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CHANGING TIMES

The field of veterinary medicine is constantly changing. More intelligent and informed consumers are demanding a higher quality of medicine for their pets. Many consumers are realizing that just bringing their pets to a veterinary hospital annually for vaccinations is doing their pets an injustice. The average difference between a “human year” and a “pets year” is approximately seven-eight years depending on size and breed.

Therefore by having their pets visit their veterinarians more often to have physical exams will increase the probability of diagnosing diseases earlier and to be able to administer treatments before the disease progresses. There are many diseases which may go undetected without a complete physical examination and appropriate laboratory analysis. Some of these diseases may be controlled with a proper diet. Heartworm disease is endemic and tests should be performed periodically. Intestinal parasites are contagious to humans, especially children, and require fecal examinations. There are many tests which can be performed at most veterinary hospitals or laboratories associated with that hospital. However, with changing times many new tests and procedures are not performed at all veterinary hospitals simply because it is cost prohibitive. It is up to the consumer to make determinations in regard to new innovative procedures and the trends to provide the best medicine possible for the family pet.

Monitoring of your pet while under general anesthesia is important. A pulse oximeter measures heart rate, the amount of oxygen in the blood stream, gives a continuous ECG print out, monitors temperature, and respiratory rate.

A Doppler unit measures the amount of blood passing through a vessel at the extremities and can warn the technicians of impending problems before they occur. Anesthesia can now be administered via a ventilator which is computerized and can provide the proper amount of oxygen - anesthesia combination and safety for the patient. Tono pens are available to practitioners for measuring intra ocular pressure and hopefully prevent glaucoma in your pet.

Endoscopy is available to determine whether there are ulcers or tumors of the upper GI tract. Biopsies and retrieval of foreign objects without the necessity of an invasive surgical procedure can be obtained via the endoscope as well as detecting of polyps and colon lesions. Ultrasonography provides visualization of body organ tumors, cardiac size, and even litter sizes in pregnant females.

Baer Hearing test can be performed to determine if your dog has hearing loss or is able to hear with only one ear. This is the same test performed on infants. Laparoscopy and Anthroscopy are also available to pet owners and provide a less invasive means of diagnostics and surgical procedures with quicker response times.

CO2 laser surgery is the latest in this trend toward better medicine. This type of surgery provides a non-contact delivery system which eliminates tearing and blunt trauma. Hemostasis is increased because a CO2 laser seals small vessels. Pain and post operative swelling is reduced thereby promoting quicker recovery time. All of these innovations and highly technical instrumentations are now available to your pet and will provide the optimum care they deserve.

Presented as a public service by: Dr. Jim Antunano, Animal Medical Center, 1102 E. Bloomingdale in Brandon, 813-654-6222.


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