There have been hundreds of new developments in veterinary medicine in the last decade; continued discoveries of new antibiotics, routine usage of CT scanners (“cat scans”) and MRI’s, total hip replacements, kidney transplants in cats, cataract removal, open heart surgeries, in-depth cancer treatments, laser surgery, telemedicine… the list goes on and on. Things that once seemed impossible are now routine. Only 20 years ago we still had tremendous battles with fleas and ticks. Now there is no reason for any of our pets to be burdened with these insects. Our medical knowledge is estimated to double every six months (a number that is hard to fathom). With that expansive knowledge comes increasing specialization—there are veterinary board-certified surgeons, radiologist, neurologist, dermatologist, oncologists, etc. There are even sub-specializations now within some of these fields (ie: orthopedic surgery, radiation, and oncology).
This world of great innovation certainly comes with a price. An ultrasound of your cat’s heart may cost $300. A new hip for your arthritic Golden Retriever may run you $3,000 per side. To have a kidney replaced, you need to travel to one of the universities and expect to pay $15,000. Some of the newer antibiotics for a resistant skin infection (MRSA affects animals too!) can cost hundreds of dollars in the very large dog breeds. Deciding what care to offer our pets is not as simple as it is in human medicine, where tests are done without a second thought and bills are sent to third party insurers. Each decision we make comes with a cost that we must consider, often making decisions that are much more complicated.
Where is the future of veterinary medicine headed? Some of the fastest growing fields in both knowledge and acceptance by the public include: Cancer treatments (think: a vaccine for melanoma), Regenerative Medicine and stem cell therapy (ie: growing new kidneys for cats in renal failure) and Dentistry (including root canals and crowns).
Here at the Ark we are proud to stay up to date with all of these Veterinary Advancements. We offer the cancer vaccine, an allergy injection that lasts up to 30 days, stem cell therapy, CT scans, Acupuncture, and laser therapy. Give us a call at 336-778-2738 if you have any questions about any of these procedures or therapies.
-Tonya Sparks, DVM