination will also look for other types of worms that can affect your kitten.
Lasers have been successfully used on humans for over 30 years. This knowledge gained in human medicine is beneficial for your pets. Your pet’s health is as important to us as it is to you. Hundreds of veterinarians are offering laser surgery as an exciting new option for safer, more comfortable treatment. In many procedures, the laser can replace the scalpel and provide a better alternative to traditional surgery.
Why laser surgery?
- Less Pain
The laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts.” As a result, your pet will experience less pain and be more comfortable post operatively.
- Less Bleeding
The Laser seals small blood vessels during surgery. This speeds many procedures, reducing the time your pet needs to be under anesthesia, which further reduces possible complications.
- Less Swelling
Laser energy does not crush, tear or bruise tissue because the only thing that touches your pet is an invisible beam of light.
What does this mean for my pet?
- Reduced risk of infection
As the laser removes diseased tissue, it seals the skin and reduces the amount of bacteria present.
The laser can remove unhealthy tissue while minimizing adverse effects to healthy surrounding tissue.
- Quick return to normal activities
Healing is rapid and there is less post-operative discomfort and a better course of healing.
There are many indications for medicated baths in animals. One of the most common reasons for using a medicated bath is to treat ‘itchy’ skin. Another common condition responsive to medicated baths is seborrhea. Medicated baths are recommended after your pet has been examined and the skin problem properly diagnosed by a veterinarian. Keep in mind that unusual things such as hypothyroidism can be the cause of a skin problem in your pet.
Microchip Pet Identification
Microchipping has become a very popular and safe way to permanently identify your pet and you as the owner in the unfortunate case that your pet is lost. Microchipping involves placement of a small electronic chip the size and shape of a piece of rice just under the skin in the neck area. A needle is used to inject the chip. The injection is comparable to a regular vaccine injection. If your pet becomes lost and is transported to a humane society, the humane society will be able to scan your pet for the chip and contact you. The scanner is similar to a scanner found in the grocery store. We advise you to use this system of identification as well as a collar identification system on your pet.
Neutering refers to the surgical procedure performed on male dogs and cats to render them infertile. There are many benefits to neutering your male companion. First, you will contribute to the prevention of the dog and cat overpopulation. Second, neutering will eliminate undesirable and at times, embarrassing behavior in your male companion. Third, you will help prevent diseases in your pet such as prostate disease and testicular cancer.
Neutering involves surgical removal of both testicles. It can be performed under a number of anesthetics and monitoring devices. If you are shopping around for a competitive price on this procedure, be sure to question the type of anesthetic used and the monitoring equipment and procedures followed. We use several monitoring devices during your pet’s anesthetic. A registered veterinary technician continually assesses your pet’s vital signs during the procedure. Although the risk of an anesthetic death in a normal healthy pet is very rare, our monitoring devices and procedures allow us to respond to an anesthetic emergency faster. Faster responses can save lives. Please call or visit our facility to learn more about our neutering procedures.
Nutritional Counseling: Animals have various nutritional requirements depending on their age, breed and health status. Decisions regarding your pet’s nutrition should not be made without first consulting a veterinarian.
Geriatric animals have significantly different requirements than young growing puppies or kittens. Animals with diabetes or kidney disease also have different requirements.
Your veterinarian will be able to make informed decisions regarding your pet’s choice of diet given their age, breed and health status.
- Puppies/Kittens: Growing puppies and kittens have different nutritional needs than adult dogs and cats. There are a variety of pet foods available on the market. We have selected nutritionally balanced brands that we are confident will meet your puppies and kittens growth requirements.
- Giant Breeds: Nutrition for giant breed dogs has become a hot topic of discussion among giant breed dog owners. Giant breeds include, but are not limited to, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds and Giant Schnauzers. These breeds have unique dietary requirements and we can provide you with the information you need to make the correct decisions about your pet’s nutrition. We discuss these requirements with all new puppy owners on their first puppy wellness visit. If you have any concerns regarding the nutrition of your giant breed, we would be pleased to discuss them with you further.
- Weight Loss: More information to come.
- Senior Pets: More information to come.
- Prescription Diets: More information to come.
Orthopedic surgery refers to bone surgery. There are many different situations where bone surgery may be necessary including leg fractures, hip dysplasia, disc disease, etc. Most orthopedic surgeries can be performed at our clinic. Occasionally we refer our patients to a Board Certified surgeon to perform back surgery and other very complex surgeries.
Leg fractures are the most common orthopedic problem presented at our clinic and usually result from a mishap with an automobile. They can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the location and type of fracture.
A splint can be applied to the leg to treat certain fractures; however, many fractures will require surgical intervention.
“Pinning” is a surgical technique whereby a long stainless steal rod is inserted into the middle of the bone. The rod traverses the fractured area.
“Plating” is a surgical technique whereby a flat stainless steal ‘plate’ is attached to the bone using screws on either side of the fracture.
“External fixation” is a technique used to stabilize fractures with a series of pins on the outside of the leg that pass through the skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture.
The method of repair will depend on the location and type of fracture present. We hope you do not have to use our orthopedic services for this purpose. In the unfortunate event that you do, you can be assured that we are able to proceed with a treatment that will enhance your pet’s healing time and reduce the long term potential problems associated with a fracture or other orthopedic surgery.
One of the most common causes of lameness in our canine pets is the rupture if the cranial cruciate ligament.
Pain Management and Control
Pain management is a great concern to Animal Care Center. As in human medicine, we have a variety of medications available to manage your pet’s pain both before and after surgery and in the event of trauma. We would be pleased to discuss the options available to you and your pet under any of the above circumstances.
We carry a variety of pet accessories including items that will aid you in taking good care of your pet’s nails, fur, teeth and more! Our gentle leaders devices assist owners in walking and leading difficult dogs. These gentle leaders come with a ‘how to’ lesson from one of our qualified behavior consultants.
Not all toys are safe your pets. We only supply toys we believe are safe for your pet and we have the experience to advise you on these decisions.
Pet Food Supplements & Treats
We offer a wide variety of specialty and therapeutic diets for all lifestages and disease conditions. We also provide special supplements for general wellness and for acute and chronic disease conditions.
Is your pet overweight but you would still like to give him or her a treat without feeling guilty? We have special calorie-reduced treats that you can give to your pet without worry. We also carry treats that help prevent gum disease.
Veterinary consultation is required for our prescription diet foods and our supplements. Call us to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs.
Our in-house pharmacy is well stocked and contains supplies that allow us to immunize and treat your pet. You can reach our 24-hour prescription refill request line by calling 218-822-6000. You may also request a refill through our website and your PetProfile. In most cases one of our doctors will need to review your pet’s chart before authorizing a refill. We ask that you please allow us a minimum of 24 hours to fill your request. State and Federal law prohibits the dispensing of certain medications without examination or prescription.
Our puppy wellness program is designed to offer your new puppy all the benefits of veterinary services available to him / or her from 6 weeks of age to 16 weeks of age. Included in this service is a series of examinations and vaccinations including rabies, distemper, parvovirus, etc. In addition, your puppy will be tested for worms and be treated for the most common intestinal worm of puppies – roundworms. Roundworms can cause gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting and / or diarrhea. There are other parasites that can cause similar symptoms and can even cause your puppy to become anemic (low red blood cells). Performing a fecal test will allow us to treat your puppy accordingly. Although some worms are visible to the naked eye, most worm burdens are diagnosed by examining the stool of your puppy microscopically.
Rabbits are susceptible to a variety of conditions including hairballs, overgrown teeth, parasites and cancer. If your rabbit stops eating, appears overly quiet, experiences discharge from the eyes and/or nose, you should have him or her examined by a veterinarian.
Radiology (x-rays) is routinely used to provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). It can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for a pet’s condition, identify the exact cause of a problem or rule out possible problems.
When a pet is being radiographed, an x-ray beam passes through its body and hits a piece of radiographic film. Images on the film appear as various shades of gray and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Bones, which absorb more x-rays, appear as light gray structures. Soft tissues, such as the lungs, absorb fewer x-rays and appear as dark gray structures. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
Once your dog turns 7 years of age or your cat turns 8 years of age, we recommend that they undergo a thorough senior wellness exam and diagnostic work-up. Even though you may believe your pet is normal, there are many disease processes that do not show any outward sign until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.
Early detection of diseases such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, etc. will allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to help extend your pet’s life.
Many symptoms that historically have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable. For example, some dogs that appear to have lost their mental alertness can be returned to a mental status indicative of a younger age using appropriate therapy. Please feel free to contact us to discuss our senior wellness program in more detail.
Soft Tissue Surgery
Soft tissue surgeries are surgeries not associated with bone. We perform many surgeries inside the abdomen and chest of our patients. We perform biopsies, repair damaged organs, repair congenital organ system defects, remove tumors and foreign objects as well as many other procedures.
One of the most common soft tissue surgery performed at our clinic is the removal of masses or ‘lumps’ on animals. Most of these masses or ‘lumps’, once removed and tested, are benign (non-harmful); however, occasionally they are more serious. Early removal and accurate diagnosis of a ‘lump’ is necessary to improve the outcome in your pet if the mass is cancerous.
Lacerations are also common in pets and suturing will reduce the chance of infection, improve healing time and reduce scarring.
Many breeds of dogs are susceptible to ear infections. Surgical treatment on ears improves air flow into the ear canal and can reduce the occurrence of ear infections.
Spaying refers to the surgical procedure performed on female dogs and cats to render them infertile. There are many benefits to spaying your female companion. First, you will contribute to the prevention of the dog and cat overpopulation. Second, spaying will eliminate the sometimes ‘messy’ heat cycles that attract male dogs to your house from miles away. Third, you will help prevent diseases in your pet such as pyometra (infection in the uterus) and mammary cancer. Spaying involves surgical removal of both ovaries and the uterus. It can be performed under a number of anesthetics and monitoring devices. If you are shopping around for a competitive price on this procedure, be sure to question the type of anesthetic used and the monitoring equipment and procedures followed. We use several monitoring devices during your pet’s anesthetic. A registered veterinary technician continually assesses your pet’s vital signs during the procedure. Although the risk of an anesthetic death in a normal healthy pet is very rare, our monitoring devices and procedures allow us to respond to an anesthetic emergency faster. Faster responses can save lives. Please call or visit our facility to learn more about our spaying procedures.
We have the ability to test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure easily and safely. This test allows us to diagnose glaucoma and eye infections that could cause blindness if not detected and treated early.
Ultrasonography, or ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (X-rays) and is usually used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes including examination of the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder etc. It can also be used to determine pregnancy and to monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses.
A ‘transducer’ (a small hand held tool) is applied to the surface of the body to which an ultrasound image is desired. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface and create a more accurate visual image.
Sound waves are emitted from the transducer and directed into the body where they are bounced off the various organs to different degrees depending on the density of the tissues and amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are relfected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.
Veterinary Specialists Referrals
The majority of your pet’s health needs will be met at our practice; however, there are circumstances where a veterinary specialist may be required. Under these circumstances, we may direct you and your pet to a specialist who is a veterinarian with advanced knowledge in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. In some cases, specialized equipment is required to perform procedures that are not routinely performed by general veterinary practitioners. Examples of veterinary specialists include ophthalmologists, oncologists, surgeons, etc.
Veterinary Lab Services
Laboratory tests may be used to diagnose health concerns, determine the best treatment plan for your pet or provide baseline indicators that help us monitor your pet’s health. Our in-house lab services provide fast and accurate results for our clients and can be used to diagnose a range of issues.
Lab testing may be a routine part of a wellness exam or used as a diagnostic tool. Your pet’s urine, skin, hair, blood and feces can reveal important information about his or her health status that we use to ensure your pet is in optimal health. Pre-surgical screening test can determine if your pet is a good candidate for anesthesia, and screening tests are recommended for pets of all ages, even young puppies and kittens.
At Animal Care Center we offer a full range of laboratory tests, including urinalysis, complete blood counts, blood chemistry, heartworm tests, tick-borne disease screen, fecal examinations, skin scraping, fungal cultures, tests for immunodeficiency diseases, leukemia and feline AIDS tests, cytology and more. These tests can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases, including thyroid disease, ringworm, dermatological conditions, kidney and liver disease, diabetes, urinary tract infections and other concerns.
More detailed diagnostic labs may be sent to an external lab for processing, ensuring that every effort will be made to diagnose any health conditions and maintain your pet’s optimal health.
For more information about specific lab tests please click here.