Specialist Services

Endoscopy

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This minimally invasive procedure allows a veterinarian to see inside a pet’s body and, when necessary, take biopsies (tissue samples) without having to perform surgery. Endoscopy is commonly used to examine the inside of the ears, nose, esophagus, colon, bladder, stomach, and other internal organs. Endoscopy can also be used to assist with minimally invasive surgeries and is particularly valuable in retrieving swallowed items.

To perform this procedure, the veterinarian inserts the endoscope (a long tube with a camera at one end) into the area to be examined. Incisions are sometimes required; however, the incisions used for endoscopic procedures are considerably smaller than those used in traditional surgery. This means a much less painful and quicker recovery for your pet.

Endoscopy does require that your pet be placed under anesthesia. As with all such procedures, we follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his or her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.

If you have any questions about our endoscopy service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Ultrasonography

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Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body. It can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and bladder; to detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses; and to confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy.

We may use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician.

The ultrasonographer applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and create a more accurate visual image.

The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.

Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized. The hair in the area to be examined usually needs to be shaved so the ultrasonographer can obtain a good result.

If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Orthopaedic Surgery

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We perform many types of orthopaedic (bone) surgeries in our clinic. Because we want to ensure that our patients receive the best possible outcome, we occasionally refer them to board-certified orthopaedic surgeons to perform back surgery and other very complex surgeries.

Leg fractures are the most common orthopaedic 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. We can apply a cast to treat certain fractures; however, many fractures will require surgical intervention:

  • “Pinning” stabilizes the fracture by inserting a long stainless steel rod into the middle of the bone across the fractured area.
  • “Plating” involves attaching a flat stainless steel plate to the bone using screws on either side of the fracture.
  • “External fixation” stabilizes fractures using 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.

We also perform a lot of orthopaedic surgeries related to hip dysplasia and disc disease. Please contact us if you have any questions about these procedures or if you think your pet might benefit from them.