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Physical Examinations/Consultations for Dogs and Cats

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Dr. Wilkinson, Dr. Andrews and our Lockerby Animal Hospital team strongly feel that the physical examination of your animals is the most important diagnostic test that can be performed to benefit your pet’s health.  Regardless of whether a patient is visiting our animal hospital for a vaccination or an emergency health issue, a thorough exam is essential to quality medicine, and something we pride ourselves on doing well here at Lockerby Animal Hospital.  We recommend a physical examination be performed at least once a year for all pets, regardless of their lifestyle.

In brief, a physical examination is a “stem to stern” physical check up of all your pet’s body systems.  Assessments include:

  • oral assessment
  • upper respiratory assessment
  • eye assessment
  • ear and ear canal examination
  • palpation (feeling)  of all external lymph nodes
  • auscultation (listening) to the heart and lungs
  • palpation of the abdomen
  • assessment of the skin
  • assessment of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints and bones)
  • temperature, pulse, and respirations
  • body weight and Body Condition Scoring

A thorough physical examination can provide a wealth of information about your pet’s  health, and as they can’t describe their symptoms, this is the foundation on which all further diagnostic recommendations are made!

Vaccinations and Preventative Health Care Programs

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At Lockerby Animal Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario we value your pet’s health.  To help your pet stay healthy it is important to have a physical examination by our veterinary team at least once a year to ensure detection of any early health concerns, prevent future problems and provide a baseline for the veterinarian to use in case there is future illness.

During your visit, our vets and their team will discuss

  • your pet’s health,
  • necessary vaccinations,
  • information regarding heart worm, flea and parasite control
  • current treatment regimens including medications,
  • necessary blood work
  •  nutrition and any changes as necessary
  • behavioural issues
  • most importantly diagnose disease and conditions early, when they are easier to treat and manage.

Puppies, kittens, senior pets and pets with health issues or illnesses need more frequent check- ups.

Elective and Non-Elective Pet Surgery-Including Spays and Neuters

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Lockerby Animal Hospital is able to provide full surgical services for both elective and non-elective procedures.  Essentially, elective surgery pertains to those requested by pet owners for the benefit of their cat or dog, and are usually related to spaying or neutering.  Non-elective surgery is usually a surgical procedure recommended by the veterinarian due to physical exam findings or findings from other diagnostic tests such as x-rays or blood work.

The most common types of non-elective surgeries performed at Lockerby Animal Hospital are:

  • surgical removal of lumps or tumours of the skin, subcutaneous tissue or muscle
  • treatment of abscesses and other wounds or lacerations
  • cystotomy-removal of mineral stones from your pet’s urinary bladder
  • abdominal surgery to remove intestinal obstructions or masses
  • dental surgery

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our surgical services.

Dentistry

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Veterinary Dental Care at Lockerby Animal Hospital

According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (2007):

“Oral hygiene has perhaps been the most neglected aspect of pet health care. It is estimated that 90% of pets over 2 years of age have significant mouth disease and of that 90%, fully 50% require immediate attention.Many cats and dogs can have significant dental disease without showing any outward sign of discomfort even though it may be very painful for your pet. It is important for your pet to have a dental health examination at least once a year by a veterinarian.”

Lockerby Animal Hospital in Sudbury, Ontario takes pride in providing basic and advanced veterinary dental care for its patients. By closely assessing your pet’s mouth during physical examination, Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Andrews can determine if your pet may be suffering from underlying dental disease that may not be apparent to you, their guardian.

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Animals are notoriously stoic, and your dog or cat is no exception. Frequently we have seen extremely painful oral conditions in our patients to which the pet had no symptoms noticed by  their guardians. This makes it very difficult for pet owners to assess whether their pet is in discomfort. Dr. Wilkinson and Dr. Andrews can assess common problems in dog’s and cat’s mouths such as broken and discolored teeth, gingivitis, missing and extra teeth, cavities, etc. If problems are observed, our team can discuss with you the steps that can be taken for further assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Sometimes these steps involve a general anesthetic to ultrasonically clean and polish the teeth as a treatment for gingivitis known as a COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment), or they may involve more extensive surgical procedures to extract teeth that have been irreversibly damaged by endodontic or periodontal disease. Dental Cleanings for Your Pet As humans, we require regular cleaning and check-ups at the dentist to assess and treat oral disease or prevent diseases from developing.  This is just as important for our pets.  As mentioned above, a COHAT is an important part of your pet’s health care to assess, prevent and treat oral care issues. For the comfort of your pet, a general anesthetic will be used during the procedure. Your pet should have no food after 9 pm the night before the procedure.  Water may be given up until the morning.  Once your pet is anesthetized, a thorough oral examination and charting by our veterinarian is performed, and dental x-rays will be taken to ensure all of the teeth are healthy above and below the gums.  The teeth are then probed, scaled, assessed and polished on all surfaces of the teeth.  A medicated solution is used to flush below the gums and fluoride is applied to the teeth.  If further work is required, our veterinarian will call you for consultation so together you can decide the best plan of care for your pet. Lockerby Animal Hospital is fully equipped with dental digital radiology and high speed dental surgical equipment for your pet’s care.

For more great information on Dental Care for your pet at home, click here.

Endoscopy

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Lockerby Animal Hospital is pleased to offer endoscopy services for its clients or as a referral from other veterinary hospitals in Sudbury and surrounding areas.

Lockerby Animal Hospital is one of the few veterinary clinics in Sudbury, Ontario to offer endoscopy services.  Endoscopy allows for less painful procedures and faster healing for your pet compared to conventional procedures. In some cases surgery may be avoided completely. This leads to savings in recovery time as well as less stress for the client and patient and decreased costs.

What is Endoscopy?

An endoscope inserted in the body magnifies body internal structures on a TV monitor for thorough examination. Through the same opening or through additional small incisions surgical instruments may be used for the procedure.

Endoscopy can be used to detect the presence of and remove foreign bodies and masses. Biopsies can also be performed in certain areas of the body such as the ear, nose, mouth, esophagus, stomach duodenum and colon, bladder and vaginal tract. Joints such as the hip joint, elbow joint and stifle joint may also be biopsied by our team using endoscopy.

Video imaging of the procedure is available for the client after the procedure is complete.

Advantages of Endoscopy

  • Smaller incisions are less painful and reduce recovery time
  • Minimally invasive for diagnostic and surgical procedures
  • Allows for excellent visualization of internal organs
  • Simple to perform and involves few complications
  • Allows for many procedures to be safely performed as out-patient surgeries
  • Decreased recovery time and stress for patient and client
  • May lead to surgery being avoided completely
  • Decreased cost associated with decreased in-hospital time, recovery time and potential avoidance of surgery

Anesthesia

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Lockerby Animal Hospital prides itself on providing modern, safe anaesthesia for your pet, whether it is for an elective, non-elective or dental surgery.  We appreciate how stressful it can be when dropping off your loved one for surgical or diagnostic procedures, and our veterinary team wants to assure our clients that we take the responsibility of caring for your pet very seriously.

All anaesthesia patients receive a pre-surgical physical assessment, pain medications and IV fluids.  We recommend pre-anaesthetic blood work to ensure they have no underlying conditions prior to the procedure. Once sedated, induced and intubated, your pet will be constantly monitored by one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians throughout the duration of their anaesthesia.  Heart rate, respirations, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and temperature are constantly monitored.

Once the procedure is complete, your pet will be monitored closely until they are fully recovered.  IV fluids and pain medications will be continued as necessary and you will be contacted after completion of the surgery/anaesthesia to let you know your friend is doing well!!!

Pain Management and Control

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Pain Management and Control

Nothing breaks your heart more than seeing your pet in pain. Each pet will respond to pain differently with many being very stoic and not exhibiting any signs of pain until they are in extreme discomfort. At Lockerby Animal Hospital, we will work with you to provide the best quality of life possible for your pet through reduction of their pain.

Sometimes pain may be acute, with a sudden onset or may be chronic, developing slowly over time. In the case of surgery, the pain will exist until healing is complete. All patients seen at Lockerby Animal Hospital for elective and non-elective surgical procedures will receive pain management before, during and after surgery.  With other conditions, such as arthritis, pain may be more chronic and last over a long period of time.  Our veterinarian will help your pet manage his or her pain to minimize any discomfort and maximize quality of life.

Recognizing Pain in Your Pet 

  • Prefers lying to sitting or standing; abnormal position while sitting or resting
  • Shifting position frequently, restless
  • Crying/whining
  • Shivering/trembling
  • Panting excessively
  • Being more quiet than usual, withdrawn or more aggressive-tries to bite when handled
  • Change in appetite
  • No longer able to do the things he/she used to; reluctant to go for walks or climb stairs; lagging behind or tiring easily during walks
  • Stiffness, especially after resting, or trouble getting up from a laying or seated position
  • Limping
  • Licking or chewing in one area

If you have answered yes to one or more of the above questions, please feel free to contact Lockerby Animal Hospital for an assessment of your pet to assess if he/she is in pain and what would be the best course of action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutritional Counseling

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Choosing the right foods for your pet at each stage of life is one of the most important investments you can make in your pet’s health.  It can often be overwhelming to decide from the vast number of products available.  Our team at Lockerby Animal Hospital can guide you in making those choices.

You may wish to consider a nutrition assessment for your pet for the following:

  • Puppies and kittens have special dietary needs for growing bodies
  • New Pet Ownership
  • Digestive disorders such as vomiting, diarrhea, change in appetite, straining while passing stool, constipation, stools with fresh blood and/or mucus
  • Adverse reaction to existing food-may be caused by food allergies or food intolerance
  • Weight concerns-overweight or underweight
  • Age 7 or greater-As your pet ages, their nutrition needs change.  Due to reduced activity most older pets require fewer calories and nutritional balance
  • Dental issues such as plaque and tartar buildup
  •  Joint issues
  • Problems with their skin and coat
  • Urinary issues such as kidney and bladder stones or kidney problems
  • Thyroid Disease

Weight Control Program

An overweight pet can have a shortened life and develop significant health problems such as diabetes, joint issues and cardiovascular disease. Once our veterinarian conducts a complete assessment and determines the need for a weight loss program for your pet, a clinically proven weight loss food will be started. Your pet will then be reassessed at 30, 60 and 90 days to monitor progress. Lifestyle issues are also addressed at the initial appointment such as exercise and total food intake as a lot of issues can be addressed with subtle changes.

For more information on weight control visit http://www.petobesityprevention.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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

Behavioral Counseling

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If you’re concerned about or bothered by an aspect of your pet’s behaviour, Lockerby Animal Hospital can help. Our veterinarian can work with you and your pet to stop or change the behaviour. Many aggressive, fearful, or inappropriate behaviours in dogs and cats can be modified through a combination of desensitization and counter-conditioning. These techniques can have dramatic results when applied properly. In some cases, medication can also help. Contact Lockerby Animal Hospital at 705-522-4555 for an appointment if you’d like to consult with our veterinarian.