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Computed tomography

What is computed tomography (CT)?
CT is imaging technology based on X-rays, but giving a significantly more detailed and multifaceted image than ordinary X-rays. Usual X-ray images show a two-dimensional picture of the body (object), so many of the organs and elements overlap. CT divides the examined region into small sections (separate images) which can be rendered into a three-dimensional model in a computer. This way, the collaboration of CT and a computer makes objects visible that usual X-ray would not be able to show or differentiate.
CT can be used to examine all regions of the body. CT is a very practical method for significantly more detailed diagnosing of various traumas, fractures, spinal column conditions, orthopaedic problems, tumours, abdominal and chest cavity organs (the liver, kidneys, lungs, etc.), the head (including teeth), foreign bodies, ENT conditions, etc. This is supplemented by contrast examinations of the vascular system (for example, diagnosis of clots and neoplasias).
The CT technology is very widely used in human medicine (the rest of the world also uses it in veterinary medicine) and Estonia will soon see the first opportunity to perform CT examinations for patients on-site at the vet clinic. This is certainly a giant step in the veterinary field, granting us better possibilities for helping the pets of all of us.
LKK will gladly offer CT examinations to the patients of all other vet clinics, whenever they should need those.

Spaying/neutering

Cats and dogs are spayed and neutered mainly to prevent unwanted litters and heat behaviour.
Female cats can have litters several times a year. They do not plan it, they just act on instincts. Frequent litters can drain the cat’s organism, and there will certainly be a problem with that many kittens – what do you do with them? Good homes are hard to find. And domestic euthanizing is illegal nowadays. There are several methods for spaying: hormonal pills and injections, or surgery. It is in principle possible to just lock the cat into a room or a cage but those who have tried this, know the ear-shattering wails that ensue during the heat. Naturally, sterilisation is unthinkable for animals planned to be used in breeding. But in those cases, no hormonal treatments are recommended, either.
Many owners do not want to “damage” their cat and decide for anti-heat pills. But those pills will just postpone the heat, without permanent results. In long-term use, hormonal pills can cause milk duct tumours, metritis and other health problems. It is worth mentioning that ca 90% of milk duct tumours in cats are malignant. With those finds, a surgery will be unavoidable but in many cases the cat’s health has already sustained irreversible damage. Those principles as well as consequences are generally the same for both cats and dogs.
To prevent all that, the best solution is to spay/neuter the animal and it is the best to do it when the animal is young and healthy, so as to prevent unwanted litters and later health risks. In spaying, the uterus and ovaries are removed; neutering removes the testes. As there will be no more sex hormones, all heat symptoms will also cease and the animal will not become pregnant anymore.
Neutering is done to male animals. The main reason to neuter male cats is that they tend to mark their territory with urine. Neutering normally eliminates that problem. After neutering, the male cat will show no interest towards females anymore and there will be no more mating runs and no more injuries frequently related to those. With male dogs, neutering is used to cure both sex-related and other behavioural problems.
An animal unable to reproduce leads just as fulfilled and happy life as others.

Inoculation

The first inoculation must take place when the animal is 2 months old; before that, the puppy/kitten is protected by the antibodies in their mother’s milk. The levels of those antibodies will start dropping just at that time and there is no point in inoculating the young any earlier.
Subsequent inoculations take place at 3 and 4 months of age. Thereafter, the animal is inoculated once a year.
Animals are inoculated against most common viral infections, including the rabies. It is currently allowed to inoculate an animal against the rabies after every two years, given the animal was previously inoculated against the rabies in due time.
The immunity from the first inoculation will not last the lifetime.
Prolonged immunity against some infections requires repeat inoculations once a year.
The pet should get a treatment against internal parasites 7-14 days before the inoculation.
Pets must be healthy when being inoculated (if a pet has diarrhoea, is unwell or drowsy or has any other health condition not habitual to him or her, tell the vet).
Always take the previous inoculation’s certificate along when heading for the next inoculation.
Even if your pet is entirely home-kept, it is still reasonable to inoculate him or her because you will be moving around and can bring pathogens into your home yourself with your shoes or clothes.
It is mandatory to inoculate against the rabies in the Republic of Estonia!

PIT tagging

Pursuant to the standard ISO 11784, a PIT tag or RFID microchip holds a unique 15 digit number.
After you have tagged your pet, it is very important to register the tag in the relevant database (preferably a member of the EPN, so you can safely travel). The database record will hold your name, home address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, plus your pet’s name, breed, sex and description or fur colour. Some databases also recommend adding a photo. It is very important to update the data as soon as you relocate or change your telephone number.
What does it cost to PIT tag and register a pet?
The cost of tagging depends on where you live and what vet clinic you use. Registration is free for some databases, while others take a fee for storing your data. The fee may be one-off or regular. Ask your vet.
Is it painful for the pet to be tagged?
Implanting the microchip is a quick and almost painless procedure. Normally, no anaesthetics are used for PIT tagging. If necessary, the vet may give the animal a small injection of anaesthetics before implanting the chip. The microchip is implanted under the skin, using an applicator. The small discomfort from the tagging is comparable to that from inoculation. PIT tagging is often done at the time of the spaying or neutering surgery, while the animal is drugged.