Ask The Veterinarian

#ask the veterinarian

Livingston County Veterinarian

Dr. Gannon goes over your animal from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. During the examination, your animal is being thoroughly checked for all of the following: body and coat condition, eye, ear and dental inspection and evaluation, musculoskeletal function, and heart and lung function. This information along with any concerns of the owner allows for a clean bill of health or the base of a medical diagnosis. Physical exams are very important because our pets can’t talk to us.

Our vaccine protocols meet and exceed standards in place from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Why are vaccines so important for your pet? Not only do vaccines protect your dog or cat from preventable diseases that are present in the environment, it helps protect us as their owners. Many of the diseases we recommend vaccination for are considered zoonotic. That means they are transmissable from animals to humans.

Your pet has access to an in-house lab, which many human medical facilities do not have. Your pet’s blood can be analyzed for the presence of heartworms. As well as testing for heartworms, we can run comprehensive blood work that allows us to check the function of the liver, kidneys, heart and electrolyte levels. Complete blood counts or CBC’s are also available and all the results are available usually within 15-20 minutes. On the less glamorous side of veterinary medicine, we also perform fecal and urine analysis. We are able to check for worms, parasites, blood and bacteria.

We perform all of the surgeries you know and have heard about as well as some you may not have heard about. Along with spays, neuters and declaws, we are including some of the other surgeries that have been performed here in the past. They include bladder and kidney stone removal, stomach and GI obstruction removal, mass and lump removal, ACL and MCL repairs, Femoral Head Osteotomy (where the ball (head) of the femur is removed because of genetic or traumatic damage and the joint is put back together). This eliminates the pain associated with trying to put a square peg in a round hole. It is most commonly done in dogs and they go on to have uneventful recoveries and an improved quality of life. In male cats, we have resected urinary tracts that have been obstructed or damaged because of urinary infections, which allows them to use the litter box without issues.

Veterinary medical practices allow for the treatment and management of many diseases or illnesses that would have previously meant euthanasia, drastically shortened or decreased quality of life. Some of our patients have been diagnosed and treated for renal failure, heart disease, diabetes, cushings disease, chronic urinary infections, osteoarthritis and even obesity. These conditions are treated with one or a combination of the resources we have at our disposal, such as antibiotics, prescription medications, special diet and even basic lifestyle changes.

Dental health is extremely important in the overall health of your pet. Regular dental cleanings are used to keep tartar, plaque and gingivitis in check. Poor dental health can affect overall health with links to heart, liver and kidney disease. Also, dental problems have been linked to unusual behavior, weight loss, facial swelling that appears to be tumorlike and even decreased ability to scent. Although some dogs and cats, like some humans, constantly get the spotless dental check-up, others are predisposed to dental problems. Small dogs generally lead the pack in that area, but the doctor’s husband’s dog is only 1 1/2 and already has had two dental cleanings.

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