They call it the “art of medicine” and in no other part of veterinary care is that statement more true. Although we would like to be able to diagnose your pet’s condition just by taking a history and performing a physical exam, many ailments are often more complicated than what meets the eye. Couple that with the fact that our pets cannot explain how they are feeling, and boy, we have our work cut out for us.
From gathering a detailed account of your pets recent behaviors and activities, through performing a thorough physical exam, to analyzing blood work, and interpreting x-rays… practicing the art of medicine involves using all of our resources. Fortunately, at Rice Creek Animal Hospital we have an in house laboratory and digital x-rays for nearly instant access to our test results. For cases that are require more advanced diagnostic tests not available in house (like thyroid disease, for example), our samples can be sent to a quality controlled laboratory for the most accurate results. What’s even cooler is the digital nature of our x-rays can be sent electronically to specialists or other veterinarians for easy consultation if needed.
Still, getting a diagnosis is only half the story when it comes to medicine. The other half is treating the disease. Different diseases act, well, differently, in each pet. What works for one Beagle with diabetes may not necessarily be the right treatment for the diabetic Poodle in the next room. Consequently, we are always assessing and re-assessing how your pet is responding to its treatment and adapting as the disease or condition changes. Sometimes, treatment is as simple as a prescription for antibiotics, whereas other times, it is important to constantly be adjusting medications or therapies. Occasionally, there are some diseases or ailments that are better suited in the hands of an internal medicine specialist and we would be happy to make appropriate recommendations. And, unfortunately, sometimes what is best for the pet are some hard decisions and we are happy to provide the appropriate TLC for your pet and counseling for your family.
Regardless of the care needed, our goal is to ensure you feel educated and included in the decision making process and treatment planning. We will always provide you with the knowledge available, treatment options, and expected associated costs (as we cannot deny that can be a factor!) in order to ensure you feel as confident as possible with the direction of your pets care.