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Advanced diagnostics. Not so long ago, it could take several days or even a week to get test results back from the laboratory. Many of us now have advanced laboratory facilities right in our offices that allow us to analyze blood samples during a pet’s appointment, enabling us to diagnose kidney or liver disorders or determine the presence of an infection in minutes. Digital X-rays give us a highly enhanced view of foreign bodies, bones and organs that wasn’t possible with traditional film X-rays. Ultrasound scans are now widely available for non-invasive exams of internal organs. Another advance is the use of endoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting tiny cameras into the body so that we can take a look at such areas as the gastrointestinal tract, lungs and nasal passages. All of these advances help us to diagnose and treat your pets more quickly and efficiently.
Better treatment options for arthritis. From Class IV lasers to stem cell injections, we have better ways to relieve joint pain in dogs and cats (yes, cats get arthritis). Laser therapy can stimulate the body’s healing powers and may provide rapid pain relief. Stem cell injections using the dog’s own cells can help promote healing by regenerating some damaged tissues and can be used to treat osteoarthritis and soft tissue injuries with success.
Rehabilitation. It used to be that when we did orthopedic surgery, we thought our job ended when the stitches came out. Now we don’t consider the job complete until the pet walks comfortably again. That usually involves some form of rehabilitation therapy. Underwater treadmills, therapeutic exercise, massage, heat, ice and electrical stimulation can all help many pets recover more quickly from surgery as well as help them move better in old age and even help them recover from temporary paralysis.
Genetic medicine. The sequencing of the canine and feline genomes — the textbooks of life — means researchers are able, in many cases, to pinpoint genes responsible for inherited diseases and create genetic tests to identify affected animals. It’s bringing us new approaches to developing and choosing the best therapies for treatment of cancer, heart disease and other ailments.
Emotional well-being. We want to help your pet be not only physically healthy but also emotionally healthy. That includes fear-free visits to our clinics, one of the pet projects dear to my heart. I want to take the “pet” out of “petrified” and keep pets calm and relaxed during veterinary visits. The happier they are, the happier you are and the happier we as your veterinarians are.
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