Educational Articles

Diagnosis

  • Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive therapy that is used to examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions that affect joints. It requires a specialized piece of equipment called an arthroscope which will allow your veterinarian to look inside the joint using a small fiber optic camera that is hooked up to a monitor. It often requires general anesthesia; however, small incisions in the joint allow for a quicker recovery than traditional methods allow. The recovery time will depend on the extent of the injury, but compared to traditional surgery, recovery time is generally much shorter.

  • The complete blood count (CBC) assesses different parameters of the cells in the blood including total number, appearance, size, and shape. Red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets comprise the cellular component of the blood. Changes in the red blood cells can affect oxygen delivery from the lungs to the blood. Changes in the white blood cells can indicate infection, inflammation, and cancer. Platelets are needed for adequate blood clotting so decreased numbers can raise concern for spontaneous bleeding.

  • An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a test that is used to assess the heart. More specifically, an ECG measures the transmission of an electrical impulse through the heart. This test is not painful and is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Analyzing the electrical impulses produced as the heart beats can help identify a number of different abnormalities within the heart.

  • Food allergies can be problematic for many cats, especially after years on the same diet. Clinical signs may manifest as gastrointestinal or skin problems. Some animal proteins are the most common causes and strict avoidance is the best way to treat affected cats. An eight to twelve-week elimination diet trial on a special veterinary diet is the only definitive method to diagnose a food allergy and, in some cases, the veterinary diet may need to be continued long-term.

  • Genetic (DNA) testing is readily available, whether you are using it for fun to find out what breeds your pet is made up of or if you are looking into possible medical conditions. DNA samples can be collected either from a cheek swab or a blood draw. Knowing which breeds your pet is made up of can help you and your veterinarian prevent or prepare for health issues in the future.

  • Infertility in a female dog is defined as the inability to conceive and deliver viable puppies, even when mated multiple times with a known fertile male surrounding the time of ovulation. This handout outlines the varying causes of infertility in female dogs and how they may be diagnosed and treated.

  • Infertility in a male dog is defined as the inability to produce a successful pregnancy in a fertile female, even with multiple breedings near the time of ovulation. The causes of infertility fall under three broad categories: failure to copulate or ejaculate, poor semen quality, and prostatic disease. This handout explains the possible causes in detail, as well as methods to diagnose and treat them.

  • Meningoencephalitis is a term referring to inflammation of the brain and the surrounding fluid and tissues. Meningoencephalitis of unknown origin is a term used to describe those cases of meningoencephalitis in which MRI and cerebrospinal fluid analysis indicate the disease but diagnosis through histopathological analysis is not possible. Treatment typically involves immunosuppressant drugs, sometimes with the addition of antibiotics. The prognosis depends on several factors, which are also explained in this handout.

  • Having your pet properly prepared for a blood test helps to ensure that the results are as accurate and reliable as possible. Preparation for these two types of tests is slightly different. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions before your appointment. It is important that you follow these instructions exactly to ensure accurate test results.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for cats, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.