LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Pets are just as important as family members and you want to make sure they get the best possible health care.

But, sometimes your pet can have such a unique or specialized need that your primary care veterinarian has to refer you to a specialist. Luckily, you have nearly every area of specialization available right here in central Arkansas.

THV11 got a look inside the Arkansas Veterinary and Emergency Specialist hospital (AVES) to see the incredible, high tech gear making better opportunities for treatment and healing possible.

Up until a year ago, the nearest specialty ophthalmologists for animals were in Memphis, St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri. At minimum, that meant a two-hour trip to get your pet the help it needed if you live in Little Rock.

Dr. Bill Miller is one of those specialty Ophthalmologists with a main office in Memphis. He said he noticed quite a few of his clients were coming from Little Rock and so he decided to expand his ophthalmology specialty practice into our city.

“My partners and I purchased the emergency clinic here and set up a full-time specialty practice here in Little Rock.” Dr. Miller said.

Now, they have specialists in dermatology, internal medicine, surgery, dentistry and ophthalmology on staff at AVES along with 24-hour emergency care.

“There are a lot of really talented primary care vets in the area who are constantly calling us looking for advice and referring their clients here.”

CT Scanner for pets, THV11

The facility has state of the art, high tech equipment unlike most clinics in the state. For example, there are two CT scanners for veterinary use in Arkansas and one of them is at AVES. The scanner allows doctors to see things they might not be able to pick up with other imaging devices such as an X-ray. They also have highly sought-after endoscopes and bronchoscopes available.

Dr. Richard Scroggin, doctor of internal medicine, said endoscopes and bronchoscopes are very helpful pieces of equipment that can take biopsies to discover inflammatory disease or cancer disease. Having the tools is a big deal because the cost is often prohibitive for other clinics.

“It’s not inexpensive and that's why not everyone carries them so we get to do other diagnostics usually a primary doctor has decided now we need to do,” Dr. Scroggin said.

AVES also has ultrasound technology allowing the doctors to noninvasively look at organs. They also have state of the art equipment giving them the ability to remove eye cataracts. Emergency veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Charney, said another unique tool that helps in life or death situations is the Snyder Oxygen Kennel.

Snyder Oxygen Kennel, THV11

“We’re able to pump in meds through the air and control the temperature of the humidity,” he said. “It’s a really unique piece of equipment most places aren't able to provide.”

Dr. Miller said they are hoping to add more full-time doctors on staff in the coming years to provide additional specialty needs. Clients can only come to AVES if they first receive a referral from their primary vet.

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