Bellevue Veterinary Hospital
General Vet Services
Although the physical examination is the most basic of the services we offer, it is the most important one. A thorough examination can point us toward a diagnosis or pinpoint a problem before it progresses. Close observation, auscultation, and palpation of your pet from head to toe, can locate unwanted guests, hint at organ function, or detect abnormalities. In some instances, we will still recommend additional testing, such as bloodwork or imaging to check for things we are not able to see on a physical exam. It is recommended that your pet receive an annual examination. Some pets with chronic conditions or those that receive ongoing medications or are geriatric may require examinations more frequently.
More and more is known about the importance of dental health and its influence on the overall health. Our hospital is equipped with digital dental x-ray capability for visualizing the details of oral health below the gum line — which is where over 50% of dental tissue (and disease) exists!
Radiology, Ultrasound, Equipment
Radiology and Ultrasound
Our hospital has various specialized tools for performing diagnostic tests in-clinic, such as radiology/ultrasound and blood testing.
We have blood analyzers that give our veterinarians the potential for obtaining rapid diagnoses, as well as allowing pre-anesthetic screening to be performed prior to surgeries.
As well as our on-site digital x-ray equipment for full size and dental x-rays, we also have in-house ultrasound services for further diagnostic imaging.
Our veterinarians perform a wide variety of surgical procedures, and our clinic has modern, state of the art anesthetic and monitoring equipment to increase the safety to our patients.
Surgical patients are:
- on intravenous fluids,
- have blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and various other vital parameters closely monitored,
- are on water-heated beds during surgery and recovery
- given pre-emptive multi-modal pain control and also monitored for any hints of break-through pain so that medications can be promptly and appropriately tweaked/added.
The health, comfort, and safety of each patient is our greatest priority.
Veterinary care can be brought to your home.
The option for mobile veterinary service provides convenience to you and your pet. Whether it’s performing a check-up at home because your dog has poor mobility, or your cat is anxious about travelling, or maybe it just works best for you, our house call service can deliver quality care and comfort. Unfortunately we cannot usually perform a housecall on an urgent, immediate basis due to staffing availability. Call us to ask about our housecall schedule.
We have the answer
Why should we consider our pets' teeth?
Dental health has a significant influence on the rest of the body. When not kept in check, bacteria in the mouth can invade below the gum line, cause decay and affect deeper tissues and cause chronic infections. Sometimes these infections can even travel further to other organs through the bloodstream. Our veterinarians recommend maintaining your pet’s dental health through annual check-ups. Some pets will require more frequent cleanings and dental exams than others, depending on age, breed, and individual variation.
Potential Consequences of Not Maintaining Dental Health:
- Periodontal disease
- Foul breath
- Tooth loss
- Systemic disease
- e.g. kidney disease
Why does a veterinary dentistry require a general anesthetic?
A close exam of the entire mouth, including the roof of the mouth, between teeth, & below the gumline, plus full mouth xrays, and thorough cleaning, requires the patient to be under general anesthesia. These things cannot be performed without it.
What happens when teeth need to be pulled?
Dogs & cats have much longer dental roots than those of humans. Not all tooth extractions are the same. Some teeth are simply ready to fall out! Some have three roots and only one of the roots is diseased (so two are holding strong!) Some teeth have very little root left and others have huge roots (sometimes almost twice the size of the crown!)
So they are not all treated exactly the same.
But along with general anesthesia, most extractions also require local anesthesia (or similar to the “freezing” that you get at the dentist). In veterinary dentistry, this decreases the amount of anesthetic gas required to keep the patient anesthetized. It also improves the patient’s comfort level during recovery and beyond.Other analgesics are given during and post-operatively as well as following the procedure for 2-3 days, depending on the patient (and on the extraction).
Extractions of multi-rooted teeth usually require cutting them into their individual root/crown sections. This allows each piece to be manipulated separately.
Many extractions also involve making a “flap” of tissue (gingiva & periosteum) and then suturing that closed (with dissolvable suture) after the tooth is out.
What about pain?
We are very attentive to our patient’s comfort level.
Good pain control decreases the amount of anesthetic required to keep the patient “asleep” for a surgical procedure.
Various methods of surgical and medical analgesia (= pain control) are used (daily) in our hospital. These different approaches are summarized as follows:
Pre-anesthetic medications: Before the patient goes under general anesthesia, a sedation is given that also includes some pain control medication. If pain control is dealt with before it’s really needed, the patient experiences less discomfort to begin with and will require less pain medication overall.
Local anesthesia: This is when lidocaine or bupivicaine is instilled locally around a nerve that influences the site of the procedure or surgery. A good example of this is when we use dental nerve blocks during a tooth extraction in veterinary dentistry.
Intra-operative pain medications: Often medications are given intravenously just prior or during a procedure to add pain control to our anesthetic protocol.
Post-operative analgesics: These medications include injectable drugs given in the clinic after the procedure, as well as meds that go home with the pet for a few days after a procedure.
Some patients are on long term analgesics for ongoing conditions, such as arthritis.