Best Care Pet Hospital

Veterinary Internal Medicine, Oncology and Cardiology in Sioux Falls, SD

Just like humans, sometimes our pets are afflicted with complicated diseases that require long-term management. Whether your pet needs intensive hospitalized care or intensive at-home management, our Sioux Falls veterinary team are equipped and dedicated to help you and your pet during these trying times.

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Veterinary Internal Medicine

Veterinary internal medicine is a specialized field of veterinary medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders affecting the internal systems of animals. This includes the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary, and endocrine systems, the liver, kidneys, and immune system.

Our veterinarians are highly trained and skilled in diagnosing and treating complex medical conditions in animals. We use advanced diagnostic techniques and treatments to provide the best possible care for your pet.

The Importance of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Veterinary internal medicine is essential because it allows for the early detection and treatment of conditions, which can significantly improve your pet's quality of life.

Here are some of the key reasons why veterinary internal medicine is so important:

  1. Early Detection of Diseases: Many diseases and disorders in animals can be challenging to detect in their early stages. However, with the help of advanced diagnostic techniques, our veterinarians can help identify these conditions before they become more severe. This allows for earlier treatment and a better chance of a positive outcome for your pet.
  2. Specialized Treatment: Our veterinarians have extensive knowledge and experience in treating complex medical conditions in animals. They use advanced treatments and techniques to provide the best possible care for your pet, ensuring that they receive the most effective treatment for their specific condition.
  3. Improved Quality of Life: By detecting and treating diseases and disorders early on, veterinary internal medicine can significantly improve your pet's quality of life. This can include managing chronic conditions, reducing pain and discomfort, and improving overall health and well-being.
  4. Collaboration with Other Specialists: In some cases, your pet may require the expertise of multiple specialists to treat their condition effectively. Our veterinarians work closely with other specialists, such as surgeons, neurologists and oncologists, to provide comprehensive care for your pet.

Common Conditions Treated by our Veterinarians

Our veterinarians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions in animals. Some of the most common conditions they treat include:

  1. Diabetes: Animals can also develop diabetes, a condition that affects the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Our veterinary internal medicine specialists can help manage this condition through diet, medication, and regular monitoring.
  2. Kidney Disease: Kidney disease is a common condition in older cats and dogs. It can be caused by various factors, including infections, toxins, and genetics. Our veterinary internal medicine specialists can diagnose and treat kidney disease, helping to improve your pet's quality of life.
  3. Respiratory Conditions: Animals can suffer from a range of respiratory conditions, including asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Our veterinary internal medicine specialists can diagnose and treat these conditions, helping your pet breathe easier.
  4. Gastrointestinal Disorders: Gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis, can cause a range of symptoms in animals, including vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Our veterinary internal medicine specialists can diagnose and treat these conditions, helping to improve your pet's digestive health.

Veterinary Oncology - Chemotherapy

As pet owners, we never want to hear the words "your pet has cancer". It can be a devastating diagnosis, and we often feel helpless and unsure of what to do next. However, with advancements in veterinary medicine, there are now more treatment options available for our furry friends than ever before.

One of these treatment options is chemotherapy, which is commonly used in human cancer treatment but is also becoming more prevalent in veterinary medicine.

Understanding Veterinary Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. These drugs work by targeting rapidly dividing cells, which is a characteristic of cancer cells. However, they can also affect healthy cells in the body, which is why chemotherapy can have side effects.

In veterinary medicine, chemotherapy treats various cancers, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma. It can be used as the primary treatment or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy.

Benefits of Chemotherapy for Veterinary Cancer Patients

While chemotherapy may sound intimidating, it can offer many benefits for our pets. These include:

  • Shrinking or slowing the growth of tumors
  • Reducing pain and discomfort associated with cancer
  • Improving quality of life
  • Prolonging survival time
  • Reducing the need for other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy

How Well Do Dogs and Cats Tolerate Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is generally well tolerated by most dogs and cats, with most not experiencing any adverse reactions. Approximately 15% may encounter mild side effects, typically lasting a short duration, with many resolving without intervention. A smaller percentage, around 5%, might experience moderate side effects, and less than 1% may face more severe or fatal reactions. Interestingly, cats tend to tolerate chemotherapy even better than dogs, and both species generally fare better than humans in this regard. Fortunately, effective medications are available to alleviate the most common side effects, aiding in a quicker and more comfortable recovery for your beloved pet.

Managing Care for Veterinary Cancer Patients

Managing care for our veterinary cancer patients is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome. This includes not only administering chemotherapy but also providing supportive care and monitoring for any potential side effects.

  1. Diagnostics and Staging Process - Before starting chemotherapy, our team will perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of the cancer and its stage. This may include blood work, imaging tests, and biopsies. The staging process is essential in determining the best course of treatment and predicting the outcome for our furry patients. It also helps us monitor the response to treatment and make any necessary adjustments.
  2. Safe and Effective Treatment Options - Once the cancer has been staged, our team will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is safe and effective for your pet. This may include chemotherapy and other treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.
  3. Supportive Care and Monitoring - Chemotherapy can have side effects, just like in human medicine, but is typically well tolerated in pets. Our team provides supportive care and monitoring for any potential side effects to ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible during treatment.

We will also monitor your pet's response to treatment and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the best possible outcome.

Veterinary Cardiology

Veterinary cardiology is a specialized field of veterinary medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases in animals. This includes both congenital and acquired heart conditions.

The Role of Echocardiography

Echocardiography is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses sound waves to create images of the heart. This is an essential tool in veterinary cardiology as it allows our veterinarians to visualize the heart and its structures in real-time. This helps in the diagnosis of various heart conditions such as heart murmurs, valve diseases, and congenital heart defects.

Echocardiography also allows our veterinarians to assess the function of the heart and its chambers, which is crucial in determining the best course of treatment for your pet. Our own Dr. Hardy has undergone extensive board-certified training in cardiology and is happy to help the pets in the Sioux Falls, SD area in diagnosing and managing their heart disease.

What is Cardiac Disease in Pets?

Cardiac disease is a broad term that encompasses various conditions that affect the heart and its function. It can be congenital, meaning present at birth, or acquired, developing later in life.

In pets, the most common form of cardiac disease is valvular disease, which affects the valves of the heart. Other types of cardiac disease in pets include dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and arrhythmias. If left untreated, these conditions can lead to Congestive Heart Failure. While CHF is manageable, diagnosing heart disease early is best for the patient.

Signs and Symptoms of Cardiac Disease in Pets

The signs and symptoms of cardiac disease in pets can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some pets may show no symptoms at all, while others may display more obvious signs. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:

  1. Difficulty Breathing - One of the most common signs of cardiac disease in pets is difficulty breathing. This can manifest as rapid or labored breathing, coughing, or wheezing. If your pet is struggling to catch their breath or seems to be breathing heavily, it could be a sign of a heart problem.
  2. Fatigue and Weakness - Pets with cardiac disease may also experience fatigue and weakness. They may seem lethargic and have less energy than usual. This is because the heart is not functioning properly, and the body is not receiving enough oxygen.
  3. Fainting or Collapsing - In severe cases, pets with cardiac disease may faint or collapse. This is due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain, causing your pet to lose consciousness. If your pet faints or collapses, it is crucial to seek immediate veterinary care.
  4. Decreased Appetite and Weight Loss - Pets with cardiac disease may also experience a decreased appetite and weight loss. This can be due to a lack of energy or difficulty breathing, making it challenging for them to eat. If your pet is not eating as much as usual or is losing weight, it could be a sign of a heart problem.
  5. Swollen Abdomen - In some cases, pets with cardiac disease may develop a swollen abdomen. This is known as ascites and is caused by a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. It can be a sign of heart failure and should be addressed by our veterinary team.
  6. Changes in Behavior - Pets with cardiac disease may also exhibit changes in behavior. They may become more irritable, restless, or withdrawn. This can be due to discomfort or pain caused by the heart condition.
  7. Coughing - Coughing is another common symptom of cardiac disease in pets. It can be a dry, hacking cough or a moist cough with phlegm. If your pet is coughing frequently, it could be a sign of a heart problem.
  8. Pale or Bluish Tint to Gums and Tongue - In severe cases of cardiac disease, pets may have a pale or bluish tint to their gums and tongue. If you notice a pale or bluish tint to your pet's gums or tongue, seek immediate veterinary care.

Treatment Options for Cardiac Disease

There are various treatment options available for cardiac disease in pets, depending on the type and severity of the condition. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage the symptoms and slow down the disease's progression, in many cases for years to come!

Join the Best Care Pet Hospital Family Today!

We are located on the east side of Sioux Falls, right off I-229. You'll find us near the corner of E 10th Street and Cliff avenue, right across the street from the Drake Springs Family Aquatic Center.

Phone: 605-334-2412

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