DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT
When your pet does become sick or injured, we are fully prepared to take on any challenge. The potential difficulty in zeroing in on the source of a pet’s problem can be daunting, but we have developed great expertise in this area over the years and are often sought out for second opinions on particularly challenging cases. We also have earned a tremendous respect from the clinicians at the veterinary teaching hospital at the University of Tennessee, based on a long history of thoughtful and careful diagnostics and treatment.
Diagnosis starts with a careful comprehensive physical examination, followed by whatever laboratory tests might be deemed necessary at that point. We have a fully equipped in-house laboratory that allows us to evaluate basic blood work and urinalysis results on the same day a pet is presented to us. We also have the option of using many outside laboratories for more in-depth evaluations of your pet’s health status.
In addition to our in-house lab, we also have state-of-the-art imaging technology, including digital x-ray, digital dental x-ray, and ultrasound. Our ultrasound machine allows us to not only evaluate your pet’s abdominal organs, but also to do echocardiograms whenever there is cardiac involvement.
Our surgical suite is equipped to handle most of your pet’s potential surgical needs, and our veterinarians are experienced and skilled surgeons. We are fortunate to also have easy access to surgical specialists right here in Knoxville when we feel that extra level of expertise is in your pet’s best interest.
If your pet requires hospitalization, his in-house care is closely overseen by our veterinary staff and supported by licensed veterinary technicians who have undergone specialized academic and rigorous on-the-job training. We stay in close communication with those who trust us with the health of their beloved pets and always make every effort to keep our patients comfortable, with the goal of sending them home as soon as possible, happy healthy, and pain-free.
COMMONLY DIAGNOSED DISEASES
ALLERGIC SKIN DISEASE
Allergic skin disease, or atopy, is one of the most common problems we see in practice and one of the most irritating for pets and owners alike. Dogs and cats can develop an allergic reaction to any number of substances in the environment or to their food, even if they’re eating the exact same food they’ve eaten their entire lives.
Both dogs and cats can suffer from malfunctions of their immune systems when part of the body's system which is supposed to keep your pet safe from invasion by bacteria or viruses actually turns on itself and sees various parts of his own body as 'foreign.' When this happens, the ability of the immune system to recognize the "self" marker is lost, and it begins to attack and reject the body's own tissue as foreign. One specific tissue type such as red blood cells may be affected, or a generalized illness such as systemic lupus may result.
Diseases of the heart can be broadly separated into two forms - congenital and acquired - but the specific types of disease that we see in small animal veterinary medicine are extremely varied. Dogs get different diseases from cats, and certain breeds of dogs get different diseases than other breeds. There are even breed specific cardiac diseases in cats.
Sadly, Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most common endocrine disorders we diagnose here at Fountain City Animal Hospital. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of cats we’ve diagnosed with the condition over the years, but the occurrence in dogs also seems to be escalating. Simply put, diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, the hormone required for the body to efficiently use sugars, fats and proteins.
CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (RENAL FAILURE)
There are several names for this very common degenerative disease of the kidneys in both dogs and cats - chronic renal failure, chronic renal disease, chronic renal insufficiency, and most recently, chronic kidney disease (CKD). This condition is one of the most common old age changes we see in our feline population, and there are researchers continuing to ask the question why. It is considerably less common in dogs, but we do see it in our canine companions as well.
The liver has an enormous number of functions in the body of your dog or cat. It is involved with digestion, detoxification of the bloodstream, and clotting of the blood, to name a few. The liver is a very forgiving organ, so If it suffers an acute insult it is possible for your pet to totally recover and return to 100% health. Sometimes though, there are underlying problems that lead to long term problems in the liver that require long term management.
Technically, the phrase, “immune-mediated disease” can refer to any imbalanced response of the immune system from fairly innocent allergic reactions to life-threatening auto-immune syndromes.
The number and variety of diseases your pet can “catch” is so enormous, they can not possibly all be explained or even enumerated here. Highlighted will be the most known and the most commonly seen at Fountain City Animal Hospital.
Sadly, we see many many cases of this terrible disease in cats and dogs. The kinds of cancer, their clinical presentation, and the potential treatments for these diseases in pets is as varied as it is in humans. We see many of the same types of cancers that human patients suffer from, and we also see some species specific diseases in our companion animals. The cause of these conditions in dogs and cats is usually as elusive as it is in human medicine.
Eye problems are among the most common issues veterinarians see in small animal practice. The eye is a tiny but very delicate and complex organ, and caring for our pets’ vision is an art as well as a science. An eye problem can be an isolated issue or it can be a small part of a larger complex disease process that needs systemic treatment. Any time your dog or cat shows the least bit of ocular abnormality, it is important to have him checked as soon as possible.
Infection of the ear canal (otitis external) with bacteria is extremely common in dogs, but also occurs in cats. The infections are always caused by a trigger which must be resolved along with the infection itself, or the infection will surely return as soon as treatment has ceased. The most common trigger we see here in East Tennessee is allergy, but persistent moisture in the ear canal secondary to swimming or infection with parasites are other common underlying problems.