Modern advances in veterinary care are leading to new and innovative ways to treat sick pets. Many procedures once confined to human medicine are now available to give companion animals the chance to live out their lives to the fullest.

MRI and Ultrasound

These two imaging procedures can be used to detect, study and guide the treatment of many pet diseases. MRI is the more expensive of the two and requires animals to be under anesthesia. It is used in cases of neurological disorders, soft tissue diseases, orthopedic problems and heart disease. However, ultrasound may be a better alternative when dealing with the heart as it can capture detailed images without the use of anesthetic and is more affordable for pet owners.

Kidney Transplants

This procedure seems to be most helpful for cats with kidney problems. Using kidneys donated by other felines, vets can do a complete transplant that gives ill cats a better chance for survival. Reports show a 59 percent survival rate at the six-month mark with 41 percent living for three years or longer. Cats that donate kidneys get an adoption placement out of the deal, so they not only save a life but also get to live comfortably in a forever home.

Anti-Cancer Treatments

Dogs with melanoma may live longer after tumor removal if treated with a vaccine that was recently developed for canine skin cancer. Another option for man's best friend is a drug called Palladia. This pill works by blocking the process of angiogenesis, the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors. It also interferes with receptors that are necessary for tumors to survive, thereby providing support for standard treatment.

Laser Surgery and Therapy

Less invasive than traditional surgery, laser procedures can now be used for spay and neuter operations as well as other surgeries. Animals suffering from pain conditions including arthritis, ear infections and hot spots may get relief from laser therapies. Using lasers means less recovery time and less potential for the complications associated with standard surgery.

Heart Surgery

Complex heart surgery procedures for pets are currently limited to a small number of sites, but it is possible to find vets who can do open heart surgery if need be. Other procedures include valve replacement for pets whose own heart valves aren't functioning properly. Dogs can be fitted with pacemakers to regulate electrical conduction problems, and procedures exist to address congenital heart diseases common in some breeds.

Eye Surgery

Pets whose vision is failing or who have illnesses that interfere with sight can now get transplants of part or all of their corneas. Cats and dogs of all ages are eligible for eye surgery, including the same cataract operation that clears human vision.

With all of these advances in veterinary medical technology, pet owners can rest assured that their furry friends will always have options in disease treatment. If your pet is suffering from a common or chronic condition, talk with your vet to find out what procedures or medicines are available.

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