When Pets Need Medical Imaging

Just like humans, pets need medical imaging, too. Pet radiology is a diagnostic tool used to assess health issues in animals when the vet needs more information from symptoms such as vomiting, coughing, or limping, and is available in x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans. Medical imaging for pets is generally non-invasive and painless for pets.   It’s hard to see your pet in pain from an injury or symptom that just won’t pass. At VetSet, we offer comprehensive care at our animal clinic including medical imaging for pets. This type of diagnostic tool can be stressful for both you and your pet, so learn more about pet radiology in today’s post.

About Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

  Medical imagery for pets is beneficial to their health and wellness because it can identify a concern not immediately apparent and provide clear, concise insight to the “whats and whys” of your pet’s symptoms. Pet medical imaging also gives timely diagnoses so your pet can receive better care, faster.  

Is veterinary medical imaging necessary for my pet?

  Your vet will always begin with an examination before they even decide on medical imaging, and may determine radiology is needed to collect additional information for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Vets will generally implement x-rays first, however other imaging such as an ultrasound may be needed for a better look in a specific area of the body.     The goal of medical imaging is to get the final diagnosis, if possible. The vet wants to reach a conclusion and start treating your pet just as much as you. However, depending on your pet’s case, they may need multiple tests before the final diagnosis. For example, if an MRI reveals a mass, your pet may need a follow up for a biopsy to conclude if it’s malignant or benign.   Is there ever sedation or anesthesia involved? Sedation or anesthesia all depends on the medical imaging being used and their overall comfort level. In most cases with pet radiology, nothing is needed because in the procedure in itself is painless, but if your pet is in pain from a possible broken leg there are options to make your pet more comfortable.   If your pet requires an MRI or CT scan, anesthesia is almost always used because your pet needs to remain absolutely still to get the images — any movement can mess up the image and render unclear and hard to read results.      What The Medical Diagnostics Are Used For Pet medical imaging is used for health issues to help a vet get a better picture of what’s going on and thus, a better, quicker timeline for treatment.   X-rays - These are the most common form of radiology used by vets and are used to help diagnose the following:  
  • Fractures
  • Pneumonia
  • Arthritis
  X-rays aren’t always the right option for certain diseases and conditions, so your vet may prefer other medical imaging based on your pet's symptoms. The radiation your pet is exposed to is minor, but talk with your vet if you have concerns.   Ultrasound - An ultrasound is also one of the most common types of medical imaging used on pets. An ultrasound is a high-frequency sound beam that is projected to a specific area on your pet’s body. These diagnostics are better for detecting abdominal issues and can be used complementary to x-rays for a more acute look in a distinct area.   CT Scans and MRIs - A CT scan is a type of x-ray that provides different slices of your pet’s body, and are great for determining issues in the joints, head, and chest. MRIs, unlike x-rays, implement radio waves and a magnetic field to creates images and are effective in finding changes in tissues and are better for detecting strokes, brain conditions, herniated discs, and spinal cord concerns.   There are times when a vet examination is inconclusive and vets need to gather more information to give you and your pet the correct diagnosis and treatment. Medical imaging and pet radiology does just this — it gives insight to the internal structures that can’t be seen, or sometimes felt, with just an examination.   If you think your pet needs a closer look, work with us at VetSet in Carroll Gardens.

We provide thorough pet services, including radiology. Schedule with us today!

Why Some Dogs Will Eat Anything

Some dogs will eat just about anything.

Dogs have been known to devour a wide variety of objects that aren’t edible and certainly aren’t meant to be consumed. For example, Ozzy, an American Bulldog, swallowed a tennis ball whole, while Bear, a Pomeranian Poodle mix, has eaten everything from her own poop to shoes and dead birds. The formal name for compulsive consumption is called pica, and it can cause a lot of trouble, but before we go into how to prevent your dog from eating anything and everything, it’s important to understand why they do this. Here are just a few of the many reasons why some dogs will eat just about anything:

#1. Dogs explore the world with their mouths.

Human babies learn about the world through their mouths, and dogs do, too. Puppies are born deaf and blind, which means that they have to rely on their skin, nose and mouth to learn about their environment. Additionally, puppies don’t have opposable thumbs, and they use their mouths to pick things up and carry things around. Young puppies may not know how to properly differentiate between eating things and carrying them around in their mouth, and that learned behavior can follow them into adulthood.

#2. Dogs have scavenging in their blood.

Dogs, as well as their wild ancestors, are natural scavengers, eating whatever they can find. In fact, it was this natural instinct to scavenge that helped to build the relationship between dogs and humans that we now enjoy today. Dogs were naturally drawn to scavenge the garbage humans threw away because it was easier and took less energy than hunting. And, even though today’s dogs are fed plenty of high-quality dog food, their natural instinct to scavenge hasn’t gone away, which can cause them to eat almost anything they find.

#3. Dogs can exhibit compulsive behavior when they are stressed.

Stress and anxiety can affect dogs just as much as it can affect people. When a dog is subjected to environments where they are in danger or in an otherwise stressful situation, it can cause them to start eating things that are inappropriate as a way to relieve the stress. Some dogs are anxious and restless even in the best environments. If you think that your dog might be eating things they shouldn’t due to stress and anxiety, consult your veterinarian.

#4. Dogs are instinctive bingers.

In the wild finding food on a regular basis is not always possible. So when a pack of dogs took down prey they would often eat the whole thing in one sitting. This is because it might be days or weeks until they get another meal, and it’s not like they could store it somewhere safe for later on. As we mentioned in our second point, domestic dogs nowadays don’t have to binge because they get regular meals. But that doesn’t mean that the instinct to binge has been eliminated.

#5. Dogs eat things when they’re bored.

Boredom, which is often caused by a lack of mental and/or physical exercise and sometimes a lack of company, can cause a dog to eat things that they shouldn’t. Just as people will eat when they are bored, so will dogs. However, dogs can’t peruse the pantry or the refrigerator, so it often leaves them to dig in the trash or even to chew on objects that aren’t edible. Make it a point to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated with regular walks, games and other activities.

#6. Dog eat things to get attention.

Sometimes, dogs act out in order to get a reaction from their owners. If your dog isn’t feeling like they are getting the amount of attention they want from you they may eat things they know they shouldn’t simply because it causes you to react and give them attention, even if that attention is scolding them. For a dog that doesn’t get a lot of attention from owners even a scolding can be a welcome change.

#7. Dogs can gain insatiable appetites due to medical issues.

Not all dogs who eat anything and everything do so because of instinct or bad behavior. Sometimes, dogs feel hungry all the time because they are suffering from a medical issue. A few of the health conditions that can cause pica in dogs are Diabetes Melitus, a stomach tumor, hookworms, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, hyperthyroidism and many more. Now that you know what can cause dogs to eat just about anything, it’s time to learn what to do when you think your dog ingested something they shouldn’t. Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog to learn more! In the meantime, if you suspect your dog has ingested something inappropriate, don’t wait to get your dog the help they need. Contact our veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away.

Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About Part 2

The warm weather is the best part about the summer, but it can be a risky time of the year for your pet.

From the warm, sunny days spent reading your favorite book by the pool to the BBQs, ice cream and flip flops, there’s a lot to love about the summer. But, the warm weather that makes the summer so special also brings about a lot of dangers for your furry friend. If you haven’t already, check out our latest blog to learn about the first five summer dangers for your pet, and keep reading to learn more:

#6. Mosquitoes

There’s almost nothing more irritating than having an endlessly itchy mosquito bite. However, mosquitoes present a much bigger threat to pets than just their bite. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm to dogs, which can be deadly. And to make matters worse, once your pet contracts heartworm, it is difficult and expensive to treat. There’s good news, however. Heartworm is incredibly easy to prevent. All you have to do is give your pet their monthly preventative medication, which you can get a prescription for from your veterinarian. Don’t get caught up in the misconception that because you live in the city or because your pet stays mostly inside that they don’t need a heartworm preventative. Mosquitoes can bite anywhere, and this preventative medication is much more affordable and effective than heartworm treatment.

#7. Allergies

When the warm weather arrives, many people deal with runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Pets, just like people, can suffer from seasonal allergies in the summer. Signs of allergies in pets include sneezing, eyes that are red and watery, itchy paws, skin infections and ear infections. If you think your pet might be suffering from seasonal allergies, consult your veterinarian.

#8. Fleas

Just as mosquitoes, ticks and bees are more active during the warm summer months, so are fleas. Most people are aware of the fact that, when fleas bite, they make pets irritated and itchy, but did you know that fleas can carry diseases and parasites that can affect your pet and yourself? Believe it or not, fleas can carry the bubonic plague, and it can affect both cats and people. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and hemobartonella, which is a blood parasite that can lead to severe anemia in pets. Luckily though, like mosquitoes, flea bites are incredibly easy to prevent with the right preventative medication, which you can get from your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens.

#9. Dehydration

It’s important for your pet to have access to water all the time, regardless of the time of the year, but in the summer, it becomes even more essential. Pets can become severely dehydrated in the summer without their owners realizing it, and it’s essential that you learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in pets so that, if your pet does become dehydrated, you can get them the treatment they need right away. Signs of dehydration in pets include panting, loss of appetite, reduced energy levels, sunken-in eyes, dry gums and nose and loss of elasticity in skin. In cases of mild dehydration, getting your dog to drink water might be enough in the way of treatment, but if your dog is severely dehydrated, you need to take them to the veterinarian immediately.

#10. Water Dangers

Some of the best parts of summer happen in and around water, but any time you are around water with your dog, it’s imperative that you watch them closely. Many people think that all dogs are natural swimmers, but that’s simply not the case. Some dogs are not natural-born swimmers, and if your dog is one of them, there is a risk they could drown if you don’t watch them closely in the water. If you’re worried about the risks associated with your dog swimming, consider investing in a life vest for your dog. Another water danger that it’s important to be aware of is stagnant water. When you’re walking or playing with your dog in the heat of the day, they’ll probably try to get water anywhere they can get it, including stagnant ponds and water in gutters. Never allow your dog to drink stagnant water, as it often contains bacteria that can make them sick.

Let us help you keep your pet safe all summer long.

As you can see, there are many things that can put your pet in harm’s way over the summer, but a little know-how and the right preventative steps go a long way toward keeping your pet safe and sound throughout the warmest months of the year. In our next blog, we’ll be going over summer-specific safety tips for your pet, so make sure that you stay tuned. And if, in the meantime, your pet needs to see a veterinarian for any reason this summer, schedule your appointment with our team at the Vet Set in Carroll Gardens.

Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About

Summer is here, and it brings many dangers for your pet.

There’s a reason why summer is most people’s favorite time of the year. It’s sunny, warm and the world becomes your playground, not to mention the fresh fruit, ice cream and long, lazy days by the pool. But, no matter how much you love summer, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that it can pose for your pet. Here are the biggest dangers your pet faces during the hottest months of the year:

#1. Overheating

We all get hot from time to time, but if your dog gets overheated, it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation unless you are able to get them the treatment they need right away. Overheating can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even sudden death caused by cardiac arrhythmias. When it’s hot outside, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest, and that they have plenty of water to drink. Pay close attention to your dog to watch for signs of overheating — noisy, fast breathing, panting and disorientation. Other signs to watch out for include blue or bright red gums, convulsions, collapsing, diarrhea and vomiting. If you think your dog might be overheating, immediately wet them with cool water and then take them to your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away. Never keep your dog in a hot car!

#2. Activities Off the Leash

With summer comes the temptation to allow your dog to be off of their leash. Whether you’re running, cycling or even swimming, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of allowing your dog to be off leash. Even if your dog is fully trained and always follows your directions, other dogs and wild animals could pose a threat to your dog. And, if your dog is like most dogs, they don’t always listen perfectly to your every command, and all it takes is your dog running off to chase one pesky squirrel to put them at risk of getting lost or run over by a car.

#3. Bee Stings

There’s no doubt about it, bee stings hurt. But, if you’re allergic to bees, bee stings are much more serious than the short-term pain and discomfort they cause. What many people don’t realize is that, just as people can be deathly allergic to bee stings, so can dogs. If you notice that your dog has suddenly yelped, and they start to rub or lick a specific area excessively, they may have a bee sting. If you’re unsure about whether your dog is allergic to bee stings, watch for signs of an allergic reaction, including swelling of the face, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, trouble breathing, pale gums, collapse and a wobbly gait. If you suspect that your dog has been stung and is having an allergic reaction, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

#4. Toxic Plants

Summer is the perfect time of the year to bring the outdoors into your home, and to fill your garden with beautiful flowers and plant life. But, if you have pets at home, it’s important to make sure that you do your homework about which plants are toxic for pets. Even some of the most beautiful plants can be poisonous for our pets. For example, lily of the valley and white oleander can cause heart arrhythmias that can be fatal in pets. Check out the ASPCA’s list of poisonous plants before deciding to bring new plants into your home or on your property. While it’s best to steer clear of these plants altogether, if you do have toxic plants in your home or garden, make sure they are out of reach of your pet.

#5. Ticks

With warmer weather comes lots of insect activity, and as the summer is the peak of breeding season for ticks, they are all too common this time of year. Ticks are nasty, and no one wants to find a tick stuck to themselves or their dog, but what’s even worse are the diseases that ticks carry and can transmit to dogs and humans. These disease include Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, as well as anemia, joint inflammation and problems with blood clotting. Always check yourself and your dog thoroughly every time you return from a trip outside. And, make sure you talk to your veterinarian about preventative precautions to protect your dog from ticks. There are many things that can put your pet at risk this summer, and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can take the proper steps to keep your pet safe. Make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog to learn about the other dangers your pet faces over the summer months. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about your pet’s health this summer, or your pet is due for a check-up, contact us at The Vet Set to schedule your appointment.

Are You Ready for Cat Adoption? Part 3

You should never rush into adopting a cat.

Caring for a cat is more intensive than a lot of people think, and you should never adopt a cat on a whim. In order to ensure that you’re ready to provide the level of attention and care that a cat needs, there are many things you’ll want to think about before you take the leap to adopt a cat. In part two of this series, we touched on a few of those things, so if you haven’t already, check it out. Keep reading to learn what else to consider before deciding to adopt a cat:

#6. Are you prepared to spay or neuter your cat?

Cat overpopulation is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realize, and it’s important to ensure that you are ready to make the decision to neuter or spay your cat so that your cat won’t be contributing to the problem. Some people choose not to spay or neuter because they believe that they can sell or give the kittens away to good families. But, in more cases than not, the reality is that it’s not possible to find a good family for a litter of kittens, and many cats end up on the street or in shelters. Another reason why spaying and neutering is important is that it eliminates the risks of developing a number of health conditions, like testicular and ovarian cancer.

#7. Should you adopt a cat or a kitten?

Adopting a kitten is a whole other ballgame than adopting an adult cat. Although physically, a kitten grows quickly and reaches maturity by the time it reaches six months, it will retain its kitten behaviors and high energy levels for far longer. Kittens are curious, playful and mischievous; whereas, adult cats are much calmer and less likely to get into trouble. If you’ve got a busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to training and entertaining a kitten, then an adult cat might be better suited to your lifestyle. However, if you are ready and able to adopt a kitten, who can say no to those fuzzy little faces?

#8. Is everyone in your home ready for a cat?

Unless you live by yourself, you should consider more than just if you’re ready to adopt a cat; you need to think about every individual in your home. This should include your spouse or partner, your kids and any other pets you may have. Your kids should understand that they shouldn’t tug on or manhandle the new cat. Determining if your existing pets are ready for a new friend is a much more difficult matter, especially if you’ve got a dog a home. Consider your dog’s personality and any previous interactions he or she has had with cats or other small animals in the past. If your dog has acted aggressively towards cats in the past, tends to play too rough or likes to chase squirrels and other smaller animals that a frightened cat may resemble, it might not be the right option to adopt a cat. On the other hand, if you’ve got a calm, easy-going dog who loves to cuddle and has the patience of a saint, adopting a cat might be the perfect way to complete your family.

#9. Are you ready for the less-than-fun parts of cat ownership?

Caring for a cat is not all pulling a string around and cuddling. There are a lot of not-so-fun parts that any potential cat owner needs to be aware of. Grooming, for instance, is more work than you probably think; many people don’t even realize that grooming is necessary in the first place, believing that cats have it covered on their own. However, you’re going to need to bathe your cat every once in a while, keep their nails trimmed, keep their ears clean and more. Cats, too, need exercise, one-on-one attention and veterinary care. Your cat may scratch or bite you, scratch up your furniture or meow incessantly, but at the end of the day, we think that the love they provide is more than worth the trouble.

#10. Do you have everything you’ll need?

On your way home from the shelter or the breeder, with your new cat in tow, is not the time to run to the pet store to get all of the supplies you need. You’ll need to get everything before you bring your cat home, as well as to make the environment appropriate for your new cat. You won’t want to give your new cat free reign of your entire home at first. Start out by designating a small area for them, and give your cat more freedom as they get more comfortable. As far as equipment goes, you’ll need a litter box, water and food bowls, cat food, scratching posts, toys, a cat bed, a collar, tags, a carrying case and more.

Find the right veterinarian for your new cat with The Vet Set.

One other thing that you should do before you bring your new cat home is to research local veterinary clinics. Your new cat will need to go the veterinarian right away, so you’ll want to make sure that you’ve found one ahead of time. At The Vet Set, we’re proud to be your neighborhood veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens, and we offer a wide variety of veterinary services and are prepared to take care of all of your cat’s needs. Contact us today to earn more or to schedule your appointment.

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