TRADITIONAL VETERINARY MEDICINE This is a medical approach to pet care that treats symptoms and diseases based on the results of tests, advanced diagnostics, and current research guided therapy. The focus is on identifying illnesses and either curing or minimizing their long term effects using medicine and/or surgical treatments.
Marina Veterinary Center offers a full range of advanced diagnostic capabilities including digital radiography, digital ultrasound, endoscopy, and CT scans.
At Marina Veterinary Center, we have an on-site radiology department which is equipped to deliver high-quality diagnostic images in a quick and non-intrusive manner. We use our radiology equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of complex disease conditions and help direct treatment strategies. Our facilities support a digital radiograph (X-ray) machine, digital ultrasound imaging, and endoscopy which allows us to conduct the following studies:
Examinations of the thorax, abdomen, and skeleton
Special contrast procedures to evaluate the urinary and gastrointestinal tracts, spine, joints, and heart
Evaluation of soft tissue organs including those of the abdomen, thorax, neck and musculoskeletal system
Doppler analysis for vascular examinations
Ultrasound-guided aspirates and biopsies
Endoscopy and endoscopic guided aspirates and biopsies
We have on-site laboratory equipment allowing us to get results on common blood tests within 15 minutes. This allows us to provide more rapid diagnoses and directed, appropriate therapy on the day of your visit. We also have the capability to run other specialty tests in the hospital. We have an extensive network of outside laboratories as well to get more specialized testing performed, usually within a few working days.
Patients at Marina Veterinary Center have access to one of the most progressive means of non-invasively diagnosing and treating diseases, the Ultrasound examination.
An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture live images from the inside of your pet’s body. The technology is similar to that used by sonar and radar, which help the military detect planes and ships. An ultrasound allows your veterinarian to see problems with organs, vessels, and tissues—without needing to make an incision.
Most people associate ultrasound scans with pregnancy. These scans can provide an expectant mother with the first view of her unborn child. However, the test has many other uses. Your veterinarian may order an ultrasound if your pet is experiencing pain, swelling, or other symptoms that require an internal view of your organs. An ultrasound can provide a view of the bladder, brain (in infants), eyes, gallbladder, kidneys, liver, ovaries, pancreas, spleen, thyroid, testicles, prostate, and even blood vessels. An ultrasound is also a helpful way to guide surgeons’ movements during certain medical procedures, such as biopsies.
The steps you will take to prepare your pet for an ultrasound will depend on the area or organ that is being examined. Your veterinarian may tell you to fast your pet for eight to 12 hours before the ultrasound, especially if the abdomen is being examined. Undigested food can block the sound waves, making it difficult for the ultrasound to get a clear picture.
It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions and ask any questions you may have prior to the procedure. Rest assured, an ultrasound carries no risks. Unlike X-rays or CT scans, ultrasounds use no radiation. For this reason, they are the preferred method for examining a developing fetus during pregnancy.
Before the exam, your pet will be placed in an upside down or sideways position and have their hair gently clipped. Some animals will rest comfortably in a specially designed ultrasound “bed” or “boat.” The gentle pressure and position of the ultrasound make many patients fall asleep during the procedure. Your veterinarian will apply a special lubricating jelly to your pet’s skin. This prevents friction so he or she can rub the ultrasound transducer—similar in appearance to a microphone—on the skin. The jelly also helps transmit the sound waves.
The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves through the body. The waves echo as they hit a dense object, such as an organ or bone. Those echoes are then reflected back into a computer. The sound waves are at too high of a pitch for the human ear to hear.
After the procedure, the gel will be cleaned off the skin and the whole procedure typically lasts less than 30 minutes. Following the ultrasound, your pet will be free to go about their normal day and activities.
Following the exam, your veterinarian will review the images and check for any abnormalities. He or she will call you to discuss the findings, or to schedule a follow-up appointment. Should anything abnormal turn up on the ultrasound, you may need to undergo other diagnostic techniques, such as a CT scan, MRI, or a biopsy sample of tissue. If your veterinarian is able to make a diagnosis of your condition based on your ultrasound, he or she may begin your treatment immediately.
Patients at Marina Veterinary Center have access to one of the most progressive means of non-invasively diagnosing and treating diseases, Endoscopy. But their owners may be confused about what endoscopy is and what it means to their pet’s veterinary care and treatment.
Endoscopy in general means looking inside the body for medical evaluations or treatments using an endoscope. An endoscope has a rigid or flexible tube (depending on the procedure), a light to illuminate the area, a lens, an eyepiece and can have additional medical instruments to aid in procedures. Special video cameras allow viewing of the exam or procedure on a television screen as well as a recording of the exam.
Veterinarians use endoscopy for many procedures that once required more invasive surgery, as well as for diagnosing medical problems. Veterinarians can use endoscopic techniques to remove health-threatening, non-food items from an animal’s esophagus or stomach, spay female dogs, evaluate the respiratory, gastrointestinal, or urinary system, as well as internal organs. Endoscopes can be used to take biopsies, perform minor and major surgical procedures, and remove urinary stones, and much more.
Endoscopic procedures are minimally invasive, complications are rare, and pain and recovery time is reduced as compared to other more invasive surgical procedures. Some procedures, including evaluation of the digestive system and respiratory system, are nonsurgical and require no incisions, with a very quick recovery from anesthesia.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENDOSCOPY
This procedure involves the insertion of a camera through the esophagus. It is used when dogs or cats have difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, or a foreign body in the esophagus. Many patients have x-rays prior to endoscopic evaluation of the esophagus because general anesthesia is required for esophagoscopy.
Another condition that requires esophagoscopy is stricture formation. This circumferential narrowing of the esophagus can occur after a foreign body has been removed or when an animal has severe gastroesophageal reflux that erodes the lining of the esophagus and results in scar formation. In this case, balloon dilation is required to open the esophagus and allow food to pass. Generally, multiple episodes of balloon dilation are required to restore normal swallowing function.
This procedure involves the passage of a camera and endoscope through the esophagus into the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is used to remove foreign bodies from the stomach and to obtain biopsy samples from dog or cats with chronic vomiting with or without diarrhea and weight loss. It is the best tool that we have for evaluating the lining of the stomach, and we can provide information on the presence of ulcers with this technique.
This procedure involves the passage of a camera and endoscope through the rectum into the colon. It is indicated for animals that have fresh blood in the stool or excessive straining to pass stool. Dogs and cats that require this procedure are fasted for 1-2 days and are given medications by mouth that helps evacuate the intestinal tract of feces so that we can see the lining of the colon. It is generally performed after non-invasive tests, such as stool testing and abdominal ultrasound have been performed and have failed to yield a diagnosis.
Rhinoscopy is used to examine the nasal cavity. Rhinoscopy includes two procedures: Anterior rhinoscopy and Posterior rhinoscopy. In anterior rhinoscopy, the rhinoscope is advanced through the nose to examine the nasal cavity. In posterior rhinoscopy, the rhinoscope is advanced through the mouth to examine the back of the nasal cavity above the soft palate. Rhinoscopy is often performed in conjunction with CT scan and dental examination to further evaluate patients with nasal, sinus or nasopharyngeal disease and to increase the probability that lesions are not missed. Rhinoscopy can be used to diagnose inflammation, foreign bodies, tumors, and fungal infections.
Uses of Rhinoscopy
In addition to allowing visual examination of the nasal cavity, rhinoscopy can be used to:
Identify the cause of clinical signs such as sneezing, nasal discharge, epistaxis (nosebleeds), stertor (snoring sounds) and stridor (inspiratory noise and wheezing).
Obtain tissue samples (biopsy) for cytologic and histologic evaluation. Samples are evaluated for inflammation, infection, fibrosis, and cancer. A biopsy can aid in characterization the extent of disease. This generally takes three to five days.
Obtain samples for culture.
Treat nasal, sinus or nasopharyngeal problems, such as removal of a foreign body or nasal polyps, and the introduction of medication into the nasal cavity or sinus to eradicate fungal infections.
Video otoscopy allows the veterinarian to magnify and examine the external canal and tympanic membrane (eardrum) in a patient’s ear. The video otoscope is a small, cone-shaped camera that is placed in a patient’s ear canal allowing the vet to visualize and assess the presence and extent of disease. Depending on the nature of the patient, sedation may be necessary during the examination. Video otoscopy is frequently used to help determine what may be contributing to a patient’s ear disease. It can allow the clinician to see whether there is swelling or even if growth is present in the ear. Likewise, the magnified field of view helps to collect samples for culture and biopsy when necessary. Video otoscopy is also utilized during irrigation (flushing) of the external ear canal and middle ear. This allows the doctor to assure correct placement of cleaning tools and adequate removal of debris from the ear canal. An added feature of the video otoscope is that it has the ability to take pictures of your pet’s ear canal to illustrate what the vet is seeing, and document the severity of disease so treatment response can be assessed in the future.
Cystoscopy is a procedure that allows your veterinarian to examine the bladder, urethra, and kidneys through a video camera. Cystoscopy is used to diagnose, monitor, and treat diseases of the bladder, urethra, and kidneys. It can be used to control or remove tumors, remove bladder or urethral stones, and many other things.
Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses shock waves to remove stones (calculi) from the bladder or urethra without surgery. After the procedure the tiny pieces of stone are passed out of the body through the urine.
In addition to traditional veterinary therapies, we also offer holistic medicine Our veterinarians will be happy to discuss the variety of pet health care options available. We will work with you to determine which treatments will best suit your pet’s specific needs.