Medicine – the art and science of healing – is our profession; animals are our passion.
When you visit us, we know you are concerned about the health of your pet. We take several initial steps to determine what the problem is and prescribe the best treatment for every one of our patients. The first step is to have one of our friendly veterinary technicians meet you and your pet; then obtain a complete history of your concerns as well as details about diet, appetite, drinking habits, any noticeable behavioral or physical changes, previous illnesses or surgeries etc. Then, your veterinarian will begin a thorough – but gentle – physical examination of your pet: ears, eyes, nose, mouth, heart, lungs, belly, limbs, skin, coat, lymph nodes and other significant parts of the body. We may recommend certain tests if we find anything out of the ordinary or that causes us concern. There are many tests we use to learn more about what’s going on inside your pet’s body but we only recommend the ones that, in our experience, will help us to help your pet. Some of the most common tests are:
- A complete blood count (CBC): Evaluates red and white blood cells and platelets
- Serum biochemistry: Tells us about overall organ health and function (i.e liver, kidney, adrenal glands, pancreas)
- Urinalysis: Determines kidney and bladder health
- Bacterial culture: Helps us decide what antibiotic will best fight an infection
- Radiographs/X-rays: Reveals things we cannot see during a physical examination
Every Bloorcourt Veterinarian is trained in several different fields of medicine:
Internal medicine evaluates the inner workings of an animal’s body. This can include cardiology (diseases of the heart and vascular system), pulmonology (lung diseases), gastroenterology (diseases of the stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas), nephrology (kidney diseases), hematology (blood and bone marrow diseases), endocrinology (hormonal disorders and diseases), oncology (cancer) and infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are caused by bacteria, can progress rapidly or slowly and can cause obvious symptoms or show no symptoms at all. This is why it is crucial for us to gather an extensive history, conduct a complete physical exam and perhaps recommend testing that will help us diagnose and treat your pet appropriately.
Regular blood and urine tests are excellent indicators or early disease, especially in older pets.
Ophthalmology evaluates diseases of the eyes and surrounding structures. A thorough ophthalmic exam assesses the eyelids, the pale pink tissue under the lid (called conjunctive tissue), white eyeball tissue (sciera), cornea (clear surface of the eye, lens, iris and retina. Diseases we see regularly include corneal ulcers (scratches on the cornea), cataracts (clouding of the lens), glaucoma (increased pressure behind the eye), eyelid tumors and decreased tear production. Although some complicated eye diseases require the attention of a specialist, most can be diagnosed and treated in our clinic.
Dermatology evaluates diseases of the skin, including the outer ear canals. Skin diseases are one of the most common problems we see in veterinary practice. Skin conditions can cause hair loss, lumps or masses, itchy, red skin, flaky or greasy skin, discoloured skin or sores. We may prescribe tests such as skin scrapings (used to look for parasites living on the skin’s surface), hair plucks (to diagnose ringworm), skin/ear swabs (to look for yeast and bacteria, skin biopsies or blood work.
Neurology evaluates diseases of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves that directly support muscles and glands. Specific diseases of the nervous system include epilepsy (seizures), intervertebral disc disease, degenerative diseases (such as hip dysplasia), traumatic injuries and cancer. Most neurological conditions can be diagnosed in our clinic with the help of obtaining a thorough health history, performing a full neurological exam and in some cases, additional tests.