Dartmouth Pet Owners: The Importance of Veterinary Services

veterinary-servicesWhile veterinary care is important for domesticated and exotic animals all across the country, each region has its own particular issues and concerns that can only be addressed through regular visits to your local animal hospital in Dartmouth or through emergency veterinary care, if an incident occurs. Southeastern Massachusetts is quite a different place for pets compared to other regions. One example of this is that the northeastern and Atlantic coastal states have a much larger population of ticks than some other areas of the country, making it important to take precautions. Residents or visitors who are new to the South Coast region need to be aware of these issues and seek vet care for cats and dogs to ensure that they are properly cared for while they are here.

Regular Veterinary Care

In addition to taking care to ensure that pets are protected from regional diseases, issues and situations, pet owners should also schedule appointments for regular check-ups and veterinary care in Massachusetts. The staff at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth provide emergency treatment and regular exams to help keep your pets happy and healthy. Along with a simple physical exam, your veterinarian may want to run some basic blood and urine tests to check the overall health of your pet.

Certain diseases, such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes or even common infections can all be discovered through blood and urine tests. Most diseases or conditions can be effectively treated or controlled if they are diagnosed early enough. It is important not to wait until your pet is sick to come in for testing to make a diagnosis. If your veterinarian has a record of test results for your pet from when he is healthy, a change in health will be more obvious when he becomes ill. Chemistry panels can also be done that will include testing of protein levels, glucose, electrolytes, liver enzymes and kidney values.

Emergency In-House Testing Abilities

In non-emergency situations, Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth typically sends out our blood and urine tests to Idexx Laboratories, one of the best reference laboratories available. Lab results are usually back in 1-2 days. However, in a case where the patient is sick or requires emergency veterinary care in Massachusetts, we are prepared to conduct important tests in-house and on-site. Anchor has a full laboratory suite that is integrated into our computer system for streamlined, accurate results that we use in these urgent situations to provide the best vet care for cats and dogs.

The testing equipment available to our veterinary doctors includes:

  • LASERCYTE CBC – This machine is used to give an accurate “complete blood count” or CBC of a patient’s red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. This helps us to check for low platelet counts, elevated white blood cell counts or anemia. Blood smears are also tested on-site to check for blood parasites or to confirm blood cell problems.
  • CATALYST DX CHEMISTRY ANALYZER – This machine processes a patient’s blood sample through a dry slide technology to produce very accurate chemical results that we use to evaluate the major internal organs.
  • VETLYTE ELECTROLYTE ANALYZER – This machine gives our veterinary team quick results of a patient’s potassium, sodium and chloride levels within the blood, which can identify abnormalities in nerve function, the heart and other muscles.
  • SNAP 4DX – Rapid testing for diseases and infections, such as Lyme and Heartworm, this machine helps us to quickly diagnose potentially life-threatening situations so we can begin treatment. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth has now included this test with all routine wellness exams for our canine patients.
  • SNAP FELV/FIV – Rapid testing for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a pair of life-threatening infections found in cats that have become quite common. We test kittens and cats before administering the vaccine for FELV.
  • SNAP PARVO – Rapid testing for the Parvo virus, which can ultimately kill 25-50 percent of all infected dogs despite aggressive treatment. The sooner we can diagnose this disease, the sooner we can begin treatment. We test all puppies and dogs before administering the vaccine for the Parvo virus.

Radiological Testing

While there are many things that can be definitively diagnosed through blood and urine tests, but there are some occasions when more advanced diagnostic will be necessary at your Dartmouth emergency vet, especially if your pet has been injured or is in pain from an unknown source. Since Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth opened its doors, we have had on-site x-ray capabilities to allow us to examine the internal structures of our patients. We use x-rays to check bones, lungs and the size and shape of a patient’s major organs.

However, there are some situations where we need to see beyond what a basic x-ray can provide. The doctors who provide vet care for cats and dogs at Anchor also have access to contrast radiography to help diagnose patients to highlight specific areas within the patient’s esophagus, stomach, bladder, intestines, colon and kidneys. All of these tests can be extremely helpful in obtaining a quick diagnosis for our patients so we can begin to provide treatment immediately for the best chance at a full recovery.

One-Stop Veterinary Care in Massachusetts

So whether you are a new pet parent or are new to the South Coast area, you will want to make an appointment with Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to ensure that you are providing proper vet care for cats and dogs. In addition to providing routine health exams and annual veterinary care in Massachusetts, Anchor is also the local Dartmouth emergency vet, seeing patients in emergency situations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give our office a call to schedule your pet’s first healthy check-up and exam or stop by to check out our facilities. Serving patients throughout the Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island area since 1975, Anchor Animal Hospital provides services to a wide variety of cats, dogs, birds, exotic pets and pocket pets.