We are your partner in your pet's health.
At GAH, we feel strongly that preventing problems is far superior to just treating them. Since pets age much faster than humans, the yearly examination is very important in keeping your pet healthy. During your pet’s exam, all systems are looked over for signs of dysfunction. The mouth is examined to assess the condition of the teeth and gums; the abdomen is palpated for changes in organ size or the presence of abdominal tumors; the heart and lungs are ausculted to pick up murmurs, abnormal rhythms, or changes in breath sounds; the skin and ears are examined to look for parasites, infection, or signs of allergies; the musculo-skeletal system is evaluated for pain, stiffness or neurologic changes.
We realize that each pet is an individual, so the vaccines recommendations for your pet are based on the pet’s specific needs and lifestyle. We currently use an FDA approved three-year distemper-parvo vaccine for dogs, and a three-year respiratory vaccine for cats. As per local law, we use a one year or three year rabies vaccine on dogs and cats. Optional vaccines include bordetella (kennel cough), and Lyme for dogs, and feline leukemia for cats, depending on your pet’s exposure. In cases where we feel vaccines are not in the pet’s best interest, or when an owner prefers to not vaccinate the pet, we offer vaccine titers. This is a blood sample that is sent to the lab to measure the pet’s antibodies to a specific pathogen to determine if vaccines are necessary.
Bloodwork is an important tool in helping us assess your pet’s organ function. Often, blood tests can identify problems with your pet’s health long before the pet starts to feel ill. By catching disease early, we can start treatment before the pet’s condition worsens. Bloodwork is recommended yearly to make sure your pet is as healthy on the inside as it is on the outside!
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Internal Medicine is the branch of health care dealing with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. This includes cardiology (heart), gastroenterology digestion), infectious disease, oncology (cancer), and many more. We have the latest equipment and tools to diagnose and care for your pet- digital radiology, ultrasound, endoscopy, laparoscopy, blood analyzers, electrocardiogram (EKG), chemotherapy, and many more.
GAH is equipped to handle most soft-tissue surgeries as well as many orthopedic procedures.
Along with common procedures such as spays, neuters, dental cleanings, and lump removals, we also perform more complicated soft-tissue surgeries such as bladder stone removal, spleen removal, exploratory surgery, thyroid removal on hyperthyroid cats, laparoscopic surgery, and ophthalmic surgeries such as entropion correction, prolapsed third eyelid gland repair (“cherry eye”), and enucleation (eye removal).
We pride ourselves on comprehensive care before, during, and after your pet’s procedure. This includes a full pre-operative examination and bloodwork, an intravenous catheter and fluids, a heating pad, appropriate pain medication, and blood pressure, EKG, and pulse oxygen monitors for all anesthetized patients.
Gwinnett Animal Hospital has recently welcomed a new tool into our surgery suite: the LigaSure.
The LigaSure is a technological advance in blood vessel sealing. It works by using the body’s own collagen and elastin to change the nature of the vessel to form a permanent seal.
An Ovariectomy is an alternative to the traditional Ovariohysterectomy, otherwise known as a spay. In a traditional spay the uterus and ovaries in the dog or cat are removed. In an Ovariectomy, only the ovaries of the animal are removed.
An Ovariectomy involves a smaller incision, less pain, (up to 65% less pain if done laparoscopically), and a faster, easier recovery.
The least traumatic method is done laparoscopically with the help of a vessel sealing device such as the LigaSure. Two small incisions are made: one for the laparoscopic camera and one for instruments needed for the procedure and removal of the ovaries. The two small incisions are made instead of one large one down the center of the abdomen.
The patient must weigh at least 5 pounds. This procedure can be performed on a patient whether it is in heat or not.
The problem in patients is not the uterus, but rather the ovaries. The ovaries release hormones, which cause heat cycle. Diseases such as pyometra (infection of the uterus) are due to abnormal hormone release during the heat cycle. Once the ovaries are gone, hormones are no longer released, thereby eliminating the possibility of a pyometra.
Cryptorchid neuter (Cryptorchidism is when one or both testicles fails to descend into the scrotum. This condition is fairy common problem seen in dogs and cats).
Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery (MIS), is a modern surgical technique in which abdominal procedures are performed through small incisions (usually 0.5-1.5 inches) as compared to the larger incisions needed for an open procedure. In addition to smaller incisions, other advantages to the patient include reduced pain and shorter recovery time. The key element in laparoscopic surgery is the use of a laparoscope. This is an illuminated rod-shaped device that is put into the abdomen through a small hole in the abdominal wall. An attached video camera delivers images to a video screen, thus allowing the surgeon to visualize the abdominal structures. If a biopsy or other procedure is being performed, another small hole is made in the abdominal wall for the second device.
At GAH, we use the laparoscope for a variety of procedures such as: ovariectomy, liver biopsy, and to tack the stomach to the body wall to prevent bloat.
Good dental care is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. During your pet’s annual examination, the doctor will examine the teeth and gums to look for tartar, infection, gum recession, or loose teeth. If abnormalities are found, the doctor may recommend a dental cleaning. To be as thorough as possible, and so as not to cause your pet any discomfort, it is necessary that your pet be anesthetized for the procedure. As with all of our anesthetized patients, dental patients have a breathing tube, are on intravenous fluids, and are fully monitored. When your pet goes home with you in the afternoon, you will be provided with aftercare instructions and products to help you continue your pet’s dental care at home.
Gwinnett Animal Hospital now offers Digital Radiology. This state of the art technology produces higher quality images than conventional radiographs.
Ultrasound, also called sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps doctors diagnose medical conditions of major abdominal organs including the liver, gall bladder, bladder, spleen, and kidneys. Ultrasound is also used to assist in obtaining a urine sample from your pet, diagnosing pregnancy, and to guide such procedures as needle biopsies of abnormalities in abdominal organs.
An electrocardiogram, also referred to as an “EKG”or “ECG”, is an interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over time captured and externally recorded by skin electrodes. The ECG works by detecting and amplifying the tiny electrical changes that are caused when the heart muscle "depolarizes" during each heart beat. Each heart muscle cell has a charge across its outer wall. That charge changes as the heart muscle contracts and relaxes. During each heartbeat a healthy heart will have an orderly progression of a wave of charges that are detected as tiny rises and falls in the voltage between two electrodes placed either side of the heart. This is displayed as a wavy line either on a screen or on paper and indicates the overall rhythm of the heart and any weaknesses in different parts of the heart muscle. Your pet’s doctor may recommend an ECG if an irregular heart rhythm is detected on physical examination, or if your pet seems weak or out of breath.
At GAH, we know that sometimes time is critical when your pet is not feeling well. Among the important tools we have to detect internal disorders are our bloodwork (link) analyzers. Our in house laboratory has the capability to quickly assess all major organ functions, blood counts, electrolytes, and blood sugar. We also run heartworm tests, feline leukemia/FIV tests, parvo tests, progesterone levels, skin scrapes, fecal analysis, urinalysis, and needle aspirates/cytology in house. Our equipment is state-of-the-art and calibrated regularly for accuracy. For specialized tests, we have outside labs that can have most results back within a day or two.
Acupuncture is known to have a good therapeutic effect in a wide variety of animal diseases. Pain moderation is perhaps the best known application for acupuncture in veterinary medicine, but it is far from being the only application. The following disorders are commonly addressed by acupuncture:
To find out if acupuncture might be an option for your pet, please make an appointment with one of our veterinarians.
Spinal Manipulation is part of a holistic approach to animal care. The intent of spinal manipulation is to achieve and to maintain optimal movement of all of the joints in the body. Supporting the health of and integrity of the spine through spinal manipulation is an excellent way to affect and improve the performance of the nervous system, as well as the animal's overall health. Restoring normal motion to the spinal joints and improving the function of the nervous system may help an animal in one or more of the following areas:
Your animal may need spinal manipulation if:
If you think that your animal may benefit from spinal manipulation, call to make an appointment with one of our veterinarians today.
Homeopathy is a holistic therapy. It is based on the law of similars, or more simply, "like cures like." At a homeopathic consultation, the veterinarian will obtain information about the patient as a whole, not only about the specific problem that is present at the time. Remedies are chosen which correspond with the individual nature of each patient, including likes and dislikes, as well as the way in which the specific illness is affecting the patient. Two patients with the same disease may need completely different remedies due to differences in the patients' natures. Homeopathy is particularly effective for the chronic problems, especially those which do not benefit from conventional drugs. Examples of conditions that may be helped with homeopathy:
If you think that homeopathy may be beneficial to your animal, make an appointment with one of our veterinarians today.
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease characterized by pain and stiffness in one or more joints that worsens over time. Patients with osteoarthritis are typically treated with a ‘multi-modal’ approach, which utilizes a combination of therapies including: anti-inflammatories and pain blockers, joint supplements, weight management and exercise modification. At Gwinnett Animal Hospital, we also offer several alternative/holistic options to aid in the treatment of this disease. These options include, among others: acupuncture, massage therapy and cold laser therapy.
We are now proud to offer another option for our patients with osteoarthritis through the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP). This non-invasive therapy utilizes your pet’s own natural blood components to decrease pain while increasing mobility and comfort. An added benefit may be a lower requirement for continued oral medications.
If you have other questions, or would like to set up a consultation to see if PRP is an option for your pet, please call us at 770-972-0447.
Please see the links below for more information regarding the Canine-Platelet Enhanced Therapy (C-PET ©) system we are using:
What is C-PET ©?
How does C-Pet © work?
Massage sessions are arranged by either scheduling an appointment or by scheduling to drop off your pet to stay with us for the day. This service can also be requested while your pet boards with us. Please call for further details.
Unlike human beings, our companion animals cannot verbally communicate to us if and where they are painful or sore. They can not say, “I am just sore today and I don’t feel up to any activities” Instead they may communicate in a non-verbal manner through different symptoms.
If your animal displays any, or all of the following symptoms, chances are they could be feeling some changes due to muscle tension and stress built up in their muscles:Stumbling or not placing feet correctly Refusing or resisting walking or leash equipment / tossing of their head Resisting stair climbing or jumping (on bed, couch or into car) Shortened strides, limping or skipped steps Poor disposition / behavioral change
Some possible contributing factors to the above symptoms:Athletic injuries (such as the “weekend athlete” who overdoes it) Arthritis or stiffness Inactivity due to injury, surgery, illness, age or obesity
Massage is thought to benefit elderly dogs, inactive dogs and dogs recovering from injuries or surgery by improving circulation of the blood and lymphatic system to the muscles and nervous system. Elderly dogs suffering from stiffness and arthritis often respond well to massage and begin to feel better, move easier and experience less pain. Massage is also thought to have behavioral benefits, such as helping to relax aggressive or hyperactive dogs or building confidence in shy, fearful dogs.
The following are effects of massage in the body:Pain reduction or relief of pain Increase oxygenation into muscles and tissues Increase elasticity of muscles Increase range of motion, flexibility, movement and stride length Increase performance level at shows and events and reduce recovery time. Release stress, tension and contracted muscles Bring about an increased sense of wellness in the mind, body and spirit. A general sense of calming and reduction of stress Decreased recovery time from surgery or trauma Removal of toxins from the body and its organs
Massage is not a substitute for veterinary care. It should be performed by a certified person under the counsel of your animal’s veterinarian. A veterinary certified massage and rehabilitation therapist is trained in anatomy, physiology, neurology, and to observe proper body movement and may decline to proceed with a massage treatment if the health of the patient is at risk. The techniques used for massage should only be used by a certified veterinary massage therapist however; the therapist may elect to show you some techniques that you may safely do at home in between each massage session. Despite the many positive aspects of massage, there are some situations in which massage may be a contraindicated treatment. Animals suffering from cancer, seizures, fever, shock, infection, open wounds and immune disease generally should not have massage performed on them unless directed by their DVM.
Laser Therapy (LT) is a form of rehabilitation therapy that uses a warm beam of focused light to promote tissue/cell healing as well as function. LT can be used to help wounds heal, reduce pain and inflammation, improve nerve function, increase blood flow, and has several other benefits as well.
Tellington TTouch is a specialized approach to the care and re-education of animals. Improvements can be made in health and performance, as well as common behavioral and physical problems. It also helps establish a deeper rapport between humans and animals through increased understanding and more effective communication.
TTouch is used to calm animals in stressful situations, to aid in sustaining health in emergency situations and to help to release pain, trauma, and fear stored in the cellular memory of animals. These methods can be extremely useful for situations such as:
TTouch can also benefit animals who exhibit:
The circular TTouch movements and lifts combined with the motions of the "awareness through movement" confidence course regiment elicit changes in brainwave patterns that bring tangible results without force, fear, pain, or changing basic nature. Pets with conditions such as hip dysplasia and arthritis have experienced improved balance, confidence, and mobility following TTouch Therapy. TTouch also has helped pets to recover more quickly from surgery and illness.
Andrea Haupt is our on staff TTouch Practitioner. She completed a two-year certification program in the Tellington-Touch Method for animals in 2004 and is a Guild Certified Tellington-Touch Method Practitioner for companion animals.
Andrea is an active member of the Tellington Touch Method Guild as well as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
If you think your animal might benefit from TTouch, call today to make an appointment with Andrea.
Massage therapy is now available to boarding pets. Schedule an appointment with Andrea for a Spa Session when you make your boarding reservation. 770-972-0447