Medical Services

We are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions, including emergencies. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we can often give you immediate answers and start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Please take a look at the more detailed descriptions of medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your pet’s needs.

Otoscopy

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Otoscopy is commonly used to examine the inside of the ears, nose, pharynx, and colon. To perform this procedure, the veterinarian inserts a digital otoscope (a long tube with a camera at one end) into the area to be examined. The area being examined can then be viewed on a monitor and precise procedures can be performed.

Otoscopy sometimes requires a pet be placed under anesthesia. As with all such procedures, we follow strict protocols and continually monitor the patient’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 otoscopy service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please do not hesitate to ask.

Dentistry

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Your pet’s dental health has a profound impact on their overall health and quality of life. Veterinary dental care is an important way pet owners can help keep their pets healthy.

Veterinary dental care starts young, at the first puppy or kitten visit. This is when we educate owners about the importance of dental health and demonstrate techniques for home dental care. As your pet becomes a little older, we will discuss the option of feeding a dental cleaning diet. Most of our pet owners like the idea of using a food that keeps their pet’s teeth clean and delays the need for a professional dental cleaning, while continuing to get the proper balance of nutrients.

As a pet ages, we are often faced with dental disease that requires veterinary attention.

At each examination visit, we will assess your pet’s dental health and discuss any recommendations we have about your pet’s teeth. We often see pets with tartar building up on their teeth. The problem with tartar is the gum irritation it causes. With time, irritated gums shrink away from the tartar exposing the root of the tooth and creating pockets of irritation around the tooth.

Exposed roots are irritating for an animal and create discomfort when the animal eats or chews. Often our pets do not show obvious signs of discomfort or pain, sometimes it is as small as eating a few kibbles less each day or eating slower than they used to. Inflamed gums are a source of pus and bacteria which can form abscesses in the area and also send bacteria into the bloodstream where is can go on to cause infections in organs such as the kidneys, heart, vertebral discs or joints.

At South Windsor Animal Hospital, we are trained and equipped to manage your pets dental issues that may arise. This may be as simple as having a day procedure dental cleaning. It might also involve having dental x-rays taken and having sore, infected teeth removed.

Whatever the issue may be, dental care is an extremely important component of you pet’s health. We can help make sure this area is approached in the best way possible for you and your furry companion.

Radiology (X-rays)

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Radiographs (x-rays) are an important diagnostic tool used by veterinarians. We use x-rays to help identify the cause of an animal’s illness, rule out possible problems or provide a list of possible causes. We also use x-rays during wellness examinations to diagnose issues before they become serious, such as hip dysplasia or even the number of fetuses in a pregnant animal.

X-rays provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon), respiratory tract (trachea & lungs), heart, genitourinary system (bladder, prostate), kidneys, liver, spleen and other important organs. We can use radiology alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill and knowledge on the part of the veterinarian.

At South Windsor Animal Hospital, we are able to take dental x-rays as well. This allows our veterinarians to visualize what is occurring beneath the gum line, recognize areas of concern such as abscesses (infections), root problems, missing teeth, along with a variety of other conditions.

To avoid blurry x-rays, we need our patients to remain very still while the x-ray is taken. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use short-acting general anesthesia. In any case, we would always discuss this with the client prior to using any sedation or anesthetic medications.

If you have any questions about our radiology service, or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please do not hesitate to ask.

Flea Control

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A flea problem for your pet means a flea problem for your home. Understanding the flea life cycle and methods for control can be a daunting task. In Windsor, fleas can be an issue 12 months of the year.

Our recommendation to rid your premises and your pet of fleas is to use a prescription flea prevention/control medication. This can be a topical medication such as Advantage or Revolution or an oral medication such as Nexgard or Trifexis.

You should wash any bedding your pet may sleep or sit on in hot water. Also, vacuum your house (even the floors) and throw the vacuum bag or container contents directly outside (as fleas can actually crawl out of the vacuum!). You should do this thoroughly the day you apply or give the first dose of medication as well as 3-4 weeks later just before your next dose.

Some patients can have an allergy to flea bites which can lead to severe itching and skin issues such as sores and infections.

If you think your pet has fleas, please do not hesitate to call us so we can determine the best course of action for your and your pet.

Dermatology (Skin)

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Skin problems are common in dogs and cats and can be caused by hormonal disorders, allergies, infections or parasites such as fleas and mites. These issues can be difficult to treat and should be addressed promptly.

We can often diagnose a skin problem by simply examining your pet. Some dermatologic disease or conditions do require additional diagnostic procedures to ensure a correct diagnosis. Depending on your pet’s symptoms and results of our physical exam, we may run blood work or perform a urinalysis, skin scraping or biopsies.

We also offer Allergy Testing which requires us to take a blood sample from your pet. This allows us to identify exactly what your pet is allergic to and create allergy serum specifically for these things. Allergy testing is an important resource for some of our extremely allergic pets.

Contact us if you notice your dog or cat scratching excessively or if he or she develops any bald patches, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps or bumps.

Cardiology (Heart)

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Although heart problems are found more in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease can be a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pets life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can be cured.

Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (heart problems that animals are born with), valvular heart disease(abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.

Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seams weak or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (x-rays) or ultrasounds, are usually needed to accurately identify the cause of the heart disease or failure.

Tonometry

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It is crucial for your pet’s vision that we detect and treat glaucoma and other problems with intraocular pressure testing (testing pressure within the eye) as quickly as possible. We can test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure. The test, performed with a device called a tonometer, is not painful and does not require sedation.

If not treated immediately (within hours to days), glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even blindness. Pets that have suffered eye injuries should have this test performed. In addition, we recommend that breeds that are prone to developing glaucoma come in for regular measurements so we can monitor eye pressure and begin treatment before any problem becomes irreversible. Please call us to discuss whether your pet may be at higher risk for glaucoma.

Call us right away if you notice any of the following problems in either or both of your pet’s eyes: dilated (enlarged) pupils, clouding of the cornea (the normally clear outer layer of the eye), red or bloodshot eyes, one eye protruding or appearing larger than the other, squinting, or tearing. Because glaucoma is painful, your pet may react by rubbing or pawing at the eyes or rubbing his or her head against the floor or furniture more than normal.

Endocrinology (Hormones)

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Identifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in dogs and cats. These serious, potentially life-threatening conditions are more manageable when caught early, allowing us to begin proper treatment.

The endocrine system is made up of a group of tissues (mostly glands) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction and are dispersed to different areas of the body, depending on the hormone’s function. When a hormonal balance is disturbed (by a tumour or autoimmune disease, for instance), an endocrine disorder can develop. “Hyper” refers to an excess of hormone, and “hypo” refers to a deficiency in a hormone. Treatment varies depending on the disease.

There are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats:

  • Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin.
  • Hypothyroidism, which is often diagnosed in dogs, indicates that the animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) can also affect both species, although Cushing’s disease is rare in cats.

Contact us if your pet begins panting excessively, develops any skin issues (such as hair loss or dull coat), or shows any changes in behaviour, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.

Medical Assessment

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To ensure a proper diagnosis, we need to examine your pet. We begin a medical assessment by looking at your pet’s eyes, ears, and skin and checking his or her cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skeletal systems for any abnormalities. We will perform blood and/or urine tests as necessary to check your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Based on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as radiography (x-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound, or biopsy.

If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your pet, please call us to schedule a medical assessment. Depending on the symptoms, we may ask you to bring in your pet right away.