Dominion Animal Hospital does several types of orthopedic surgeries. One of the most common surgeries is repair of the cranial cruciate ligament. At Dominion Animal Hospital we perform the extracapsular technique to repair a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. This involved placing a non-absorbable nylon high tensile strength suture material and stainless steel crimps to mimic the action of the cranial cruciate ligament. We also perform an arthrotomy to examine the stifle (knee) for any further damage. Typical rehabilitation time from surgery is 4-6 months.
Does your pet have allergies? Similar to humans, our cats and dogs suffer from allergies. 1 out of every 10 pets is affected by some type of allergen. An allergy is your pet’s immune system abnormally reacting to certain common substances in the environment. These substances are called allergens and are usually pollens or weeds, trees and grasses, house dust, insects, human and animal danders, molds, foods and chemicals. The most common sign of allergy in dogs and cats is itching, manifested by scratching, ear irritation, rubbing, licking and chewing. This sign can lead to hair loss and rashes. In rare cases, vomiting and/or diarrhea may be present especially if the dog or cat suffers from food allergy. Other signs are reverse coughing or asthma, hay fever-like symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. Our Veterinarians should be consulted when your cat or dog shows signs of allergies. By taking a small blood sample, our Veterinarians can run a Liquid Gold allergy blood test. The sample is sent out to the Veterinary Allergy Reference Laboratory, to identify the different allergic substance that is responsible for your pet’s allergies. Your dog or cat can be rendered immune to the various substances detected by the Liquid Gold allergy blood test. This is achieved by vaccinating your pet against the identified substances, much like children are vaccinated against childhood diseases.
Our professionals are also happy to accommodate any additional services at your request, such as:
Additionally, we offer a complementary bath to all dogs boarding in our kennel longer than 7 days.
Blood pressure (BP) is a useful measurement to help assess the cardiovascular status of a patient during an anesthetic, or as a diagnostic test. At Dominion we use the Doppler flow detection, or the Pet-Map to detect your pet’s blood pressure. With senior pets or pets that have compromising health issues a blood pressure may be recommended. Your pet’s blood pressure is always monitored closely with our anesthetized patients. Often times, an underlying cause of ocular changes in cats can be a direct result of systemic high blood pressure. Bear in mind that in a conscious animal, a stress free environment is useful in preventing a rise in blood pressure which is induced by anxiety, particularly in cats or scared dogs. Many agents used during anesthesia have an effect on the cardiovascular system and blood pressure in particular so it is important to monitor sequential readings and correct BP changes if necessary. Normal arterial blood pressures are: Dogs – Systolic 140, Mean 100, Diastolic 75 mm Hg (Dogs are subject to breed specific variations in blood pressure reference ranges). Cats – Systolic 180, Mean 135, Diastolic 100 mm Hg.
Periodontal disease is the most common disease seen in dogs and cats, with 85% of dogs and cats having at least some degree of periodontal disease, or issue. Good dental care can improve the quality of your pet’s life. If left untreated, oral disease can lead to serious consequences for your pet, including severe pain, bad breath and tooth decay. Chronic infections can spread to the major organs, where they can seriously compromise your pet’s health. By doing regular dental cleanings you can help to protect your pet from increasingly serious stages of periodontal disease and other health complications.
Periodontal disease begins when bacteria in the mouth form a substance called plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Subsequently, minerals in the saliva harden the plaque into dental calculus (tartar), which is firmly attached to the teeth. Tartar above the gum line is obvious to many owners, but is not of itself the cause of disease.
The real problem develops as plaque and calculus spread under the gum line. Bacteria in this ‘sub-gingival’ plaque set in motion a cycle of damage to the supporting tissues around the tooth, eventually leading to loss of the tooth. Bacteria under the gum line secrete toxins, which contribute to the tissue damage if untreated. These bacteria also stimulate the animal’s immune system. The initial changes cause white blood cells and inflammatory chemical signals to move into the periodontal space (between the gum or bone and the tooth). The function of the white blood cells is to destroy the bacterial invaders, but chemicals released by the overwhelmed white blood cells cause damage to the supporting tissues of the tooth. Instead of helping the problem, the patient’s own protective system actually worsens the disease when there is severe build-up of plaque and tartar.
Periodontal disease includes gingivitis (inflammation [reddening] of the gums) and periodontitis (loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth). There is a wide range in the appearance and severity of periodontal disease, which often cannot be properly evaluated or treated without general anesthesia for veterinary patients. Effects within the oral cavity include damage to or loss of gum tissue and bone around the teeth, development of a hole (‘fistula’) from the oral cavity into the nasal passages causing nasal discharge, fractures of the jaw following weakening of the jaw bone, and bone infection (‘osteomyelititis’). Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and are carried around the body. Studies in dogs have shown that periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Dominion uses Digital Radiology for its veterinary images. Just as smart-phones displaced cell phones, digital technology has forever changed veterinary imaging. Digital Radiographs are environmental friendly, allowing us to avoid overdosed film exposure, retakes, and chemical, processor failure. Digital Radiographs proved our doctors with a more precise picture than film x-rays. Digital Radiographs can be pulled up on monitors throughout the hospital for doctors to interpret findings with clients. We can conveniently send them via email to a referring Veterinarian if our doctors feel this is necessary for your pets’ diagnosis.
When managing ear infections in dogs and cats, specific therapy for the underlying primary disease is essential for long term success. The doctors at Dominion Animal Hospital made a commitment several years ago to purchase a MedRx Video Otoscope, an instrument that has been designed to overcome the shortcomings of the hand-held otoscope. The Video otoscope is a very useful instrument for examining, cleaning, and drying the ear canal because it gives the examiner a clear real-time image on a video monitor. The use of the otoscope helps us to perform a through otoscopy examination by enhancing the opportunity for accurate diagnosis by increasing the detail of the image and permitting visualization under the use of fluid. By using this instrument, we can develop the best treatment protocol to eliminate the infection. Improper treatment will ultimately result in treatment failure and progression to a more severe and painful disease. Otoscope and deep ear flush is the most valuable test and absolutely necessary therapeutic procedure for difficult ear infection. We see many severe ear infections, some of which are chronic and the ear drums are ruptured and the infection has advanced to the middle ear (beyond the ear drum) extending into the tympanic bulla (a basin at the bottom of the canal). This requires a special procedure with the animal under anesthesia. The infection and debris can be removed from the middle ear and the tympanic bulla with the use of the Video otoscope. The flushing and suction of the infection and debris from the middle ear and bulla is necessary for the relief of pain and discomfort. The use of the most spectacular antibiotics cannot exceed the value of physical removal of the infection and debris with the Video otoscope. Since we have been using the Video otoscope, we have helped so many animals with simple and severe ear infection and related problems.
Electrocardiogram aka (ECG) is a test of the action of the heart using ultrasound waves to produce a visual display, used for the diagnosis or monitoring of heart disease. At Dominion we use Idexx Telemedicine. An ECG is performed at the hospital and sent over to a board certified Cardiologist. The Cardiologist then reads the ECG, consults with your veterinarian on the findings, and develops a treatment plan that is best for your pet. This procedure is an outpatient procedure that is painless for your pet. Results are received from Cardiologist within hours.
Dogs – All dogs should be tested annually for heartworm infection, and this can usually be done during a routine visit for preventive care. Following are guidelines on testing and timing: Puppies under 7 months of age can be started on heartworm prevention without a heartworm test (it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected), but should be tested 6 months after your initial visit, tested again 6 months later and yearly after that to ensure they are heartworm-free. Adult dogs over 7 months of age and previously not on a preventive need to be tested prior to starting heartworm prevention. They, too, need to be tested 6 months and 12 months later and annually after that. You need to consult your veterinarian, and immediately re-start your dog on monthly preventive—then retest your dog 6 months later. The reason for re-testing is that heartworms must be approximately 7 months old before the infection can be diagnosed.
Annual testing is necessary, even when dogs are on heartworm prevention year-round, to ensure that the prevention program is working. Heartworm medications are highly effective, but dogs can still become infected. If you miss just one dose of a monthly medication—or give it late—it can leave your dog unprotected. Even if you give the medication as recommended, your dog may spit out or vomit a heartworm pill—or rub off a topical medication. Heartworm preventives are highly effective, but not 100 percent effective. If you don’t get your dog tested, you won’t know your dog needs treatment.
Cats – Heartworm infection in cats is harder to detect than in dogs, because cats are much less likely than dogs to have adult heartworms. The preferred method for screening cats includes the use of both an antigen and an antibody test (the “antibody” test detects exposure to heartworm larvae). Your veterinarian may also use x-rays or ultrasound to look for heartworm infection. Cats should be tested before being put on prevention and re-tested as the veterinarian deems appropriate to document continued exposure and risk. Because there is no approved treatment for heartworm infection in cats, prevention is critical.
At Dominion we have a full In-house laboratory on site to help determine your pets internal health. Without a bloodwork analysis we are unable to internally examine how the organs are functioning in our patients. We rely on our in-house lab machines when dealing with emergencies that come through the door, sick animals, an animal undergoing a surgical procedure, or an animal that we are working on managing a disease processes.
Choose laser therapy for your pet’s pain management treatment! It is pain-free, surgery free, and will provide them with relief and comfort. Laser therapy is a therapeutic approach to treating pain, inflammation, edema and wounds. Reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and restore mobility. How does it work? Light energy enters the damaged cells and stimulates inter-cellular activity. This reduces pain in the area and speeds recovery of the damaged cells. Once the cells recover, the healing process is complete. What can my pet expect during treatments? Laser therapy is a painless treatment that lasts an average of 3 minutes. Your pet will be brought into an exam room. As your pet is resting comfortably, a trained technician will gently rest the probe on the area of concern. Your pet may experience a comfortable sensation at the point of application.
Laser therapy helps with:
Have you ever lost a pet? Did you know that a family pet is lost every two seconds? That’s millions every year! Shelters do their very best to locate owners, but if your pet has no form of identification there’s not much they can do. The HomeAgain Microchip was developed to make a difference for all pets, including yours. Avoid the pain, worry and expense of losing your pet. It’s vital to identify your pet before it’s too late. Please discuss HomeAgain Microchip with your veterinarian or animal care professional today. It really can save your pet’s life.
Dominion genuinely cares, and understands how worrisome it can be for a client to have to put your pet through a surgical procedure. Our trained staff are here to help walk you through every step of your pet’s procedure. Drop off procedure, anesthesia preparation, during surgery, and discharge and aftercare.
Laser surgery – This is a beneficial replacement for the scalpel blade used in surgery. A laser is an intense beam of light. The laser energy instantly vaporizes the water found in tissues, allowing it to “cut” or essentially remove an extremely small area of tissue. The energy seals nerve endings and blood vessels as it moves through tissue, resulting in less bleeding, less pain, and virtually no trauma to surrounding tissue. Some other benefits include: less swelling, extreme precision, reduced risk of infection, and quicker recovery. Laser Surgery is recommended for declaws, spays, neuters, tumor removals, ear crop, skin tags, cyst removal, soft palate procedures, gingival and dental surgery. Talk to about the benefits for your pet’s surgery.
At Dominion we feel it is important to test for intraocular pressure in our patients that come in for ocular exams. We use a Tono-pen which is a precision electronic tonometer which measures intraocular pressure. As shown in the picture this is a quick procedure done right in the office with your pet awake. A small drop of numbing agent will be placed in your pet’s eye; a sterile cover is placed on the end of the pen, which allows the doctor to gentle tap your pets cornea, with the tip of the pen. The tono-pen will display a measurement for our veterinarian to analyze.
MiVU (Mobile Imaging Veterinary Ultrasound), is a mobile veterinary ultrasound service serving the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area veterinarians. MiVU conveniently offers advanced diagnostic ultrasound capability performed in our hospital thereby allowing us to preserve and maintain our doctor / client / patient relationship. MiVU’s goal is to provide services that are consistently prompt, accurate, and affordable. Services provided include but are not limited to abdominal ultrasound, echocardiogram with cardiologist interpretation, fine-needle biopsies, tru-cut biopsies, and cavity centesis.
“Dr. Shang is enormously talented and reliable as both a clinician and a sonographer. She is humble, trustworthy, hard-working, and reliable. She puts tremendous effort into her case workups and brings with her a rich foundation of Internal medicine knowledge and sonographic expertise. She is a valued addition to the medical team of all hospitals she serves through performing diagnostic ultrasound.”
– Marty Henderson DVM
Feline Vaccinations – We recommend that your cat be vaccinated for: Rabies, RCP, (Rhinotracheitis, Calici-Panleukopenia), and feline leukemia. Please refer to our pet Library to educate yourself on why we recommend these vaccinations for your pet and the dangers associated with not vaccinating your pet.
Canine Vaccinations – We recommend that your dog be vaccinated for: Rabies, DAP, (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus), Leptospirosis, Lyme, (Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease) aka Kennel cough, and Canine influenza. Please refer to our pet Library to educate yourself on why we recommend these vaccinations for your pet and the dangers associated with not vaccinating your pet.
We recommend that your pet have a physical exam once to two times a year. A thorough physical exam is easily one of the most important diagnostic tools. Our doctors will provide a thorough nose-to-tail exam yearly, and educating you about what they’re doing while their doing it. During the exam the doctors will discuss with you any abnormal findings and walk you through each step of their recommendation.