Advanced Medicine for the pets of South Charlotte, NC and beyond.
When every second counts, we’ll be there. We utilize the latest technology and diagnostic equipment to make sure that we can find what’s wrong with your pet when it’s not obvious to the naked eye. Our knowledgeable staff and modern facilities are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions, including emergencies. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we can often give you immediate answers and start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. During those periods, we’ll be there to answer any and all questions you may have.
We are experienced in many aspects of internal medicine for dogs and cats, including but not limited to gastroenterology, neurology, dermatology and allergies, cardiology, oncology and cancer, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. We pride ourselves in working hard to find solutions for your pet so that you do not need to see a specialist, but when appropriate, we have a number of reliable specialists who will work with us to find answers for your pet.
Learn more about our medicine services!
We hope to see your pet at least once a year for a full nose-to-tail exam so that we can have a great baseline of their overall health over time. This information also helps us when they’re not feeling their best.
To ensure a proper diagnosis, we often need to examine your pet. We begin a medical assessment by looking at your pet’s eyes, ears, and skin and checking his or her cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skeletal systems for any abnormalities. We will perform blood and/or urine tests as necessary to check your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Based on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as radiography (X-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound, or biopsy.
We are fully equipped to diagnose, treat, and help your pet get back to feeling their best.
MOBILITY AND COMFORT
There is nothing worse than watching your pet suffer from itchy or red skin. When they’re uncomfortable, we’ll be there to help them feel better.
Skin disorders like allergies and skin infections are one of the most prevalent problems we see in our pets. While we use traditional approaches, using cultures and allergy testing to create clear treatment strategies, we also know how to use nutrition and herbal medications to improve the skin and immune system’s strength to improve allergies and allergy symptoms successfully.
We can often diagnose a skin problem by simply examining your pet. Some dermatologic diseases or conditions do require additional diagnostic procedures to ensure a correct diagnosis. Depending on your pet’s symptoms and physical exam results, we may run blood work or perform a urinalysis, skin scraping, or biopsies.
Contact us if you notice your dog or cat scratching excessively or if he or she develops any bare patches, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps, or bumps.
It is crucial for your pet’s vision that we detect and treat glaucoma and other problems with intraocular pressure (pressure within the eye) as quickly as possible. We can test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure easily and safely. The test, performed with a device called a tonometer, is not painful and does not require sedation.
If not treated immediately (within hours to days), glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even blindness. Pets that have suffered eye injuries should have this test performed. In addition, we recommend that breeds that are prone to developing glaucoma come in for regular measurements so we can monitor eye pressure and begin treatment before any problem becomes irreversible. Please call us to discuss whether your pet may be at higher risk for glaucoma.
Call us right away if you notice any of the following problems in either or both of your pet’s eyes: dilated (enlarged) pupils, clouding of the cornea (the normally clear outer layer of the eye), red or bloodshot eyes, one eye protruding or appearing larger than the other, squinting, or tearing. Because glaucoma is painful, your pet may react by rubbing or pawing at the eyes or rubbing his or her head against the floor or furniture more than normal.
Identifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in dogs and cats. These serious, potentially life-threatening conditions are much more manageable when caught early, allowing us to begin proper treatment.
The endocrine system is made up of a group of tissues (mostly glands) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction and are dispersed to different areas of the body, depending on the hormone’s function. When a hormonal balance is disturbed (by a tumor or autoimmune disease), an endocrine disorder can develop. “Hyper” refers to an excess of hormone, and “hypo” refers to a deficiency in a hormone. Treatment varies depending on the disease.
There are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats:
Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin.
Hypothyroidism, which is often diagnosed in dogs, indicates that the animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) can also affect both species, although Cushing’s disease is rare in cats.
Contact us if your pet begins panting excessively, develops any skin issues (such as hair loss or dull coat), or shows any changes in behavior, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.
We prefer to cause as little harm and side effects to our pet patients, which is why we offer non-invasive treatments for arthritis and ligament tears. ACL tears have become an epidemic in dogs, which is frustrating and expensive. Many of our offices also provide ultrasonography for internal medicine problems such as liver and kidney disease, cancer detection, and heart problems.
According to PetFinder, over 10 million pets go missing every year, and one in three pets will go missing at some point in their life. Imagine if your dog or cat got lost. You’d want to give him or her the best chance of getting home. With microchipping, you can.
Microchipping is a safe, permanent way to identify your pet if they become lost. A microchip, which is a tiny device about the size and shape of a grain of rice, is placed just under the loose skin at the back of the neck. When a lost dog or cat without an ID tag is found, a veterinarian or veterinary technician will use a handheld microchip scanner to check for a chip. If the pet has one, it will transmit its ID number to the scanner via a low-frequency radio wave. The veterinary hospital or shelter then calls the chip manufacturer, retrieves the pet owner’s contact information, and calls the owner.
Even the most responsible pet owners can’t always guarantee their pets won’t get lost. A leash could break or slip out of your hand, a pet could push through a screen door or window, or a contractor or friend might accidentally leave a door or gate open.
We recommend that you use a microchip, along with a collar and ID tag to identify your pet. An ID tag is still a reliable identification method. Pets that have tags with current contact information are more likely to not end up in shelters and tend to get home faster than those without tags. However, collars and ID tags aren’t permanent and can be removed (overnight or for grooming); pets can also lose them. With a microchip, your pet will have a much better chance of being identified and returned to you. Pets without microchips that end up in shelters may be adopted out to another family or even euthanized.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment to microchip your pet. Although we hope your pet never becomes lost, we want you to be prepared. We can also suggest a plan to have in place, so if your pet does go missing, you’ll be able to act quickly.
We can microchip ferrets, rabbits, birds, and other companion animals, too!
Periodontal disease affects nearly all dogs and cats by the age of three years. It’s more important than you think! The bacterial infection in the mouth associated with periodontal disease has been associated with heart, liver, and kidney disease. This chronic infection also affects general systemic health and is a source of pain and discomfort for the pet. Dogs and cats often show no symptoms of periodontal disease, so an oral exam by a veterinarian at least every 12 months is critical.
We can help, but it starts at home. Providing proper at-home dental care with annual check-ups and dental cleanings will ensure that your pet’s smile will stay big and bright through all stages of their life!
We regularly perform dental procedures, including dental cleanings under sedation or general anesthesia, removal of infected or broken teeth, and treatment of gingivitis. We also have several natural approaches to clean teeth and breath to minimize the need for anesthesia and extra cost associated with dental cleanings.
When we need to figure out what’s wrong with your pet, we routinely use X-rays to help identify the cause of the problem, rule out possible problems or provide a list of possible causes. We may also use X-rays during a wellness exam to diagnose potential problems before they become serious.
X-rays provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). We use radiology alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
We are proud to offer digital radiology (X-rays that are captured digitally rather than on film). This state-of-the-art technology allows us to provide you with a quicker diagnosis for your pet. Plus, it uses less radiation than traditional X-rays.
To avoid a blurry image, pets need to remain completely still while an X-ray is taken. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use short-acting general anesthesia.
If you have any questions about our radiology service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please give our team a call.
Although heart problems are found more often in older pets, these conditions can affect pets at any age. Heart disease is usually a life-threatening condition, but early diagnosis and appropriate therapy can extend your pet’s life. If caught soon enough, some forms of heart disease can be cured.
Heart disease can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF), which occurs when the heart can no longer pump blood effectively. If an animal is suffering from CHF, fluid usually accumulates in and around the lungs and sometimes in the abdomen. Congenital heart disease (animals born with a heart problem), valvular heart disease (abnormalities of the heart valves), arrhythmias (rhythm disturbances), and heartworm disease can all lead to CHF.
Call us if your pet starts breathing rapidly or coughing, loses his or her appetite, tires easily, seems weak, or has trouble exercising. We can discover many heart problems during a physical exam. Additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasounds, are usually needed to identify the cause of the heart disease or failure accurately.
Because we have so many options to offer, we see a TON of orthopedic problems. From back pain to torn ligaments and tendons or tight joints and muscles, we’ve got you covered! If your pet needs surgery, we can often take care of it right in our office, either with one of our skilled veterinarians or a Board-Certified Veterinary Surgeon. Trying to avoid surgery? You may be relieved to know we offer several non-invasive procedures like Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP), Prolotherapy, Laser Therapy, Acupuncture, and Chiropractic. All of our veterinarians are trained in herbal medicine, offering non-pharmaceutic options for pain relief and inflammation.
Board-certified specialists, such as oncologists, ophthalmologists, and neurologists, have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. Specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centers have specialized equipment to perform procedures that general veterinary practitioners do not routinely perform.
We make referral decisions because we want to ensure that our patients receive the highest standard of care and the best possible outcome. Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with their care, consulting with the treating specialist, often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.