At Animal Emergency and Referral Center, we believe it is important to find and hire the most talented and experienced veterinarians and veterinary staff possible. We also believe it is vitally important to place the most advanced, cutting-edge tools and medical capabilities in their hands. This is why we can offer the veterinary specialty services to Fort Pierce and our surrounding communities.
The following should provide you with some insight as to the breadth and depth of what we offer, as well as how each helps us provide unparalleled care for your pet.
Digital Radiographs (X-Rays) – X-rays are extremely important for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. X-rays provide a view of your pet’s bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas of the body in order to help us spot a fractured bone, internal injuries, diagnosis heartworm disease, or locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet’s intestine or stomach.
Animal Emergency and Referral Center utilizes the latest in digital radiography equipment and is up-to-date in the latest procedures.
Ultrasound is a pain-free, totally non-invasive technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a real-time image of your pet’s internal organs. Often considered more exact than radiographs, ultrasound provides a movie of what is happening inside your pet’s body. It is particularly useful in viewing your pet’s abdominal organs including the spleen, kidneys, liver, and gallbladder. It can also be used to evaluate heart functions, bladder scans and other areas such as the thyroid glands, testicles and mammary glands.
Endoscopy – Veterinary endoscopy aids in the diagnosis and treatment of problems occurring in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. An endoscope allows a more complete examination of the esophagus, stomach, and some areas of the intestines as well as the ability to take tissue samples for testing and aid in the removal of foreign bodies and other blockages. Most importantly, an endoscope allows for examinations to occur quickly and without major surgery.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) – Electrocardiographs are snapshots of your pet’s heart function. If we suspect your pet is suffering from some form of cardiac event, an electrocardiogram will quickly and painlessly provide your veterinarian with important diagnostic information. You probably have seen an ECG machine-also known as an EKG machine-or have had one of these tests in your doctor’s office as they are commonly used to test for and diagnose common heart conditions in humans.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI scans provide a level of detail of soft tissue and other structures within the body than is possible with either X-rays or CT scans. These three dimensional images can also be presented on a computer to your veterinarian so that he or she is able to manipulate them to gain the view necessary to make an accurate diagnosis. MRIs are particularly good for providing detailed images of soft tissue (especially the brain and internal organs), cardiovascular system, and views into various joints, spine and other bony structures.
Videofluoroscopy – This is a method for combining advanced X-ray and video technologies to create a motion study of the cervical spine (neck) and abdominal cavity to help diagnose a range of medical issues. For example, videofluoroscopy can be used to create swallowing study by mixing a contrast agent with food and then essentially filming via X-ray how the contrast is swallowed and passed down the esophagus. This technique can also be used during surgery to correct a portosystemic shunt (blood flow bypassing the liver) by helping visualize blood flow to the liver.
Videoarthroscopy – This is a procedure where a very small camera is inserted into joints in order to diagnose or treat articular diseases, such as arthritis, elbow and hip dysplasia, and shoulder osteochondrosis. The camera is able to project an image onto a TV-like screen, which enables your veterinarian to assess the health of the joint, the presence of disease and to guide orthopedic surgical procedures. When used during surgery, videoarthroscopy reduces the need to create a large incision thereby allowing the surgery to be minimally invasive.
Lab Testing – Diagnosing emergency internal health issues as well as maintaining a critically ill pet requires the ability to perform a wide range of laboratory tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. For example, your pet may be exhibiting a number of symptoms, but are they due to an accidental poisoning, viral infection, or some other cause. Laboratory testing can identify the cause of the issue and its severity thereby enabling appropriate treatment.
Pet Surgeries in Fort Pierce
We understand that surgery is never an easy experience for you and your pet. This is all the more true when it is required to treat a complex or emergency illness or injury. Often, the decision to proceed must be made quickly and in trying circumstances. For this reason, the Animal Emergency and Referral Center strives to provide our clients with a clear understanding of why a particular procedure is necessary, what the procedure entails, proper post-operative care, and convey any other information you may need to feel comfortable that you are making the right choice for your pet.
Highly-Skilled in a Multitude of Pet Surgeries
If surgery is in the best interest of your pet, you can be assured that our team of highly trained surgical specialists and experienced veterinary technicians have the skills to ensure the best outcome for your pet. All of our doctors are able to perform major emergency surgeries, which include GDV (bloat), foreign body removal, laceration repair, bone plating, joint surgeries, and any other emergency condition requiring surgery. We also are able to provide a wide range of soft tissue and orthopedic surgeries beyond those that are commonly performed at general practice veterinary clinics.
In particular, we offer the following surgical modalities:
Neurosurgery – This refers to surgery to correct illnesses and injuries to the spinal column and brain. Due to the importance of these structures to the functioning of the body, this type of surgery is highly specialized and requires extensive training, experience, and state-of-the-art equipment. The Animal Emergency and Referral Center is one of only a handful of specialists across the country with the capabilities to offer this surgery. We are very proud of our expertise and record of success in this area.
Laser Surgery – Laser surgery minimizes bleeding, reduces pain and swelling, and promotes more rapid healing. When your pet undergoes laser surgery, he or she recovers more quickly and faces less post-operative pain. Laser surgery also is more precise and greatly reduces the risk of infection. The Animal Emergency and Referral Center is fully equipped to provide a full range of soft and orthopedic surgeries and is up-to-date on the latest techniques.
Laparoscopic Surgery – Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal structures of the abdomen. A laparoscope (camera) inserted through a small incision in the abdomen magnifies internal structures of the abdomen on a TV monitor for thorough examination. The laparoscope is used in conjunction with special surgical tools that are inserted into the body through small incisions. This form of surgery is far less invasive than traditional techniques, which leads to faster healing, fewer complications, and reduced trauma to your pet.
Anesthesia – Anesthesia is individualized for your pet based on a number of factors, which includes the type of procedure, his or her preexisting conditions, blood test values, age, breed, and prior anesthetic experience. The Animal Emergency and Referral Center is also able to provide specialized anesthetic techniques for pets that are identified as being at a high risk for anesthetic complications.
Monitoring – During anesthesia and surgery, your pet is constantly monitored by a trained veterinary technician, using our advanced monitoring system. This system continuously monitors your pet’s arterial oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and core body temperature.
Pain Management – Our veterinary specialists believe that identifying and relieving pain is important to the recovery and humane treatment of your pet. Therefore, pain management is an important aspect of our intra- and post-surgical protocols. At discharge, we may also send additional pain management medication home with you and your pet after providing a thorough explanation of its proper use and dosage.
Critical & Intensive Veterinary Care
As an emergency and critical care animal hospital in Fort Pierce, we often receive patients in need of intensive care. We are fully equipped and staffed to provide modern veterinary critical care within our Intensive Care Unit. Patients in our ICU are closely monitored for blood pressure, heart and respiratory function, and pulse oximetry. Patients also receive intravenous fluid therapy, oxygen support through ventilator or oxygen cage, and other advanced procedures. We also stock whole blood, packed red blood cells and fresh and frozen plasma.
All of our emergency and critical care patients also receive constant observation and treatment from trained veterinary technicians under the supervision of our emergency veterinarians. Once your pet’s condition is stabilized and out of immediate danger, he or she can either return home or be referred back to your regular veterinarian for further care.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Pets
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that aids healing by reducing swelling, controlling infection and stimulating new blood vessel formation in healing tissues. The patient is placed in a large, clear plastic chamber that has a pressurized flow of pure oxygen about 1.5 to 3 times that of atmospheric oxygen. This allows more oxygen into the bloodstream, speeding up the healing process.
Inside the chamber, pets lie on a soft blanket and rest or sleep while the oxygen goes to work on wounds, swelling, burns and other injuries or illnesses. The pets are comfortable and relaxed during treatment. The total treatment time is from 1 to 2 hours, and is usually repeated twice a day. Treatments continue until the doctors see a marked improvement. When your pet is beginning to use the affected limb, or is gaining strength and function, the treatments are discontinued.
HBOT can be used successfully to treat:
- Post operative swelling
- Snake bites
- Serious wounds and burns
- Head or spinal trauma
- Near-drowning or asphyxiation
- Smoke inhalation
Over the past few years it has been very rewarding for the doctors and staff to observe the clinical improvement of the many cases treated by animal hyperbaric oxygen therapy at our veterinary emergency hospital. The addition of this therapy has resulted in an obvious enhancement of our ability to successfully treat many critically ill pet patients.