By Dr. Ed Mapes, Stonebridge Animal Hospital
Thought it was time to update all of our friends about progress at Stonebridge Animal Hospital. The project has taken awhile, but we’re nearing completion at last! New rooms are built, electrical wiring is done, telecom cables are all installed, and cabinets are in place all over the hospital. Floors tiled, the new reception area is shaping up to be open and inviting, and the alarm system is in.
A few plumbing chores come next – to install our special dental table and the bathing stations for pets in for grooming. After that, equipment installation begins with the banks of new lab analyzers; a two day undertaking to put it in place and connect all the components to a network that talks with multiple computers and the digital radiology unit.
We’ll be able to perform in-house blood testing such as comprehensive serum chemistry panels, CBC, and electrolytes in less than five minutes! The last time I had blood drawn and tested for a complete wellness visit – I didn’t get the results for two weeks! Five minutes is just incredible when you think of it in those terms.
We’ll also have the capability of doing an array of other tests that had previously been sent away to referral labs; some of these include bile acid studies, serum creatinine/protein levels, and blood levels of thyroid hormone, cortisol, and serum Phenobarbital levels.
The rapid testing for these parameters gives us the advantage of information at our fingertips – information that can make a difference when beginning treatment fast is critical.
The digital X-ray machine goes in first thing next week – a process that takes several regulatory agencies, the electrician, and installation crew.
A dental X-ray machine is next, along with its digital component, to produce incredible oral radiographs. We’ll now be able to offer full mouth X-rays on our dental patients to detect dental disease that isn’t visible to the naked eye. We’ll also use dental radiographs during procedures like root canals to ensure proper technique.
A wet prep area with its own anesthesia, water supply, lighting, and instrumentation comes next – that’s where dental cleaning and polishing, sealing of fractured teeth, extractions, and root canals all take place. The surgical suite took a long time and much consideration before finally deciding on a basic layout. Including decisions such as location of the oxygen lines, electrical outlets, viewing windows, the surgical lights, and cabinetry; I also wanted to have room enough to accommodate groups or individuals interested in watching live surgery.
The surgical laser unit, patient monitoring instruments, anesthesia machine, and a wide array of instruments will be delivered next week. Our operating table is even warmed internally to prevent patients’ body temperatures from falling during their procedures.
An interior decorator has leant her design expertise becaue I’m terrible at such things. The paint will be one of the final chores to complete, thoughWe’ll have a primary waiting room area chiefly for our canine friends, and a separate and more secluded room designated specifically for felines only. That keeps them more at ease, and helps control the anxiety that accompanies so many cat visits to the veterinary hospital.
Another room is our pet shop area, where prescription foods and products will be available. We’ll have a very talented lady on staff, Lauren Picard, who is an accomplished groomer with that special knack for making pets look fabulous – a talent I would never be able to master. Her experience and knowledge of pet disorders will allow her to alert us whenever a medical problem is discovered so that we can discuss that with the pet’s owner and begin treatment. This is an ability that very good groomers accumulate with experience, and is also an advantage of having grooming done right at the hospital, where treatment is available literally in the next room.
This helps the pet, in that its problem is detected, and also helps owners because earlier treatment is usually the most effective and most economical.
A sign is very near completion, and we’ll have that installed within the next couple of weeks! That’s when we’ll all know that opening day is getting closer.
That can’t happen, though, before we spend several long days in the hospital with its equipment in place, in training. There is so much new technology involved that we’ll spend over a week with our staff and a host of experts that will visit and lend their expertise. We intend to be in mid-season form on day one, because every single pet we see deserves the best that we can provide.
Preparations are under way for a grand opening ceremony, most likely to take place on July 21. Planners are busy with preparations, and I get dizzy just listening to them! The Chamber of Commerce will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony. The event will be catered with fabulous food and beverages. We will provide hospital tours so that everyone can see the finished hospital and learn of the services we can offer.
A representative of Cutting Edge Lasers will be there, demonstrating our laser therapy unit on anyone with a sore joint, ligament, or tendon.
The SPCA will have a pet adoption station set up, and we’ll be able to examine any pet that goes to a new home. A dog trainer will be on hand, a photographer will take photographs of your pets, toffee will be available, and Tailwaggers Pet Resort will be there too. You’ll meet our staff members and have all of your questions answered.
All of our friends are invited, and that includes anyone reading this and wishing to see what modern medicine and compassionate professionals have to offer.