We pride ourselves in offering the latest cutting edge Eastern and Western medical procedures/modalities, as well as general preventative medicine to keep your pet healthy for a very long time. Our services range from general surgeries and internal medicine to the ancient medicine of acupuncture and herbals to chiropractic and present day cutting edge rehab medicine and regenerative medicine for arthritis. Our goal is to help our patients in any way we can to support them and promote their longevity and the quality of their life as they age. We would be honored to care for your pets.
The basic standard of good preventative medicine involves protecting your pets from diseases and maintaining a healthy life style. Historically, this involved vaccinations for fatal diseases, fecal examinations for internal parasite evaluations, and heartworm prevention to stop a deadly killer. However, there are new vaccination protocols for offering the safest way to protect our dogs and cats from deadly diseases while protecting their immune systems from ‘over activation’ and protecting you legally. We will assess each pets’ risk factors for exposure to deadly diseases and recommend the approach that best suits your pets’ lifestyle and risk. It may be different for different pets. Prevention is the key to a long and healthy life for your pet, and the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure” is so true!
Preventative medicine also consists of other aspects of health that clients can accomplish with minimal effort. We will discuss maintaining a healthy weight and what diet is best for your pet. Also, dental prevention is stressed throughout your pets’ life to avoid frequent dental cleaning.
As your pet ages, comprehensive wellness exams every 6 months with periodic monitoring of blood work and urinalysis really helps the doctor know what health your pet is ‘internally’. While this may be a newer concept of preventative medicine for some people, it is the standard of care in human medicine to find problems before they are much worse. This is even more crucial for our dogs and cats. They cannot speak and they exist in a ‘fight or flight’ mode thereby purposely hiding illness to survive! Remember that as your dog ages, 1 year of time is equivalent to 7 ‘human’ years, and as your cat ages, 1 year of time is equivalent to 5 ‘human’ years.
Our unique holistic pet approach at The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center also looks at physical conditioning of exercise, massage, nutrition as well as environmental enrichment that keeps your pets active and mentally well balanced thereby preventing bad behavior, obesity, and arthritis.
We enjoy seeing our senior and geriatric patients that often come to us with not one but several significant health problems. We can provide diagnostics, treatment, and complete care for many common complex diseases such as Addison’s (hypoadrenocorticism), diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, immune mediated diseases, Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism), and lymphosarcoma (also known as lymphoma) to name a few. While we are not board certified internal medical specialists, many of these diseases can be readily diagnosed and treated by general practitioners.
As always, we will incorporate a holistic approach to all complex diseases and cover life style, diet, nutrition, activity, quality of life goals, and all treatment options available to our clients to help them make the best informed decisions on the care for their beloved pets. We are well connected within a network of specialists for referral purposes if and when that is indicated.
Soft Tissue Surgery
We perform routine spay and neuter surgeries as well as more complex soft tissue surgeries. These include abdominal exploratories, foreign body retrievals, gastric torsions, splenectomies, mass removals, and nephrectomies. Our clean, large, modern surgery suite includes a viewing window so that clients may observe their pet’s procedure. Many clients are not interested in watching a procedure, but are comforted by the fact that they could if they wished.
Pain Management and Anesthesia
In our practice we use balanced anesthesia techniques. These generally consist of a premedication to pre-empt pain and reduce anxiety, an induction drug, and isoflurane gas maintenance. We use the latest techniques to pre-empt pain, recognizing that if a procedure would be painful for a human, it will likely cause pain in our pets. Our multimodal approach includes the use of local pain blocks for dental procedures, spays, neuters, and mass removals as well as oral pain medication for your pet to take at home for several days after the procedure. Maintaining the patient’s body temperature is one of the challenges of anesthesia, especially in smaller patients and during longer procedures. We provide a heated surgery table and a circulating warming water pad to maintain body temperature thus decreasing anesthetic complications. We are members of the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management in order to keep our protocols current and your pets’ pain free.
Pain management does not start and stop in the surgery suite. A pain free life style involves many treatments for chronic pain, as well. Treatments such as acupuncture, laser therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), medications, supplements, exercise, weight loss, and environmental enrichment are all involved in a balanced pain free life for your pet.
Ultrasound and Digital Radiology
Radiographs (x-rays) are usually the first diagnostic technique that is used to assess the size and position of organs or masses and the quality of boney structures of the chest, abdomen, long bones, and joints. Digital radiology is much quicker and by adjusting the technique on the computer, the patient and staff exposure to radiation is minimized. We may use our ultrasound unit to diagnose and monitor the internal architecture of the organs such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, stomach, spleen, pancreas, heart, small intestine, colon, adrenal glands, urinary bladder, and prostate. Along with certain blood work, our ultrasound unit allows us to monitor the treatment of internal medicine diseases. We also use the ultrasound to diagnose and monitor pregnancies.
Dentistry and Oral Health
Good dental hygiene and oral health is one of the most important aspects of your pets’ well being. Our goal is to show you how to maintain your pet’s teeth and how to best utilize preventative food, chews, toys, and brushing to keep the teeth and gums healthy. With good prevention, expect less anesthesia, extractions, and most importantly painful infected teeth.
Some dogs and cats are especially prone to dental decay and may need dental extractions and gingival surgery. When working in a pet’s mouth, any motion could be extremely harmful. For this reason, anesthesia is required for even the most docile pets. The saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure’ really applies to dental health.
In-House Laboratory Diagnostics
Our diagnostic lab equipment allows us to evaluate complete blood counts and biochemical profiles within 20 minutes of the blood draw. When your pet is critically ill, time counts! We can also perform urinalysis, intestinal parasite exams, fecal cytologies, and fungal cultures in our lab. Our doctors review fine needle aspirates from masses to determine whether or not the slides should be sent to a boarded veterinary pathologist for definitive diagnosis.
Acupuncture, Herbals, and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
A New Path
“I wanted to learn acupuncture because I found so many senior arthritic dogs were not helped at all by our Western treatments for osteoarthritis. Their owners wouldn’t give up on them and neither would I. So, I began the journey down the path of Eastern medicine in 2005. Since that time, I have helped many more dogs and cats that I would have never been able to ‘heal’ using Western medicine alone. I believe Western veterinary medicine as a whole will continue to search new pathways of healing and incorporate them into everyday treatments that our veterinary patients deserve.”
Dr. Denette O. Cooke DVM, CVA, CVMMP
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, affiliate of University of Florida
Often the best approach to treatment is a combination of both Western and Eastern medicine. In some situations, using a combination of drugs, surgery, Chinese herbals, dietary changes, and acupuncture will often produce better results than when only one of these modalities is used alone.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Philosophy:
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), treats the pet as a whole, treating the root causes of the symptoms and not just the symptoms themselves. Often times there are what appears to be several unrelated symptoms, but in Traditional Chinese Medicine, these symptoms will fall into one particular diagnostic pattern. The foundation of TCVM foundation rests upon the concept of energy, or Chi, the source of all life. Symptoms are thought to be an indicator of depleted energy, which is caused by toxins, lack of exercise, diet, stress, and other environmental factors. Treatment is designed to clear blocks, re-balance, and build energy.
This initial visit will consist of a physical exam that allows for a Traditional Chinese pattern diagnosis. A consult exam will address topics like tongue color, pulse, coat, skin, temperature sensitivities, energy level, personality type, etc. This exam is in-depth and usually lasts about 40 minutes to an hour. Often times needles are not used for the initial consult visit, but this is not always the case.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
This depends on the nature, duration, and severity of diseases. A series of 3 to 10 treatments can resolve many acute to chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may need monthly treatments over time.
Will It Hurt?
Often pets show little to no response to acupuncture needles, and it is common for some animals to fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment.
The veterinary acupuncturist will commonly prescribe herbals to complement acupuncture treatment. Herbology is one of the more important modalities used in traditional Chinese Medicine. Each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient. Herbal formulas date back hundreds to thousands of years and have been anecdotally “tested” on millions of humans. Herbals are very safe when used correctly.
Food energy can be a key component to resolution of clinical signs and symptoms. Food has an effect on digestive, metabolic, and physiologic processes. Formulated diets can address current disharmonies and diseases to bring the body back to balance.
Laser Therapy and Rehabilitation Medicine
LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) is the application of red and near infra-red light over injuries or lesions to improve wound and soft tissue healing, reduce inflammation and give relief for both acute and chronic musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain. It has been used for many years in human medicine to treat a wide range of pathologies.
LLLT is used to increase speed, quality, and tensile strength of tissue repair, resolve inflammation, and relieve pain.
LLLT can treat:
Rehabilitation medicine involves manual therapies such as stretches, therapeutic exercises, joint movement, and various treatment modalities. While we are not a fully equipped rehabilitative facility, we do incorporate laser, neuromuscular stimulation (Estim), acupuncture, chiropractic and therapeutic exercises to manage pain and improve strength and function. This can be very helpful for patients who are recovering from surgery, have back or joint pain, are very weak in the rear, or even paralyzed. Rehab medicine can also be helpful for patients who are simply just slowing down due to age. It is said “old age is not a disease”. If we treat the reason why the pet is slow or painful, we can slow the aging process, and give the pet and the client a much better quality of life!
Learn more about the services we offer at The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center and contact us today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about why we are ‘The Place for Healing’. We are conveniently located in Chesapeake, Virginia, which is central to Southside Hampton Roads and Northeastern North Carolina.