Cochise County Animal Hospital

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GENERAL MEDICINE


In providing general pet medicine, our veterinary staff is capable of diagnosing and treating a variety of pet medical needs. Our approach to diagnostic and therapeutic services is meant to allow you and your pet increased comfort while maintaining confidence that you are in capable hands. At our veterinary office, we take corresponding safety precautions and observe all sanitation standards. Our goal is to provide quality pet care and exceptional customer service.

As a general practitioner, we can diagnose and treat a variety of health problems. However, if diagnostics or treatment lies outside our veterinary specialty, or requires a veterinarian specialist, we may refer you to one of our partnered veterinarians. We work closely with other practices that can further assist you in achieving optimum pet health care.

General pet medicine includes the following: 

  • Cardiology 
  • Dentistry 
  • Dermatology 
  • Oncology 
  • Radiology 
  • Senior pet care 
  • Ultrasounds 
  • Vision care

If you witness your pet exhibiting any of the following symptoms, please schedule an appointment to have them evaluated, as the condition might require prompt treatment:

  • Anxiety that causes noticeable emotional changes 
  • Confusion 
  • Constipation 
  • Coughing 
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Difficulty standing up, climbing stairs, or walking long distances 
  • Excessive itching 
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain 
  • Foul odor in or around ears 
  • Foul smelling breath 
  • Inability to control bodily functions 
  • Increased dehydration
  • Increased eye or nose secretion
  • Increased urination
  • Limping
  • Lumps in the skin that have increased in size or are entirely new
  • Sneezing
  • Tiny cuts across areas of the skin
  • Unexplained exhaustion
  • Vomiting
  • Wounds that will not heal

Prolonged Condition Management

In some instances, pet care requires more than just a single day’s visit. Our staff can provide a comfortable setting for pets receiving ongoing care that requires hospitalization. If your pet requires attention around the clock, our facilities are equipped to house them throughout the extent of the treatment.

If you have any questions, or need to schedule a medical visit, please call our office.


CARDIOLOGY

Our office is dedicated to providing pets with compassionate care. In offering cardiology services, we can better evaluate and treat heart and lung diseases, working towards improving quality of life. Annual pet wellness exams enable our staff to detect early indicators of heart disease that could potentially save your pet’s life – just one more reason why an annual check-up is important for your pet’s well-being.

Diagnostic imaging is initially used when a disease or condition is suspected. This non-invasive method of obtaining information allows our veterinarian to determine existence, severity, and location of a condition or disease. After diagnosis, our physicians will discuss with you the best plan of action for your pet.

Possible indications of heart disease: 

  • Coughing that lasts longer than three days
  • Inability or refusal to sleep at night
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or rapid breathing
  • Sudden changes in pet behavior and an inclination to isolate themselves
  • Sudden episodes of fainting, or unexplained collapses
  • Swelling in the abdomen

What do cardiology diagnostics involve?

Diagnostics could involve a variety of different procedures. Upon examining your pet, the veterinarian will decide which method is necessary under the circumstances.

Blood Pressure – Routinely checking blood pressure at pet wellness exams is critical. High blood pressure can cause heart failure.

Blood Tests – Blood tests examine hormone levels. Changes in certain hormones indicate heart failure.

Digital X-rays – X-rays allow the veterinarian to examine the heart, lungs, and bones. From an X-ray, your pet’s physician can determine enlargement of the heart or fluid build-up in the lungs. X-rays can also be used to determine placement of pacemakers.

EKGs – An EKG allows the physician to monitor heart rate and rhythm, allowing for detection of abnormalities.

Ultrasound – Ultrasounds let the physician see a 3-dimensional image of the heart and its chambers. From this image, they can observe blood flow and check for any heart murmurs.


DENTAL SERVICES

In an added effort to provide your pet with quality care, we offer pet dental services in our veterinary office. It is estimated that 80% of pets exhibit the beginning stages of periodontal disease by age 3, which is why dental exams and teeth cleanings are essential. Also, studies indicate that pets with good oral hygiene tend to live 2 to 4 years longer than pets who neglect dental care. While periodontal disease is entirely preventable, when left untreated it can lead to cardiac disease, kidney infection, liver infection, or stroke.

Reasons for regular dental check-ups: 

  • Avoid tooth loss due to periodontal disease
  • Help your pet avert unnecessary pain
  • Help your pet maintain healthy and functional teeth
  • Improve foul breath
  • Prevent potential damage to the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys

What does a pet dental exam involve?

Pets can experience many of the same dental issues that humans do, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, necessary tooth extraction, and deep scaling. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help you avoid the costliness of involved dental procedures and can help prevent your pet from unnecessary suffering.

Pet dental exams are similar to human dental exams and involve teeth cleaning and buffing. Additional services offered include sedation dentistry and dental X-rays. If more serious conditions are discovered, root canals, tooth extraction, etc. might be required.

During your pet’s teeth cleaning, a dental technician will gently clean the surface of the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler that cleans using the vibration of sound waves and water. The waves push the water creating tiny scrubbing bubbles that implode on tooth surfaces and kill microbes as they separate plaque from the tooth structure. After scaling the teeth, the technician lightly buffs and polishes your pet’s teeth to complete their dental cleaning.

After the cleaning, we will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your pet’s oral health. You will receive at-home oral hygiene tips specific to your pet, and if any serious dental conditions exist, you will be notified prior to any treatment planning.

Some simple home hygiene tips are: 

  • Brushing your pet’s teeth as little as one time a week can cut down on 50-60% of tartar build-up. 
  • Dental products specifically designed for pets, including Oravet and CET, can help protect gums and lessen tartar. 
  • Dry pet food is better for teeth than canned food; it causes abrasion to tooth surfaces when chewed, helping remove tartar build-up. Other treats such as raw-hide can also help remove built-up plaque.
  • There are many pet toys that support dental health. Buying your pets these toys not only entertains them, but offers a dual purpose in helping clean teeth.

Remember, creating a smooth clean tooth surface makes it more difficult for tartar and plaque to build up!

If you would like to schedule a professional dental cleaning for your pet, call our office to schedule an appointment, and allow your pet to experience a healthy smile!


DERMATOLOGY

Most pet owners are unaware that scratching, licking, biting, and chewing are tell-tale signs of an underlying skin problem. While there are over 150 different skin diseases that can affect pets, managing skin problems is possible.

Skin disease or irritation can cause distress. To relieve that suffering, we offer dermatological testing and treatment that can help your pet live comfortably. In trying to diagnose and treat skin disorders, your role as a pet owner is essential. Discovering what causes flare-ups and irritation will primarily be your job. Pay attention to your pet’s reaction after eating, playing outside, and interacting with other animals. During your appointment, the veterinarian will discuss your observations to determine a series of laboratory tests that will help diagnose or treat your pet’s skin issues.

Common dermatological issues for pets:

  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Chronic ear disease
  • Disease of the foot
  • Ear infections
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Hair loss
  • Hormone disorders
  • Parasitic, bacterial, or fungal infections
  • Skin allergies caused by contact, environment, or food
  • Skin cancer

What does treatment involve?

Our veterinarian will work with you and your pet to determine a treatment plan that is manageable. Trying to find the best method of therapy is an ongoing process that may take several attempts in order to discover an effective treatment.

To help with diagnosis, we may perform the following tests to supplement our initial prognosis of your pet’s condition:

Biopsies – A biopsy is often performed to diagnose various skin cancers and autoimmune skin disorders. A biopsy is executed by removing the affected skin, processing it, and examining the sample under a microscope. By enlarging the area, the veterinarian can usually determine the underlying issue.

Intradermal Allergy Testing – The intention of performing intradermal allergy testing is to discover exactly which allergens your pet reacts to. To perform the test, a patch of hair is shaved, and a grid is drawn on the skin. Common pet allergens are injected into separate squares on the grid. The dermatologist then examines the grid after a waiting period of 20 minutes. All swollen, red injection-sites indicate a positive allergen.

Skin Cultures – If your pet exhibits a skin disorder that is resistant to all previously tested forms of treatment, a skin culture is typically used to test numerous treatments at one time. This will help determine a successful treatment to heal the affected skin without continually unsettling your pet.

Video Otoscopy – Video otoscopy is used to diagnose and treat chronic ear infections and diseases. A magnified camera is inserted deep into the ear canal to identify any abnormalities, tumors, or foreign bodies that might exist. If immediate treatment is needed, tools can be attached to the otoscope to flush waxy build-up, perform surgery, or remove foreign objects.

If you have any questions about pet dermatology or think your pet might have a skin condition, contact our office today.


VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGY

Veterinary ophthalmology is a branch of pet medicine that focuses on eye care and ocular disease prevention. Annual pet vision exams evaluate current eye health, measuring tear production, eye pressure, and potential corneal scratches. If more serious issues are detected, such as glaucoma, cataracts, early vision loss, or dry eye problems, they will be addressed and treatment will be planned. During treatment planning, all options and recommendations will be thoroughly discussed so we can build an effective and comfortable vision procedure for you and your pet.

Indications of pet eye problems: 

  • Abnormal growth near or on the eye
  • Behavioral changes, namely a sense of depression
  • Bumping into objects or seemingly lost in a familiar setting
  • Discoloration of the iris or pupil
  • Hazy film over pupil
  • Increase in discharge from eyes
  • Pawing and rubbing eyes
  • Red, swollen eyes
  • Sensitivity to light or squinting

Preventing and improving pet vision problems

The following tests are performed at routine pet vision exams. Each vision test is cautious of pet comfort and does not cause pain. If serious problems are detected, treatment options, including surgery, will be discussed.

Fluorescein Stain – By inserting drops of a florescent green stain on the eye, the veterinarian will be able to detect secretion from any sores. The bright green stain rests in scratches and on wounds so the veterinarian can easily detect them.

Intraocular Pressure Test – The veterinarian will use an instrument that reads eye pressure and rest it gently on the surface of the eye.

Schirmer Tear Test – The veterinarian will place a small strip of test paper beneath your pet’s eyelid with the intention of irritating the surface of the eye. This irritation will cause the eye to water, allowing the vet to test the amount of tears produced per minute.

How does pet vision differ from human vision?

Pet vision is vastly different from human eyesight with the primary distinctions being visual acuity and color spectrum. Pets have fewer cones in their retina, limiting the amount of colors they can see. Because of this, pets can only distinguish between yellow, white, blue, violet, and black. Your pet also has a much wider field of vision than humans do, but their acuity is limited to a range of about 20 feet. The final difference is pets have an additional structure in their eye called a tapetum. This tapetum enables pets to have more accurate night vision by gathering light and increasing what is able to be seen.

If you have any questions about veterinary ophthalmology or would like to arrange for a routine pet eye exam, please contact our office to schedule your pet’s appointment.