Our doctors are experienced in many more difficult surgical procedures such as removing abnormal spleens, removing painful stones in the urinary bladder, removing intestinal obstructions and many more.
Advanced diagnostic imaging such as ultrasonography is routinely used in our hospitals. Our in-house equipment affords us the advantage of being able to instantly perform this procedure. Ultrasound often complements X-rays for precise diagnostic imaging. It allows us to see the internal structure of organs, including the presence of tumors, cysts, infections and stones. When needed, ultrasound can also be used to painlessly biopsy internal organs. A biopsy instrument can be safely passed into the area while being observed with ultrasound.
Video Ear Scoping for Chronic Ear Infections
Chronic ear infections are a common occurrence in both dogs and cats. Since their ears canals curve differently than those of humans, it is very difficult to see down to the level of their eardrums with standard medical equipment. Our fiber optic ear scope allows us to evaluate these deep portions of your pet’s ears. Use of this otoscope has shown us that many pets have ear infections that have perforated the ear drum and spread into the middle ear causing a painful chronic middle ear infection similar to those that young children have. We are able to clean out and treat the middle ear. By doing so, many pets that have suffered for years with painful, chronic ear infections have been cured and relieved of their discomfort. We frequently help pets that other veterinarians were not able to diagnose and treat.
Whenever possible, our surgeons use a laser instead of a traditional scalpel. This is less invasive and decreases bleeding, improves healing, and reduces the pain often associated with surgery. This is due to the fact that laser energy actually seals over the nerve endings. Additionally, laser surgery can decrease the amount of time your pet may need to be sedated and anesthetized during the procedure.
Spaying, one of the most common veterinary surgical procedures, can also be performed with a laparoscope and is far more comfortable for your pet than traditional surgery. Verona Animal Hospital is one of the few veterinary hospitals in the country utilizing this equipment. Instead of a large incision, the laparoscope allows for the surgery to be performed through several tiny openings.
During the procedure, a small camera is introduced through one of the tiny incisions, allowing the doctor a magnified internal view of the internal organs. Through the other two small openings, various surgical instruments are used. These three small incisions are closed with internal dissolvable sutures and surgical glue thus eliminating the need for traditional sutures and their consequent removal.
The result is greatly reduced post-operative pain for your pet, far less stress, decreased risk of your pet licking the incision site, minimal scarring and quicker healing time. This way your pet can get back to playing and enjoying other activities sooner.
Laparoscopic Surgery and Biopsies
Laparoscopy, one of the newest technologies in veterinary medicine, is also offered at Verona Animal Hospital, allowing us to perform minimally invasive surgeries. Major abdominal surgical procedures can be done through 2 or 3 tiny openings. Large incisions are avoided, substantially decreasing post-operative pain and healing time.
Laparoscopy has been used in human hospitals for many years and has grown in popularity due to its numerous advantages over traditional surgical methods. Today, laparoscopy is the surgical method of choice in most leading hospitals and is the method most often used and preferred by physicians . We are one of the few veterinary hospitals that have this equipment and perform these procedures.
Endoscopy allows us to see inside your pets intestinal tract and correct certain problems less invasively than with traditional surgery. We can instantly pass our endoscope into the stomach of a pet that may have swallowed a foreign object. Early removal of such objects while they are still in the stomach can prevent the item from entering the intestinal track –a potentially more serious problem. Without an endoscope, a full abdominal surgery would be required, along with its lengthy, and often uncomfortable, recovery.
Many pets suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a chronic, painful, intestinal condition similar to Crohn’s Disease in people. These pets may seem to have sensitive digestive systems with frequent episodes of diarrhea or vomiting. With our endoscope, we can rapidly and painlessly biopsy the intestines to diagnose this condition and immediately begin treatment.
Endoscopy also allows us to perform minimally invasive intestinal procedures such as biopsies, cultures, and feeding tube placements, the last of which can be a life-saving procedure in seriously ill cats. With an endoscope, we can also examine the throat, windpipe, bladder and lungs of your pet. We can visualize these areas to obtain biopsy samples and cultures to determine the correct antibiotics or medications to treat conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.
Acupuncture and Herbology
Acupuncture is a method of relieving pain, and promoting wellness through the stimulation of specific points on the body. This stimulation can be through the insertion of very fine needles and/or pressure or massage applied to these points, also referred to as acupoints.
There are 173 acupoints in animals, most of which are motor points located in areas where there is a high density of free nerve endings, lymphatic vessels, small arterioles and mast cells. Modern research has shown that stimulation of these acupoints release neurotransmitters such as beta-endorphin and serotonin which help to alleviate pain and produce a sense of well-being – much like traditional pain-relief medications do.
Acupuncture needles are far thinner than a standard syringe needle – more like a fine wire. As such, many pets don’t feel the insertion of the acupuncture needles at all. Your pet may feel a muscle contraction or sensation of heaviness for a few seconds when the needle is first inserted. Over 95% of patients are comfortable with acupuncture and some pets will actually fall asleep during a treatment.
How Acupuncture Benefits Your Pet
In our hospitals acupuncture is used as an adjunct to traditional medicine or when traditional treatments may not be appropriate for a pet. For instance, there are common pain medications that pets with chronic renal failure should not take. In these cases, acupuncture can be used for pain management without compromising or harming the kidneys.
Acupuncture’s inherent safety makes it an ideal option for health management of geriatric pets, but its benefits don’t stop there – puppies and kittens reap the benefits of acupuncture when it is used to help balance the pet’s constitution, in essence, getting them on the right track from the start to help prevent the formation of illness or disease later on.
When You Should Consider Acupuncture for Your Pet
Speak to Dr. Brazer, she can assess your pet’s specific needs and then suggest a treatment plan that is best for your pet. Acupuncture can be used as a general Wellness enhancement or for specific conditions including but not limited to:
- Pain management (arthritis, muscular pain, disc problems, joint disease)
- Chronic renal failure
- Congestive heart failure
- Gastro-intestinal problems (e.g., Irritable Bowel Disease)
- Chronic inflammatory illnesses
- Neurological problems (seizures, radial and facial nerve paralysis)
- Skin allergies
- Behavioral issues (e.g., fear of thunderstorms)
Acupuncture is extremely safe, and is often used when traditional methods of treatment – particularly in geriatric or seriously ill pets – may produce side effects that could negatively impact a pet’s health. Fractures, pregnancy, infectious diseases and open wounds are some instances where use of acupuncture may not be advisable, but one of our veterinarians will be able to make this determination for you upon examining your pet.
Call us to set up an acupuncture appointment with Dr. Colette Brazer who performs our acupuncture treatments, or ask one of our other veterinarians about acupuncture when you’re in for a visit with us.
Digital x-rays allow us to immediately see the results of any images we take, enabling the procedure to be completed more quickly and in a less stressful manner than traditional x-ray methods.
There are numerous advantages of digital x-rays over traditional film x-rays. Not only can we obtain images more quickly, image quality can be adjusted in the computer, often eliminating the need for additional x-rays and repeated exposure for your pet. For those times when another x-ray is needed, images can be repeated very quickly, minimizing the time your pet spends being x-rayed, and thereby reducing stress. For example, taking an x-ray with traditional film can take 20 minutes or more, but the same x-ray taken digitally can be done in less than 5 minutes. The result is a significant decrease in stress for a sick pet.
Ultrasound and x-ray images are interpreted by our experienced veterinarians, and when necessary, can be sent over the internet to specialists such as radiologists, oncologists, neurosurgeons or cardiologists to give us a specialist’s opinion often within a few hours
In this way, your pet receives a second opinion from a board certified veterinarian without the stress and delay that would occur if it were necessary to travel to a distant referral center. This facilitates the process of consultation with specialists, ensuring your pet receives the best treatment options available.