Veterinary medicine is keeping step with the advances in human healthcare to extend life, increase the quality of living, and keep pets and people living longer together.
Advanced Human and Animal Health Care
Stem cell research, cancer therapy, more sensitive diagnostics, better screening tools, and powerful machines like MRI’s are no longer limited to human health. Approximately 1 out of every 10 pets will have board certified veterinary healthcare in his or her lifetime. The quality of veterinary care is unprecedented and what’s on the horizon is even more exciting. Here are some of the amazing wellness and treatment options that are available to pets living in this first decade of a 21stCentury of health
Stem Cell Therapy: Using the body to heal itself
Animal Medical of New City has onsite technology to harvest stem cells from pets, process them, and inject them back into areas of the pet’s body that are damaged, diseased, or painful. Stem cells can be harvested from fat, blood or bone marrow and have the unique ability to transform into any other kind of cell in the body. Once inserted, they go to work to promote healing and reduce pain. Stem cell therapy has already made a dramatic impact on how we treat disease and injury. Future advances are likely to continue to make a big difference in both human and pet health.
This is a great, short video that explains the basics of stem cell therapy and provides a glimpse at transformative medical prospects.
Flow Cytometry: Lasers analyze cells on a molecular level
In the past, when human doctors or veterinarians were concerned that a particular tumor or area of the body was cancerous, they had to surgically open the patient, remove a piece of the organ or tissue, and send it to a laboratory for analysis where it would be scrutinized underneath an microscope. Flow cytometry, another service provide by Animal Medical of New City, eliminates the need for such drastic measures. During a flow cytometry procedure, patients are sedated and then, using ultrasound technology, a needle is precisely guided into the patient’s body to the target area, a few cells are extracted, removed, and then sent off for the flow cytometry process. During the analysis, the cells are suspended in solution, fluorescently labeled, and then passed through a laser beam where they emit certain wavelengths based on their chemical composition. The analysis can provide extremely accurate information about potential disease and the patient can be recovered from the cell harvesting procedure and go home the same day to resume his or her normal life.
This is a short, easy-to-understand video on the science behind flow cytometry. Animal Medical has a flow cytometer in house that we use to analyze blood and urine samples, but our cancer diagnostics are sent to an outside laboratory.
SDMA Test: A more sensitive kidney health test saves lives
Roughly 60% of senior cats (10-15 years of age) and 80% of geriatric cats will develop a form of chronic kidney disease. Only a few years ago, significant changes to the health of a kidney could not be detected until as much as 75% of the function of the kidney had already been compromised by disease. The SDMA test changed all that. SDMA stands for Symmetric dimethylarginine and is a biomarker of kidney health. It allows veterinarians to detect kidney disease much earlier. Once diagnosed at this earlier stage, the patient can be treated with medication and diet changes that have been proven to extend both the quality and length of life in cats. The SDMA test also works to diagnose early kidney disease in dogs.
Designed for veterinarians, this video is a little more intense than the others, but still provides a great overview of the powerful Impact of SDMA on early renal disease detection.
Preventative Health Screens and Examinations: Open up and say aaaawwwesome!
All right, it doesn’t sound as glamorous as cells that magically repair organs or laser analyzed blood samples, but the advances that we’ve made in preventative health should not be ignored. A recent study conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association, an association comprising the very best veterinary hospitals in America (Animal Medical of New City is proudly a member of this group) showed that 1 in 7 adult dogs and cats, of 250,000 sampled, had a clinically significant abnormality that warranted veterinary care. More over, this abnormality was detectable with affordable blood tests that are available today at Animal Medical of New City.
Veterinarians are also much more aggressive to act on changes that we see in pets as they age. At Animal Medical, we are quick to point out dental disease and obesity and to teach pet parents to act on them. These two commonplace diseases, often written off by owners as ‘dog breath’ or ‘cute chubbiness’, are proven to increase a pet’s risk of secondary disease, to decrease quality of life, and to shorten life span. Something as simple as a teeth cleaning or a diet change can have a huge impact on a pet’s wellbeing.
Micro-sized CT Scanners
Everyone has heard about CT scans and MRIs, two ways of imaging that can resolve objects in the body that are only a millimeter in size. Previously versions of these machines were big enough to fill entire rooms and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but advances in technology have reduced the size and cost considerably, allowing more veterinary health care facilities a chance to own and to operate them. While these machines are still out of Animal Medical’s reach, we’re hopeful that we will one day be able to offer our patients the benefits of CT scanning onsite. In the mean time, access to this care is available with some of the larger referral practices in our area.
It Doesn’t Do Any Good Unused
None of these advances are helpful if we don’t avail ourselves of them. Probably the most important thing you can do for your pet is to seek out annual veterinary care. When you come to our practice, our veterinarians will give your pet an expert health assessment and then work with you to decide what options are best for you based on your needs and any financial concerns that you might have. In our experience, we can always find a solution that works for everyone involved.
This is a great video by the American Animal Hospital Association that shows you all of the things veterinarians learn when they conduct an annual exam.