Our in-hospital blood testing equipment can give us results in 8 minutes and allows us to determine organ function, blood sugar, protein and electrolyte levels. The IDEXX Catalyst we use is considered “state of the art” for in hospital veterianry lab equipment. By having the blood test information so rapidly, we can proceed with diagnosis and treatment of your pet’s condition and get them well on their way to healing.
Utilization of these blood machines also makes preventative screening more efficient, as we can have the results of routine testing ready to discuss while you are still in the exam room or the same day for farm calls.
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of oral disease include tartar buildup, red and swollen gums, bad breath, changes in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and generalized depression.
A veterinarian should evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. We recommend this because bacteria and food debris accumulates around a pet’s teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.
There are other reasons why you should pay close attention to your pet’s dental health. Dental disease can affect other organs in the body: bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood stream and may cause serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and heart valve disease. Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in a pet’s body. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if this is the case.
At Blue Ridge Veterinary Services, we are particularly vigilant about monitoring for and treating dental disease. We have seen many pet’s lives literally changed by proper dental care. Our clients will call us with comments like, “My dog is acting like a puppy again!” If we have recommended dental care for your pet, but you have concerns about the procedure, anesthesia, recovery time or ability to eat if teeth are lost, call one of our staff members. We can discuss the options you have that will address your concerns, such as alternative anesthesia or speeding recovery time with laser therapy.Also see our articles on Dental Disease in our pet care section.
We know the issue of pain management is of great concern to pet owners today. As in human medicine, we have a variety of medications and complimentary therapies available to manage your pet’s pain.
Cases that benefit from pain management:
- both before and after surgery
- in the event of trauma/wound therapy
- disease management, such as arthritis, cancer, nerve damage.
We would be pleased to discuss the options available to you and your pet under any of the above circumstances.
Affiliate Referring Practice to:
- Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA
- North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC
- Carolina Veterinary Specialists, Winston-Salem, NC
Why might we refer you and your pet?
Our experienced team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians provides many services at our clinic, ranging from routine to advanced procedures. Although we handle the majority of your pet’s medical and surgical needs in-house, we occasionally refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.
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 are not routinely performed by general veterinary practitioners. For our large animal patients, we sometimes recommend referral for sugical procedures we do not feel can be safely performed “in the field”.
We make referral decisions because we want to ensure that our patients receive the highest standard of care and best possible outcome. Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.
Our veterinarians are alumni at the closest veterinary colleges. Thanks to our Mount Airy location, we work frequently with Carolina Veterinary Specialists as well. With all our “connections”, if we find referral necessary, we will help you pick the best specialist for your needs.
Like us, animals such as dogs, cats, ferrets, and rabbits can get cancer. Fortunately, however, some forms of cancer are curable. In addition, recent advancements in cancer treatment can dramatically extend the lives of many dogs and cats. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may be used to stop the spread of cancer and remove or destroy cancer cells and tumors.
Blue Ridge Veterinary Services can assist you and your pet when a cancer is diagnosed. With the assistance of the oncology department at NC State University Veterinary College, we can formulate a therapeutic plan and help you decide on a course of action.
You can help prevent some forms of cancer by having your pet spayed or neutered at an early age, but most cancers cannot be prevented. This is why early detection is one of our best weapons against this disease.
Regular veterinary visits can help us keep track of what is normal for your pet, as well as detect anything suspicious. However, because we typically only see your dog or cat once or twice a year, we also rely on your knowledge of your pet to catch any potential issues early. Contact us right away if you notice any changes in your pet’s physical appearance or behavior (such as lumps or bumps, sores that don’t heal, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in eating habits).
Looking to improve conception rates in your breeding program? Blue Ridge Veterinary Services can assist you in reproduction medicine.
To help determining the optimum time to breed your dogs and enhance the success of pregnancy. We can perform vaginal cytology on female dogs to calculate the stage of estrus. This method involves taking a swab of the vaginal cells and analyzing them under a microscope. Usually more than one swab is required. Another method we can use is to perform a simple blood test to determine the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and pinpoint the dog’s fertile period.
We provide artificial insemination services as well. Once your dog is bred, with our digital xray and ultrasound capability, we can monitor your pet throughout the pregnancy. Xrays taken prior to delivery will help you know how many babies to expect and will give you peace of mind when delivery time comes.
Additional tests, including a thyroid analysis and Brucellosis screening, should be performed on your dog before estrus. These tests can rule out any potential problems or alert you to issues that need to be addressed before breeding. We also recommend screening for congenital defects that could be passed on. Not all purebred dogs are good breeding candidates. See the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website for additional discussion of conditions you dog could be at risk for.
Please call and set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians to discuss how we can further assist you with your breeding program.
Most animals give birth without any complications. However, mothers occasionally need help with delivery. We usually attempt to resolve the problem using medical therapy first, but when that doesn’t solve the issue, we will perform a caesarian section.
During a c-section, the mother is given an anesthetic. An incision is then made along her abdomen and through the uterus to retrieve
unborn puppies or kittens. In some situations, we may recommend that the mother be spayed during this procedure, usually to prevent future problems of this nature.
We can perform Caesarian Sections on most species, including anesthetized procedures on goats and
standing procedures on cattle.
Giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and giant schnauzers have unique health concerns not shared by all dogs.
First, are their nutritional requirements. Very few commercial puppy foods offer the ideal mix of calcium, phosphorus and energy, and at levels that these breeds need. We can provide you with feeding recommendations that will encourage your dog’s maximum growth potential without causing developmental problems. For added convenience, we also stock veterinary-approved diets for giant breeds.
These same breeds can also be prone to a condition called Gastric Dilitation-Volvulus or “Bloat”. We can perform a simple procedure, known as a gastropexy, to prevent this deadly condition.
Prevention of orthopedic problems will help to keep you giant breed dog part of you family as long as possible. Weight management, dietary intervention, proper joint supplements and early diagnosis all play a role in prevention of debilitating orthopedic problems.
Finally, behavioral problems can be much more serious in a dog that weighs as much as you do. We can assist with recommendations for training and training aids such as “Halti head collars“.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s nutrition or if you would like to discuss any of these topics with us.
Pet food has become a multi-million dollar industry and it is easy to get confused or overwhelmed by all the pet foods on the market. We can help you weed through the choices and find a puppy or kitten food that will meet your growing pet’s specific nutritional needs. We even carry many nutritionally balanced, veterinary-approved brands in our clinic.
Feel free to ask us for a food recommendation or to contact us with any nutrition questions or concerns you might have. We’re happy to help!