Medical Services

We can help with your pet's medical illness. Browse this section or Contact us at: Animal Medical Services Mount Airy, NC (336) 786-9444 or Galax Veterinary Clinic Galax, Virginia (276) 236-4212

In Hospital “SNAP test” Reader

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Many animal hospitals use “SNAP” tests to test for infectious diseases that have antigens present or result in antibody production. These SNAP tests are judged to be positive or negative based on a color change read visually (kind of like a pregnancy test!). Galax Vet Clinic and Animal Medical Services both take this one step further by using a SNAPshot Dx Analyzer. This machine reads the test results for us at the appropriate time and automatically downloads them to the patient’s record. This automation reduces human error and provides your pet, once again, with state of the art technology.

Click here to learn how ELISA SNAP technology works.

In Hospital Blood Count Analyzer

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The LaserCyte Dx™ analyzer we use provides our patients with reference laboratory-quality technology for our in-house laboratory. This machine allows us to measure all of a patient’s blood counts (Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc.). These levels can be critical to the diagnosis of certain conditions such as anemia, infections, and clotting disorders.

In Hospital Chemistry Analyzer

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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.

Chemotherapy and Cancer Treatment

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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).

Canine Reproduction Medicine

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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.

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

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Canine hip dysplasia (abnormal development of the hip joint) begins when the hip joint in a young dog becomes loose or unstable. If left undiagnosed and untreated, this instability causes abnormal wear of the hip cartilage and ultimately progresses to osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. Signs of this condition are pain, reluctance to get up or exercise, difficulty climbing stairs, a “bunny-hopping” gait, limping, and lameness, especially after periods of inactivity or exercise.

Hip dysplasia most commonly affects large- and giant-breed dogs; however, smaller dogs can also be affected. Although genetics often play a role in this disorder, young dogs that grow or gain weight too quickly or get too much high-impact exercise are also at risk. Being overweight can aggravate hip dysplasia.

We can help prevent or slow this condition by monitoring food intake and ensuring that your dog gets proper exercise as he or she ages. We can also screen your dog for hip dysplasia, using one of two methods. The earlier we can diagnose hip dysplasia, the better the possible outcome for your dog.

OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certification:

We can x-ray your dog’s hips for hip dysplasia at 2 years of age. We will forward these radiographs to the OFA, where board-certified radiologists will evaluate and grade your dog’s hips for OFA certification. Correct positioning of your dog is essential for proper radiographic evaluation, so a general anesthetic is required to make the procedure less stressful for him or her.

Please call us to discuss your dog’s risk of developing hip dysplasia, to schedule a screening, or to discuss treatment options.

Medicated Baths

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Medicated baths can help ease many skin conditions in your pet. If he or she suffers from seborrhea (a noncontagious condition that can cause skin to become dry and flaky or oily and scaly), a medicated bath can help alleviate the itching. Pets with allergies, flea infestations, and other skin issues may also find relief with a medicated bath.

We can recommend a bath after we’ve examined your pet and diagnosed the problem. Illnesses unrelated to the skin, such as thyroid disease, can also cause skin problems in pets, so we want to be sure we’re treating the root of the problem, not just a symptom. Call us so we can help your pet feel better.

Radiology (X-rays)

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Radiology (x-rays) is routinely used to provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). It can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for a pet’s condition, identify the exact cause of a problem or rule out possible problems.

When a pet is being radiographed, an x-ray beam passes through its body and hits a piece of radiographic film. Images on the film appear as various shades of gray and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Bones, which absorb more x-rays, appear as light gray structures. Soft tissues, such as the lungs, absorb fewer x-rays and appear as dark gray structures. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.

Dermatology (Skin)

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Skin problems are common in dogs and cats and can be caused by hormonal disorders, allergies, infections, or parasites such as fleas and mites. These issues can be particularly difficult to treat and should be addressed promptly.

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 the results of our physical exam, 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.

Cardiology (Heart)

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A medical assessment begins with a physical examination whereby your pet’s eyes, ears, skin, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal and skeletal system are examined for any abnormalities. Blood tests can be performed as necessary to assess the proper functioning of your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system including the thyroid gland and adrenal glands. Urine tests can detect similar problems. Depending on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests such as radiography (X-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound or surgery.

Emergencies

We have a veterinarian on call for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the clinic and if your call is not answered directly you will receive a message instructing you how to reach the on-call doctor.