Click on each service for more details:
Annual Health Assessment
During a routine annual health assessment, the veterinarian will conduct a complete and thorough examination of your pet. Annual assessments allow the veterinarian to determine the normal state for your pet. Your veterinarian can give you advice on many aspects of your pet's health, behavior, and environment. The annual assessment allows the early detection of disease and evaluation of risk factors that may make your pet more susceptible to certain disease processes. Also see information about the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).
The clinical consultation occurs when the owner presents an animal with a concern. The veterinarian will thoroughly examine the animal with an emphasis on the history and area of the concern. The veterinarian will use various tools at his disposal, ie. radiology, laboratory testing, ultrasound, etc., to diagnose the condition, its severity, and treatment required.
Cryosurgery is the dissection of tissue through the use of extreme cold. Small warts and cysts can be removed by the application of liquid nitrogen.
Like people, pets develop dental disease such as sore gums, bad breath, and tooth abscesses. If left unattended, the bacteria associated with unhealthy mouths, migrates to other organs of the body and can cause harm. One of the most common causes of heart valve murmurs is the bacteria migrating to the heart and thickening the valves. This can be avoided by regular dental care.
Electrocardiography is the study of the electrical patterns of the heartbeat and a valuable tool in diagnosing abnormalities of the heart.
Euthanasia / Cremation Services
It is always difficult to say goodbye to a pet. However, when the time has come, euthanasia services are available (in clinic only). Cremation services can be arranged for your pet. There are a number of options including ashes sent to a communal pet cemetery, ashes returned, frame paw prints, or special mementos. Discuss your wishes with a staff member. Visit Gateway Pet Memorial for additional options.
"Gentle Leader" Training
The "Gentle Leader" halter is a device for controlling your pet on a lead. It is gentle and puts the owner in control. The staff can fit the halter to your pet and demonstrate the proper use of this halter.
Gentle Leader Training Video (YouTube.ca 13:11 minutes)
Laboratory Services - Blood Profiles, Urinalysis, Parasite Identification, etc.
This hospital has a laboratory on the premises to run basic blood work such as complete blood counts (CBC's), clinical chemistry blood profiles, coagulation profiles, urinalysis, parasite identification, etc.
Blood Analyser - This machine analyses the clotting time of blood. Rodenticides, eg.Warfarin, and some liver diseases affect the ability of the blood to clot. We will run an additional blood test using this machine to determine blood clotting time when we encounter a patient: with low platelet count on the standard Complete Blood Count (CBC); exhibits excessive bleeding; liver disease is suspected; pets having consumed or suspected of having consumed a rodenticide. Often the need to determine clotting time, particularly in cases of poisonings and trauma, is crucial. Having this machine in-house will allow the clinic to determine clotting time within minutes and appropriate treatment can then be administered.
Blood Chemistry Profile - The Complete Blood Count (CBC) tells the veterinarian about the blood itself. It can tell him/her if the animal is anemic, dehydrated, or has an infection, etc. In addition to the CBC, the veterinarian often requests a chemical analysis of the blood. The chemical composition of blood provides an assessment of organ function. By reviewing different chemical components of a patient's blood, the veterinarian can assess the health and function of the animal's kidneys, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and heart. Some of the chemicals measured in the blood are albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), bilirubin, creatinine, glucose, lipase, amylase, protein, urea, phosphorus, and calcium. Once the machine has analyzed the blood, the veterinarian gets a written report. The report indicates the level of each chemical from that blood sample and the level is compared to normal values. The result from the individual sample may be in the normal range, be higher than the normal range, or lower. If a value is out of the "normal" range, it may indicate that something is going on with that particular organ. This information, combined with the physical examination, symptoms presented, current history, and other diagnostic tests, aids the veterinarian in determining the diagnosis and treatment. In some cases, interpretation of the blood work can be easy. In more difficult cases, the blood work may have to be repeated at a later date or additional tests may be required to complete the diagnosis.
The veterinarian will always request blood work on a animal that is not well because it tells him/her information that is not available from a physical examination. A disease process may be developing but not advanced far enough that outward symptoms are presented. A blood sample allows the veterinarian to examine the inner health of your pet and possibly detect disease in its early stages. This is particularly important if your animal is scheduled for surgery or is a senior pet. When detected early, modifications can be made to the anesthetic regime to protect your pet. Early detection of disease in seniors means actions can be taken to manage the disease and allow your pet to be healthier and happier longer. It must be noted that there are no standard chemical blood tests at present that detect tumors. Tumors are invasive and only when they are large enough to compromise the function of an organ do we see any irregularity in the blood work. By this time the tumor is often beyond treatment.
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - A complete blood count, or CBC, is part of the blood profile that the doctor will ask for if your pet is sick. The machine pictured analyzes different components of a blood sample. Also, a small drop of blood from the sample is put on a slide and it is spread out to form a very thin film. The slide is then put under a microscope and the blood is analysed. The number of different types of cells in the blood are noted and counted by various methods. Neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils make up the leukocytes or white blood cell (WBC) portion of blood. These cells play an important role in the body's defense system. An increase or decrease in the concentration of any of these components can be very informative to your veterinarian in the diagnosis of disease in your pet. The red blood cells (RBC), or erythrocytes, main function is to transport and protect hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying pigment in the blood. In a healthy animal, the daily production of new red blood cells and daily loss of aged red blood cells should be equal. However, if there is a decrease in the production, or an increase in the destruction or loss of red blood cells, anemia results. The CBC is a valuable tool for your veterinarian in diagnosing the health of your pet.
Culture and Sensitivity - One of the many procedures in our laboratory is bacteria culture and sensitivity testing. When an animal is presented with a lesion, infection, or inflammation (eg. skin or ear), the veterinarian may ask permission to run a bacteria culture and sensitivity test.
The purpose of a culture and sensitivity test is to determine if and which bacteria are involved in the condition. The test will determine the best antibiotic to use to combat that bacteria. This culture method will isolate aerobic bacteria (air loving) which accounts for 80 to 90 percent of cultures in a veterinary practice.
The aim to prevent the over use of antibiotics and the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. To run a culture and sensitivity test, the veterinarian or veterinary technician will take a sample of the lesion or inflamed area using a sterile swab. The sample will then be applied to a culture plate and incubated for 24 hours. A culture plate is a petri-dish covered with a special medium (eg. agar) that will support bacterial growth. If there are bacteria present, the culture plate will show growth within a 24-hour period. If there is no growth, there is no bacterial infection and antibiotics are not needed. Cause for the inflammation would have to be further investigated by other means. If there is growth, a routine susceptibility test is run to determine the degree of susceptibility of the bacteria to several antimicrobials. Sensi-discs are applied to the plate where the bacteria has been placed. Each sensi-disc is a paper disc impregnated with a small amount of an antibiotic. The culture plate is incubated for another 24-hour period. If the bacteria are sensitive to any of area void of pathogens is called the inhibition zone. The diameter of each inhibition zone is measured and the results compared to the zone sizes on a FDA (Federal Department of Agriculture, U.S.A.) Standard Disc Method chart. The chart indicates to the veterinarian, which antibiotics the bacteria are susceptible to and those which the bacteria are resistant. Therefore, the veterinarian has a test and a tool that aids in determining which antibiotic to prescribe to best combat the infection.
There is a cost to having a culture and sensitivity test run. However, if an antibiotic is prescribed without a culture and sensitivity test and if the antibiotic does not work, then a second antibiotic is prescribed usually resulting in a second visit to the clinic. There is still no guarantee the second antibiotic will be effective against the pathogen(s). By conducting the culture and sensitivity test, it ensures that:
an antibiotic is necessary to treat the inflammation;
the antibiotic prescribed is the best treatment for the infection presented and your pet’s health will soon be restored;
the possibility of the bacteria developing a resistance to an antibiotic is decreased.
Urinalysis is a relatively non-invasive laboratory procedure that provides a wealth of information about the urinary tract, the kidneys, and liver, and can detect diabetes and dehydration. There are several components to a complete urinalysis. The details of this in-house service will be provided to clients on a "Urinalysis Information Sheet" .
The staff are very knowledgeable with regard to the nutritional requirements of all the life stages of your pet. They also have extensive knowledge of the many therapeutic diets available for specific medical conditions. Consultation advice for the client with the obese pet is also available through our weight reduction program.
Opthalmology is the medical science involving the structures, function, and diseases of the eye. A full eye exam is available including Tonometry (measuring the pressure within the eye), Shirmer Tear Test (measuring tear production), Fluorescein Eye Stain (to detect ulcers), and basic ophthalmolic surgery.
There are a number of parasites that can affect our pets, (eg. fleas, heartworm, ticks, and intestinal worms), and these parasites can be detrimental to your pet's health. Many parasitic diseases can also be transmitted to humans, so parasite control is always a concern. The veterinary staff are very knowledgeable regarding the many types of parasites and can advise you on how best to protect you and your pet.
Radiography is a valuable tool in medicine to assist in the diagnosis of disease. Through the use of radient rays (x-rays) an image can be produced on a photo sensitive surface (plate or film). It is highly valued in medicine because it is a relatively non-invasive procedure that can give the clinician an image or picture of the internal structures of an animal.
Radiographs, or more commonly referred to as "x-rays", are non-luminous electromagnetic waves much like visible light, and radio and television signals. However, the wave length of x-rays is much shorter. The shorter the wave length, the greater the energy. The more energy, the greater the penetration. This is why x-rays are capable of penetrating opaque or solid substances and tissues. As they pass through, they are captured on a photographic plate and fluoresce on the screens. This gives us an image of the internal structures of the body. Bones are very dense and x-ray is an ideal diagnostic tool to exam their structures. Soft tissue is not very dense, therefore is more difficult to interpret on the x-ray. When examining soft tissue, the veterinarian may use a contrast medium to increase the density of the structures he is examining and to increase the likelihood of correct image interpretation.
When radiographs are required, the veterinarian will take a minimum of two views at 90 degree angles of each other. This gives the a two dimensional picture of the internal structure of your pet. This view of the internal structure of your pet allows for a more accurate interpretation and decreases the error of misinterpretation. If the x-rays are for any internal soft tissue concerns, more views at timed intervals will be required and a contrast medium will be needed. Animals are seldom comfortable on their backs having their legs stretched out. Therefore, it is necessary to sedate the animal for x-rays. Sedation allows the staff to position the animal properly so that clear pictures can be obtained. Sedation also decreases the possibility of injury to the staff if the animal is fractious or uncooperative. The level of sedation required will depend upon the difficulty of the x-rays required and the temperament and condition of the animal. If an animal is in pain and some manipulation is required to position the animal, then a deeper sedation will be required to prevent the animal struggling or suffering.
New to the clinic in the fall of 2018, is a digital x-ray system. Digital x-ray is where the x-ray image is captured on a phosphorescent plate and converted into a computer image, instead of a photographic film plate. Think of it as the difference between a film camera and a digital camera. The advantages are that processing time is faster, storage is on the computer, and there are no chemicals to mix and dispose.
Rehabilitation is relatively new to the veterinary field and we are excited to be able to offer it to our patients. By using appropriate modalities of rehabilitation (hot/cold therapies, massage, exercise, passive range of motion, therapeutic ultrasound) it is possible to decrease the amount of pain and inflammation, increase the muscle mass, and therefore increase mobility.
Our clinic offers a wide range of surgical procedures to patients. As well as offering elective spay and neutering surgeries, Dr. Wright has over thirty years of experience in performing abdominal, dental, ophthalmic (eye), and orthopedic (bone) surgery.
Ultrasound - Diagnostic
Ultrasound is another diagnostic tool available to the medical professions. X-rays illuminate bone structure but diagnosing soft tissue problems with x-ray can be difficult even when using a contrast medium. Ultrasound uses sound waves. Sound reflection or echo production forms the basis of the ultrasound image. Different tissues have different densities. The length of time for the transducer on the ultrasound machine to receive the echo and the strength of the returning sound wave determines the image produced on the screen. This technique is non-invasive and well tolerated by patients. Most animals tolerate ultrasound well and can undergo an ultrasound examination without sedation, however, mild sedation may be required for a few very anxious patients. Ultrasound is much more affordable to the small clinic or hospital than a CT scan or MRI equipment. When performing an ultrasound on a patient, the skin is surgically clipped and a volume of ultrasound gel is applied to the area. The gel eliminates any air between the skin and the transducer so that the transducer can more effectively read the transmissions. Ultrasound is an aid in determining inflammation and abnormal structure of soft tissue. Inflammation of the bladder, pancreas and kidneys and the presence of bladder and kidney stones can be detected using ultrasound. Ultrasound can distinguish the difference between fluid eg. cysts and soft tissue masses. It allows for the determination of the size, location and prognosis of tumours. Ultrasound can be used to evaluate, reproductive problems and fertility, tendon injury, and pregnancy diagnosis. Ultrasound also can provide a visual image for the doctor when performing fine needle aspirations or biopsies. Ultrasound is an invaluable tool for diagnosing tumours and determining other abdominal problems that cannot be detected by x-ray.
Ultrasound - Therapeutic
Therapeutic Ultrasound is used to stimulate tissue beneath the skin's surface using high frequency sound waves. The benefits of therapeutic ultrasound are: helps speed up healing by increasing blood flow in the area; decreases pain by reducing swelling and edema; and, provides a gentle massage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the injured area.
We design a vaccination protocol tailored to meet the specific needs of your pet and its lifestyle. Please review the page on Vaccination Info.