An often over-looked aspect of animal companion well-being is eye health. At Stuart Sound Animal Hospital, we employ professional eye care specialists to ensure that your pet’s eyes get the tender loving care they need and deserve.
One way to assess eye pet health is through tonometry, a procedure that measures intraocular pressure, or IOP, the fluid pressure inside the eye. This test is used to determine your pet’s risk of developing glaucoma, a serious eye disease that, if left untreated, can cause permanent vision loss.
Our experts use tonometry to pinpoint whether your pet’s eye is draining fluid correctly. If the fluid drains too slow, harmful pressure builds up, damaging the optic nerve. Over time, such damage can lead to blurry vision and even blindness.
Although found more often in older pets, heart conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening health issue, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can even 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 accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen.
Heart disease has many origins and can be congenital (animal is born with the problem), valvular (abnormalities of heart valves), arrhythmias (disturbances in heartbeat rhythm) and caused by heartworm disease. All can eventually lead to CHF.
It’s important that you be aware of the symptoms of heart disease, especially if your pet is a senior, a breed that is predisposed to cardiac issues, or has a congenital problem. Symptoms include:
- Rapid breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy/tires easily
- Weakness/trouble exercising
Many heart problems can be detected through a physical exam, though additional tests will be required to obtain a definitive diagnosis and cause. Those tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasounds.
Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that aids us in the diagnosis of disease and in emergency situations. Itallows us to view inside your pet’s body and visualize the organs and internal systems without performing surgery.
Endoscopy involves the use of small cameras, which can be guided throughout your pet’s body via small incisions or naturally existing orifices, such as the nose, vagina, bladder, and ear way. Endoscopy is most often used to diagnose issues of the gastrointestinal tract, but, by fitting the cameras, or endoscopes,with specialized instruments, we can even take biopsies when appropriate.
Most pets go home the day and usually do not experience pain or discomfort following the procedure.
Your pet’s skin is like a road map, providing crucial clues to his or her overall well-being, and because ear and skin issues are so common in both cats and dogs, our Stuart Sound Animal Hospital team has made dermatology a top priority and key area of study and expertise.
It is important to identify the initial signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions before they become more serious concerns. These symptoms include:
- Inflamed ears
- Hotspots, especially those that recur
- Rubbing the eyes or mouth area
- Skin lesions
- Hair loss
- Red itchy bumps on the skin
- Asthma-like wheezing or respiratory issues
If your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, please get in touch with us to schedule an exam. Chances are very good that the problem isn’t skin deep. Common culprits behind the above symptoms are skin or ear infections; allergies to fleas, environmental antigens, or dietary ingredients; microscopic mites; ringworm; endocrine issues; and a weakened or otherwise compromised immune system. Left untreated, such conditions can pose serious dangers to your pet’s health.
Like fleas, ticks love to treat your pet like an all-you-can eat café. They’re also well-known carriers of many harmful conditions, including Lyme disease.
In dogs, Lyme disease typically causes recurrent lameness, itself a result of joint inflammation, and general malaise. Other symptoms include depression, lack of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, an arched-back stiff walk, difficulty breathing, and extreme sensitivity to being touched.
Cats aren’t as impacted by Lyme disease as dogs are, but they, too, can experience joint pain, lameness, and lethargy.
The good news is that Lyme disease is preventable, both by vaccine and with easy-to-administer preventatives that we sell both in our clinic and our online store.
Flea Prevention and Control
Fleas can really bug your pet, and, contrary to popular opinion, these pests aren’t just annoying. Fleas can transmit tapeworm and cause dermatitis, anemia, and hot spots, making your pet vulnerable to serious disease—even death.
At Stuart Sound Animal Hospital, we understand just how important it is to your pet’s overall quality of life to be flea-free. That’s why we carry a wide array of safe and effective flea preventatives in our and onsite pharmacies. Your veterinarian can help you choose the prevention that best suits your pet’s breed, size, and lifestyle. We can also help you control fleas in and around your home.
Have you checked out our online pharmacy recently? It’s a one-stop-shop where you can purchase everything from specialty foods to dental products, allergy remedies, supplements for your pet’s healthy coat, hip and joint medications, and training and behavior aids.
Our online store and onsite pharmacy carry only the best products for your best friend. Other advantages to buying directly from us include:
- Eligibility for manufacturer rebates
- A chance to support a local business
- Everything comes with the manufacturer’s guarantees intact
Your pet’s endocrine system is similar to your own and consists of a system of glands (including the adrenal gland, ovaries, pancreas, parathyroid glands, pituitary gland, testes, and thyroid gland) that are the source of hormones that regulate the body. Diseases of the endocrine system include:
- Cushing’s disease
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Addison’s disease
- Estrogen deficiency urinary incontinence
Many of these conditions are life-threatening, so catching and treating them early is very important. Symptoms to watch for include excessive panting, skin issues, hair loss, dull coat, behavior changes, low energy levels, loss of appetite, increased urination and/or thirst.
Veterinary Specialist Referrals
As a full-service veterinary hospital, Stuart Sound Animal Hospital is ready to and capable of handling most of your pet’s needs onsite at our clinic. With that said, we’re also well positioned to refer you and your best friend to a highly qualified specialist should the need arise.
We have strong relationships with a wide variety of local specialists and specialty clinics devoted to the practice of oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, and other veterinary disciplines and can put you in touch the board-certified doctor who can best address your pet’s unique circumstances.
Rest assured that, if your pet is referred to a specialist, we will continue to play an active role in his or her care and will be in regular contact referral veterinarian so that important pieces of your pet’s medical history are taken into consideration when a treatment plan is finalized. We’re also more than happy to provide any after-care or rehabilitation services that might be required to help your pet make a full recovery.
For a more information or a consultation appointment, please call us at (772) 287-0024.