A Very Special Veterinary Practice
Vet Docs

Alamo Feline Health Center is a combination primary care hospital and referral center. Dr. Norsworthy is South Texas' only board certified feline specialist and is qualified to perform and direct care of the simplest of problems, including annual examinations, to the most complex of problems. He has equipped Alamo Feline with an array of advanced equipment so tests of all types can be performed and specialized treatments can be performed.


CT Scanner

Alamo Feline Health Center is the only feline-only practice in the world than can do a "real Cat Scan." The CT scanner, as it is called, is made specifically for small animals and is equivalent to CT scanners that are used on humans. Various body parts and organs can be visualized in ways not possible with radiographs and ultrasound. The CT scanner was purchased in 2014.

A CT scanner is another way to visualize tissues when other modalities fail. This CT scanner was made specifically for small animals.

Vet Docs

Radioactive Iodine Therapy (I131)

Hyperthyroidism is a common disease of cats over 12 years of age. It is due to a tumor in the thyroid and results in weight loss, increased heart rate, high blood pressure and is ultimately fatal if not treated. There are several treatment options, but the one considered the "gold standard" is treatment with radioactive iodine (I131). Alamo Feline is one of the six private practices in Texas licensed to perform this treatment.

Treatment for hyperthyroidism is performed at Alamo Feline using radioactive iodine. This treatment destroys the thyroid tumor without destroying the normal thyroid gland and is available in only six private practices in Texas.

 

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Digital Radiology

Digital radiography is rapidly replacing film x-rays, which have been used since 1895. Alamo Feline's system is the advanced DR system and was purchased in 2002, well ahead of most veterinary practices in the US. Digital radiographs have a significantly higher resolution and permit much faster processing (seconds) so the images can be seen very quickly. In addition, digital radiographs can be emailed when needed.

Digital radiography creates images with much higher resolution and much faster processing than conventional film x-rays. Because the images are digital files, they can be emailed. This x-ray is of a cat's skull. Note how much enlargement is possible so tiny abnormalities can be seen.

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Digital Dental Radiology

Dental radiographs require very specialized equipment because the sensor (that receives the x-ray beam and generates the image) must be placed in the cat's mouth. You have experienced this when you have your teeth x-rayed, but doing so in a cat requires a very specialized sensor. This capability was added in 2010.

Digital dental radiographs also create high resolution images of the teeth and other oral structures.

Vet Docs

CO2 Surgical Laser

A surgical laser is used in many situations in which conventional scalpel blade cutting is either not possible or in which bleeding cannot be controlled well. The laser is most commonly used for declawing because there is less pain and bleeding; all of our declaws are performed in this manner. It is also very important when dealing with masses in the mouth or the ear canal. Alamo Feline purchased its surgical laser in 2003.

The surgery laser permits removal of tumors in places inaccessible to conventional scalpel surgery.

Vet Docs

Therapy Laser

Therapy lasers emit a beam of laser light that has a wavelength much different from a surgical laser. The therapy laser is used to control acute and chronic inflammation in many locations, such as following surgery or for arthritis. Alamo Feline is using its third and most powerful laser. Laser therapy at Alamo Feline began in 2006.

The therapy laser is used to treat acute or chronic inflammation, even if its site is not on the skin.


Vet Docs

Ultrasound

Diagnostic ultrasound is used to examine organs in the chest (usually the heart) and the abdomen (all of the organs). It can diagnose diseases, and it can be used to permit biopsies of various organs and masses. Dr. Norsworthy purchased his first ultrasound machine in 1995, a full decade ahead of most of his colleagues. He and his associates are currently using his eighth machine. Like computers, improvements happen every few years so upgraded equipment is needed.

An ultrasound study of the heart or abdominal organs provides details of the tissues not possible with radiographs.

Vet Docs

Video-otoscope

A video-otoscope is used to diagnose and treat lesions in the external ear canal. Masses can be biopsied and often removed with this equipment. In addition, a special tip for the surgical laser can be used to obliterate certain masses. This equipment is also used to diagnose and treat disease around and involving the larynx, another difficult location in which to work. Alamo Feline obtained its video-otoscope in 2004.

The video-otoscope is used to visualize, biopsy, and treat lesions in the ear canals and other hard-to-reach places.

Vet Docs

Endoscopy

Alamo Feline has four endoscopes that permit visualization and biopsy of many difficult to reach body parts and cavities including the esophagus, stomach, colon, nasal cavity, and nasopharynx. Dr. Norsworthy has been using endoscopy since the 1980s.

Endoscopes are instruments made to see into otherwise inaccessible areas. This cat is having a colonoscopy because of chronic diarrhea. Endoscopes of large enough diameter permit the operator to take biopsy samples within these inaccessible areas.


Vet Docs

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure determination is a routine part of your physical examination. However, obtaining accurate blood pressure measurements on an awake can be a challenge. Our unit (costing over $1000) takes readings with minimal stress to the cat and with a computerized feature that permits each determination to be evaluated for accuracy.

This cat's blood pressure is being taken with the cuff attached to its tail. A graph is created on the computer screen which validates the accuracy of each tracing. This is a very important feature for cats that are awake.

 

Vet Docs

Advanced Surgical Safety

Surgery is performed daily at Alamo Feline, yet surgical complications and deaths are extremely rare because we have advanced equipment to insure safe surgical procedures. Multiparameter surgical monitors measure vitals during the procedures. We are able to measure EKG tracing, heart rate, core body temperature, oxygen saturation of the blood (pulse oximetry), capnography, and blood pressure. When these parameters go out of the normal ranges, alarms warn us so appropriate measures can be taken. High tech warming pads adapted from the same devices made for human surgery are used on the surgery tables and in the recovery cages to insure proper body temperature during and immediately following surgery. Intravenous infusion pumps administer the correct volume of fluids during and after surgery.

Surgical safety is the purpose of our multiparameter monitors and other high tech intraoperative and post-operative devices.

 

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Laboratory Equipment

The ability to have laboratory test results within minutes is a HUGE advantage when we are treating a very sick cat. The Alamo Feline veterinarians can perform a Complete Blood Count (CBC), Chemistry Profile (tests for liver, kidney, protein, glucose, and electrolytes), and a thyroid test in about 15 minutes because of the equipment available. These capabilities have been available since 2000.

The laboratory equipment available for rapid processing of blood samples include a hematology machine (left) for CBCs and two of the three chemistry machines (center and right) for chemistry and thyroid profiles.

 

Vet Docs

Electronic Medical Records

The use of all of these marvelous tools is tied together with a computer system that generates electronic medical records. Only about 10% of private veterinary practices use a paperless computer system, and Alamo Feline has done so since 2002. This permits detailed record to be kept and important patient information to be retrieved quickly and easily.

The Alamo Feline computer software, made specifically for veterinary use, permits rapid input and retrieval of patient information. This Diagnosis List quickly permits the veterinarian to see a list of all past diagnoses on each patient.

A patient's prior weights can be call up as a list and can be graphed, another retrieval feature of the Alamo Feline computer system.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Info

Address

16201 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, Texas 78232

Phone

(210) 404-CATS (2287)

Hours

Mon-Thur
7:00 am - 6:30 pm

Friday
7:00 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday
8:00 am - 11:30 am


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