Wellness Examinations:

Regular wellness exams allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s general health and become aware of any health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since your pet cannot vocalize his feelings, you must rely on regular physical examinations by a veterinarian and your at-home observations to assess your pet’s health. Your veterinarian may also wish to perform diagnostic tests, including blood tests and/or x-rays, to evaluate your pet’s health.

Routine blood testing, urinalysis (urine testing) and other tests are recommended for all pets in their “senior years.” Your veterinarian may recommend routine blood testing and urinalysis for younger pets to establish baseline values, which can be used for comparison as pets age.

Every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to five to seven human years, so it is important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year, and more often when he enters his senior years. Many aspects of your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your pet does not miss even one exam!

Similar to people, pets need to visit the veterinarian more often as they get older in order to prevent and treat illnesses that come with age. AAHA recommends that healthy dogs and cats visit the veterinarian once a year for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Healthy senior dogs and cats should receive a wellness exam and lab testing every six months. Depending on your pet’s age and health, your veterinarian will suggest an appropriate physical examination schedule to help keep your pet in tip-top shape.

Senior Pet Examinations:

 Scheduling regular veterinary examinations is one of the most important steps pet owners can take to keep their pets in tip-top shape. When dogs and cats enter the senior years, these health examinations are more important than ever. Senior care, which starts with the regular veterinary exam, is needed to catch and delay the onset or progress of disease and for the early detection of problems such as organ failure and osteoarthritis. AAHA recommends that healthy senior dogs and cats visit the veterinarian every six months for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Keep in mind that every year for a dog or cat is equivalent to 5–7 human years. In order stay current with your senior pet’s health care, twice-a-year exams are a must. During the senior health exam, your veterinarian will ask you a series of questions regarding any changes in your pet’s activity and behavior.

The veterinarian will also conduct a complete examination of all of your pet’s body systems. Client education and laboratory testing are also key components of the senior exam.

So when is a pet considered a senior? Generally, smaller breeds of dogs live longer than larger breeds, and cats live longer than dogs. Beyond that, the life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your furry friend is in. Keep in mind that some small dog breeds may be considered senior at 10-13 years, while giant breeds are classified as seniors at ages as young as five. Your veterinarian is your best source for more information to determine when your pet reaches the golden years.

In-House Lab & Radiology: 

Blood Chemistry:

Samples of various body fluids can be analysed in our in-house laboratory to give the Veterinary Surgeon more information about the function of many internal organs and to detect disease in our pets. Samples of blood ,urine , faeces, hair etc. can all contribute useful information about the health status of our animals.

 Further information can be gained by analysing blood. The numbers and type of red and white blood cells in the blood is affected by many disease processes. The blood also contains a high quantity of enzymes and chemicals which give information relating to level of organ function and disease.

After a clinical examination a Vet may take samples to check the performance of a particular organ. Alternatively blood tests are carried out to screen for disease.

Pre-anaesthetic Profile:

This profile is highly recommended prior to general anaesthetic administration. Various checks are carried out on kidney and liver function to ensure that these organs are healthy enough to cope with the anaesthetic drugs. Anaemia and Diabetes are also monitored within this screen.

Microscopy:

  • Samples of skin, feces and urine are examined  microscopically.
  • Skin scrapes are examined mainly for evidence of parasitic or fungal disease.
  • Fecal samples are also examined for parasites or parasite eggs, undigested food stuffs can help diagnose various diseases of the gut.
  • After spinnning urine in a centrifuge the deposit is examined for crystals and cells, the information gained can be helpful in determining the health of the kidneys and bladder.

Surgery:

 If your pet is a dog or cat it is likely that your pet will need surgery at least once in his or her lifetime, most commonly to be neutered or spayed. Many other species of pets may require surgery, even birds, reptiles, and fish. Understanding what happens after you bring in your pet for surgery can help you to feel less anxious, and be more prepared to ask those questions you still may have.

What to expect prior to your pet's scheduled surgery:

When setting up an appointment for your pet's surgery, you will likely be given some instructions regarding withholding food from your pet the night before surgery. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully since some pets can have food withheld for only a short time, and others require a longer time. Food is withheld so that if the pet vomits while under sedation, the pet is less likely to vomit food which could be aspirated into the lungs.

At the time you make your appointment you may receive some paperwork to complete. This may include a permission form to sign and a form listing some tests your veterinarian recommends before surgery to check for any underlying health problems. These tests could include a Complete Blood Count (CBC) or a Chemistry Profile, among other tests. The type of tests  recommended will vary, depending on your pet's age, species, any previous health problems, and the type of surgery.

Be sure to review any paperwork well beforehand, when you have a quiet moment to read it thoroughly. If you have any questions about the procedure, or what a certain test is or why it is being recommended for your pet, call the clinic and ask. You will feel less rushed and anxious if you have everything clear in your mind before the day of the surgery, rather than finding yourself standing at the admitting desk the morning of your pet's surgery, trying to make up your mind about tests and options you are not sure you fully understand. Make sure you understand what the procedure will involve, and what to expect afterwards. Will your pet need help getting in and out of the house or litter box to urinate and defecate? Will there be sutures (stitches) that will need to be removed? If a biopsy is being performed, when can you expect to receive the results? Will there be dressings for you to change or medication you will need to give? How long before your pet can be left alone at home? Can your pet have food and water when he gets home? Will your pet need a special diet temporarily?

What to expect on the day of your pet's surgery:

On the day of surgery, after your pet is admitted, a physical examination will be performed, and any needed testing will be done unless it has previously been performed. Once the test results are back and everything looks OK, your pet will be prepared for surgery. Your pet will usually be given a sedative at this point, which will help to calm and relax him, followed by an  intravenous anesthetic (may not be necessary in smaller pets) and then a gas anesthetic. For most species, an endotracheal tube will be placed in the trachea to protect the airway and to administer the gas anesthetic that will keep your pet unconscious during the procedure.

During surgery, several types of monitors are often used to make sure that your pet is doing well. These may include a heart rate monitor, which counts the number of heartbeats per minute, and a pulse oximeter, which monitors the amount of oxygen in the blood. The type of monitor used often varies with the type and length of the surgery, and the species of animal. Intravenous fluids will often be given during surgery and for a short period thereafter.

Medical Boarding for Patients:

Once the surgery is over, the anesthesia is stopped and your pet is allowed to wake up in a quiet area where he can be monitored until he is able to move around safely on his own. This may take several hours to overnight, depending on the type and length of the surgery. Although you will be anxious to take your pet home with you, it is best for him to stay in the hospital where he can be monitored until the veterinarian feels it is safe for him to leave. During this time, your veterinarian can also provide any needed pain medication.

You will feel less anxious about taking a pet in for surgery if you understand what is going to be done, and why. If you have questions, always ask.

Hospital Visitation:

When your pet is hospitalized, visitation is discouraged in most cases as it will often upset the pet or other hospitalized pets.  Under special circumstances, the doctor may allow visitation when it is in the best interest of the pet.

Dentistry: 

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, by age three more than half of dogs and cats suffer from dental problems. By the time they turn four, at least 85% show signs of periodontal disease (gum disease), a condition caused by plaque.

 Dental disease is painful for your pet and can cause a multitude of problems, including heart and liver infections. Regular brushing of your pet’s teeth at home goes a long way toward preventing disease and tooth loss, but it is not enough.

Like people, pets need professional dental exams and cleanings to avoid tooth decay. However, dogs and cats are not willing to sit still for 45 minutes of scraping and polishing. Although your veterinarian can perform a basic oral exam while your pet is awake, an anesthetic is required for thorough examinations and dental cleanings.

Dental cleanings that are done without an anesthetic will make your pet’s teeth prettier, but not healthier. Without anesthesia, it isn’t possible to clean the inside surfaces of the teeth or under the gums where periodontal disease develops.

Veterinarians need to use sharp instruments, similar to those used for humans, to remove tartar, and a pet can easily be injured by these tools if it moves at the wrong time.

Microchip Implantation: 

Millions of dogs become lost each year. Tragically, few are reunited with their owners. Many lost dogs end up in shelters where they are adopted out to new homes or even euthanized. It is important that your dog has identification at all times. Collars and tags are essential, but they can fall off or become damaged. Technology has made it possible to equip your pet with a microchip for permanent identification.

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It consists of a tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass made to be compatible with living tissue. The microchip is implanted between the dog's shoulder blades under the skin with a needle and special syringe. The process is similar to getting a shot. Little to no pain is experienced - most dogs do not seem to even feel it being implanted. Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a handheld device that uses radio waves to read the chip. This device scans the microchip, and then displays a unique alphanumeric code. Once the microchip is placed, the dog must be registered with the microchip company, usually for a one-time fee. Then, the dog can be traced back to the owner if found.

No method of identification is perfect. The best thing you can do to protect your dog is to be a responsible owner. Keep current identification tags on your dog at all times, consider microchipping as reinforcement, and never allow your dog to roam free. If your dog does become lost, more identification can increase the odds of finding your beloved companion.

Laser Therapy: 

Is used to promote natural cell healing from post surgical to pressure points. Laser Therapy has been used in Europe for many years to treat humans for everything from sports injuries to rheumatoid arthritis.  The Colony Animal Clinic is please to offer our patients class III Laser Therapy.  Laser Therapy offers an effective treatment to the acute and chronic pain;  inflammation and wound healing that our patients are seen with.  Laser Therapy uses light to penetrate tissue to stimulate lymphatic circulation to reduce inflammation, suppresses receptors that send pain pain signals to the brain for pain relief, and increases oxygenation with in a cell to accelerate the healing process in wounds.  Depending on the condition being treated, improvement is seen with in 24-48 hours.  However, we recommend a series of treatments to improve the quality of your pet's well-being.  Ask our doctor's how Laser Therapy can benefit your pet today!!