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Top Quality Care for your furry companions

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Routine Preventative Medicine

Preventative medicine is the key to your pet’s well being. Wellness testing really does make a difference, especially for senior pets! With early diagnostic detection, we can prevent many diseases and manage existing disorders far more easily. Learn more in our article.

We also recommend screening for diseases and disorders common to certain breeds. Learn more in our article.

Surgery

When your pet undergoes a surgical or dental procedure requiring anesthesia, we understand that you have entrusted us with your pet’s life. We accept this obligation and responsibility with all due seriousness.

You will find that our anesthetic protocols are second to none. From the moment of induction until full recovery, your pet will never be left alone. A dedicated, highly-trained MVVH team member will continually monitor your pet’s vital signs. IV fluids and other agents will be administered as needed to maintain normal heart rate and blood pressure, preventing any sudden drops which might compromise kidney function. Specialized warming techniques will be used to regulate body temperature and ensure your pet is kept comfortable during and after the procedure.

Our goal is to see your pet wake up from anesthesia in better shape than they went under—tail waving, purring, and pain free.

Dental Care

Did you know that those red gums are actually the sign of an infection? We are passionate about promoting good dental care to treat and prevent disease.

Did you know that those red gums are actually the sign of an infection called gingivitis? Without appropriate treatment, this infection can progress to periodontal disease and tooth loss. We are passionate about promoting good dental care to treat and prevent these diseases.

Studies confirm that the pathogenic bacteria associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease can easily access the blood stream through the vast blood supply in the mouth, leading to life-threatening infections in your pet’s heart, lungs and kidneys.

Gingivitis and its relative periodontal disease are the most common medical disorders of dogs and cats. Small breeds, long-nosed dog breeds, and purebred cats are especially susceptible. Without appropriate treatment, the infection will progress, resulting in, tooth loss, pain, and discomfort for your pet.

Our dental team will work with you to design the proper program of care for your pet—both treatment in our hospital and a regimen of preventative care at home. Shannon, our lead technician, and all our doctors have trained extensively in advanced dental techniques. We offer top-quality products and treatments for your pet.

Your pet will first undergo a thorough examination of all teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. Our treatment of oral diseases begins with rigorous cleaning with an ultrasonic scaler. Once periodontal disease has established itself, cleaning the visible tooth surface does nothing to stop the progression of the disease. Our dental cleaning removes calculus and pathogenic bacteria from below the gum line to stop the spread of the disease and, in many cases, preserve already effected teeth. Teeth are polished and a sealant is applied to help prevent attachment of plaque to the tooth surface. Finally, a therapy laser treatment is applied to the gums to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation; this treatment also brings a greater supply of blood to the gums to speed healing.

During your pet’s dental procedure, x-rays will be taken of all missing, damaged, or infected teeth. We use digital dental x-rays to get a clear picture of your pet’s mouth. These dental radiographs allow us to accurately assess the extent of periodontal disease—without them, extraction decisions would be merely guesswork! We often discover dangerous abscesses in normal-appearing teeth. We also find diseased teeth that are still able to be saved, avoiding the cost of additional extractions. Dental x-rays are also a powerful tool for the prevention of oral diseases. We can identify abnormal dentition, retained roots, and persistent baby teeth before a problem emerges.

Extraction or advanced periodontal treatment to preserve teeth are frequently necessary. As always, we practice proactive pain management. We use nerve blocks, laser treatments, and medications for several days prior to and for several.

Pain Management

It hurts, but I won’t cry
It can be difficult to tell when your pet is in pain. Your dog, and most certainly your cat, will not cry out–no matter how bad the pain may be, they will try to “tough it out.”

Look carefully for subtle changes your pet’s behavior that may indicate pain. Your cat may spend more time alone and less time socializing with you or other pets; they may miss the litter box or not be able to jump up to their favorite spot on the windowsill. Your dog may get up and lie down more slowly than usual; they may hesitate before climbing stairs or jumping into the car.

Other signs may include:

  • Panting or increased respiratory rate
  • Hunched posture
  • Restlessness

Never give human pain medication to your pet without consulting your veterinarian. These drugs can can cause severe, potentially fatal, side effects.

Acute Pain
Acute pain is most commonly caused by injuries to muscle, joints, nerves, or the spinal cord. Acute pain can also be caused by ear, skin, or abdominal disorders.

Our Class IV therapy laser can reduce this kind of pain faster than any other modality. When used in combination with anti-inflammatory medication, this is usually adequate to manage your pet’s pain until the injury heals. In cases of severe pain, we can administer narcotics and other medications to keep your pet comfortable during their recovery.

Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the most frustrating problems we are faced with in the veterinary field. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common.

The primary culprit is arthritic joints or degenerative spinal disorders. These conditions are progressive and will require monitoring and treatment for the rest of your pet’s life.

Here are a few things you can do around the house to help improve your pet’s quality of life:

  • Be “The Biggest Loser.” Start your pet on a weight control program. Fat cells naturally produce inflammatory chemicals. If your pet is overweight, an excess of these chemicals can damage cartilage and worsen or even cause arthritis. Extra pounds also put additional stress on your pet’s already painful joints and spine.
  • No more Slip n’ Slide. Put area rugs or mats over slippery surfaces like tile, concrete, or wood flooring. Add stairs or a ramp to help your pet reach their favorite spot on the bed or by the window with ease.
  • Be vigilant. Monitor your pet for changes in behavior that may indicate increased levels of pain. As chronic pain worsens, we can add additional layers of therapy to help keep your pet comfortable.

Treatment for chronic pain will usually include one of these medications:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are always the core of chronic pain management. They are extremely effective at reducing pain. Unfortunately, these drugs can cause liver or kidney damage in some patients. We encourage regular checkups for pets on NSAIDs to monitor organ health.
  • Gabapentin blocks the perception of pain at the spinal cord and brain and is especially effective at combating nerve pain. It is a safe and inexpensive adjunctive therapy that does not require monitoring.
  • Tramadol partially blocks narcotic pain receptors and suppresses other neurohormones which increase pain. It, too, is safe and inexpensive and does not require continual monitoring.

We also believe that medication isn’t the only answer. Speak with one of our doctors to learn more about these non-traditional treatment options.

  • Our Class IV therapy laser can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. It can also increase blood supply to the affected area to hasten healing.
  • Water or hydrotherapy provides non-weight bearing exercise to help your pet strengthen and maintain supporting structures. Pain can actually be reduced when the joint or spine is supported and kept stable by surrounding muscle.
  • Acupuncture is another homeopathic way of reducing pain.

Surgical Pain
Pain management is essential to prevent the unbearable process of pain “wind-up.” If post-operative pain is not controlled adequately at the site of surgery, it will build in intensity, working its way through the nervous system–traveling up from nerve to nerve until it reaches the spinal cord, then the brain, firing pain impulses out to all parts of the body. What was once pain from a simple foot surgery radiates out your pet’s back, hips, abdomen, chest–everywhere.

Beyond the obvious desire to keep your pet comfortable, careful pain management can actually decrease healing time.

  • Pain causes an increase in the production of cortisol, the body’s own form of cortisone. Cortisol prevents the liver from producing proteins vital to the healing process. Cortisol also impairs the body’s inflammatory system, which would ordinarily send cells into the surgically-invaded tissues to help them heal.
  • Pain leads to heightened anxiety, making it difficult for your pet to get the rest they need to recover.
  • Pain will cause your pet to lick at the incision, increasing irritation at the surgery site and dramatically increasing the possibility of infection.

Depending on the procedure, post-surgical pain can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Your pet’s well-being is our first priority–we strive to keep your pet as comfortable and pain-free as possible during this time. Here are a few of the medications in our surgical pain management toolkit:

  • Our first line of defense against pain are anti-inflammatory medications, such as Rimadyl or Metacam. These medications are started before surgery so they are already working to control pain when your pet awakens from anesthesia. Managed well, these anti-inflammatory medications provide all the pain relief your pet will need after many common procedures, including simple growth removals, minor extractions, spays, and neuters.
  • Narcotic-like medications are available in many forms and are frequently used for more painful procedures.
    • An intravenous application begins working instantaneously and can be repeated until your pet is comfortable.
    • We routinely use the fentanyl patch major extractions and advanced abdominal or orthopedic surgeries. This trans-dermal narcotic-like medication is exceptionally effective, but takes twelve to twenty-four hours after application to reach effective levels.
  • For dewclaw removals, or any other surgery of the foot, we often use a ring block with a combination of two local anesthetic agents. One agent provides immediate relief; the other provides a longer-lasting pain relief.
  • We use injectable local anesthetic agents for dental extractions–just like your dentist. These local agents help immensely in the first few hours after surgery, when your pet’s pain is the most intense.

After surgery, your pet will be monitored by a Marine View staff member experienced in detecting the many subtle signs of pain. We treat each patient as an individual and give exactly what your pet requires to be comfortable during their recovery.

When your pet is discharged from our hospital, a technician will meet with you to discuss the signs to look for to determine if your pet is in pain. See our discussion of general signs of pain above.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please call us immediately so we can adjust your pet’s pain management plan.

Therapy Laser

Our low-level therapy laser sends light deep into your pet’s body to dramatically reduce swelling, improve blood supply, accelerate healing, and stop the transmission of pain.

We are excited to offer this breakthrough non-invasive treatment. While laser therapy is popular in Europe, there are only a thousand low-level lasers in use at veterinary hospitals in the United States.

We use a 10-watt therapy laser manufactured by the Lite-Cure Company. This laser is FDA approved for human use, so we know it is safe and effective. All of our veterinarians and veterinary technicians who use the machine have completed a three-hour hands-on training course using live pets and participated in additional educational courses to understand the physics behind the unit.

The therapy laser has exceeded even our highest expectations. We have seen good results treating acute and chronic pain, spine and nerve injuries, hot spots, cystitis, abdominal pain, chronic bronchitis, post operative pain, abscesses, contaminated wounds, fractures—even lick granulomas and peri-anal fistulas.

Call today to see if your pet can benefit from this new mode of therapy.

Additional Services

  • Microchipping
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nutrition counseling
  • In-House Laboratory
  • Outside Laboratory
  • In-House Pharmacy
  • Boarding
  • Specialist Referral

Emergencies

Call us immediately if your pet:

  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Loses consciousness
  • Becomes paralysed
  • Makes frequent and non-productive attempts to urinate
  • Suffers severe head or face trauma
  • Screams in pain
  • Experiences a seizure lasting longer than two minutes
  • Loses a significant quantity of blood (greater than one cup for small to medium pets; greater than two cups for large pets)
  • Fractures a bone
  • Shows significant abdominal distension, distress, agitation, or attempts to vomit

We recommend scheduling an appointment soon if your pet:

  • Vomits frequently for 12 hours or more
  • Has diarrhea lasting 24 hours or longer
  • Shows a lack of appetite for more than 48 hours, even without other symptoms
  • Is lame for more than 72 hours
  • Cannot stand
  • Blinks frequently or holds one or both eyes closed (should be seen within twenty-four hours)
  • Remember–you are most familiar with your pet’s behavior. If something doesn’t seem right, give us a call.

    After Hours Emergency Services

    If your pet is in need of emergency care while our office is closed, we encourage you to contact one of these area providers:

    Summit Veterinary Referral Center
    253-983-1114
    2505 South 80th St
    Tacoma, WA 98409

    Blue Pearl Tacoma
    253-474-0791
    5608 Durango St
    Tacoma, WA

    Blue Pearl Seattle
    206-364-1660
    13240 Aurora Ave N
    Seattle, WA 98133

    Blue Pearl Renton
    206-364-1660
    4208 Lind Ave SW
    Renton, WA

     

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