Gainesville Veterinary Hospital
Pet Medical Services
Our experienced staff and facilities enable us to treat a wide range of medical conditions that your pet may face.
Pet Medical Services
Our knowledgeable staff and our facilities allow us to deal with a variety of medical conditions your pet may experience. We hope we do not have to see you or your pet for an emergency but if we do, we are equipped to handle the situation. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Our website describes the medical services we offer in more detail.
Your pet’s lifespan is longer than ever, so the health of your pet’s teeth is important. Like humans, pets develop tartar buildup causing tooth or gum decay. Pets undergoing dental procedures receive safe anesthetics and are monitored closely. Close attention to dental care can enhance your pet’s health and life.
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 accumulate around a pet’s teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to the 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 bloodstream 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.
We can recommend and demonstrate preventative measures you can begin at home. Our wellness program emphasizes and explains how you can avoid costly dental procedures with your pet in the future.
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 ranges 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 scales on the skin.
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.
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.
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 diseases. 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.
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 monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses.
A ‘transducer’ (a small handheld tool) is applied to the surface of the body to which an ultrasound image is desired. The 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 the amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are reflected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.
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 arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances).
Many heart problems can be identified on physical examination. Additional tests are usually required to accurately identify the cause of heart disease. Additional tests include EKGs (electrocardiograms), radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasounds.
Heart disease is a serious life-threatening condition but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life.
Complete Medical Assessment
A complete medical assessment begins with a thorough physical examination whereby your pet’s eyes, ears, skin, cardiovascular, neurological, 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), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound or surgery.
Pet Advanced Diagnostic Lab & Radiology
A comprehensive, in-house lab is maintained to help us determine the correct diagnosis of every pet. Lab tests are usually available within thirty minutes, ensuring that your pet receives appropriate and immediate care. State-of-the-art radiographic equipment and techniques are used to help our diagnosis. Most common are x-rays for exact information on bone structure or breaks, and they may be used to follow the healing of orthopedic repairs or confirm pregnancy. Advanced gastrointestinal dyes may be administered to help diagnose intestinal abnormalities such as foreign bodies or cancer. Our staff is specially trained in a variety of lab tests, including ultrasound, and by pursuing continuing education regularly we stay abreast of the latest techniques.
When a pet is being radiographed, an x-ray beam passes through its body and hits a piece of radiographic film. Images in 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.