Diagnostic Services

Cytology

Cytology is a powerful diagnostic tool and used widely especially for sampling lumps, skin and ears. Cytologic specimens do not require special equipment for preparation and in a lot of cases we are able to evaluate them inside the veterinary clinic minutes after collection, resulting in a fast diagnosis of the condition.

In cases that the cytological samples are submitted for a pathologist to review, the turn-around time is typically between 1–3 days.

What are some other benefits of Cytology?

In the majority of cases, collection of cytologic specimens are performed in a fully awake animal. Sedation may be needed for collection of some sample types (e.g., bone aspirates, ocular masses, some visceral organ and cavity fluid aspirates in anxious animals, etc.).

Cytology is also extremely valuable when planning next steps for a patient, especially with surgical removal. Knowing what a mass is prior to removal is invaluable when planning surgical margins and also can help with determining if pre-medications are appropriate prior to surgery (e.g., Benadryl and mast cell tumor removal).

Cytologic examination is invaluable in the staging process in animals with neoplasia, including lymph node and internal organ aspirates to determine if a neoplasm has spread.

Cytology is a quick and easy way of evaluating for underlying pathologies, including cancer. A prompt diagnosis achieved by cytological examination can be critical to both ease of removal and prognosis for certain tumors.

Diagnostic Ultrasounds

We are fully equipped to perform cardiac echocardiographic scanning as well as full abdominal scanning. Ultrasound is a highly useful tool when evaluating heart conditions, abdominal and other internal organs.

Why would my pet need an ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an invaluable resource for evaluating heart conditions and it can detect alterations in abdominal organs. Many times, x-rays will be utilized in combination with an ultrasound as they reveal the size, dimension, and position of the organ. With the ability for real-time monitoring, ultrasounds are also utilized for pregnancy diagnosis and development monitoring.

When would my pet get an ultrasound test?

Ultrasound is excellent diagnostic tool at evaluating your pet’s internal organs. An ultrasound is usually recommended when our doctors find abnormalities on examinations, bloodwork or x-rays, or to monitor a disease process.

How does ultrasound work?

Ultrasound equipment directs a narrow beam of high frequency sound waves into the area of interest. The sound waves either transmit through, reflect, or absorb in the tissues that they encounter. Any ultrasound waves that are reflected will return as echoes and convert into an image that is displayed on the monitor, giving a 2-dimensional image of the tissues under examination. With the ability to obtain real time information, outcomes can often be determined immediately.

The exam is completely painless. Light sedation may be used to help the patient lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Your pet may need to be shaved in the area of interest, as veterinary ultrasound images are of better quality if they have complete contact with the skin.

EKG

We use electrocardiography to measure and evaluate the electrical activity of the heart to diagnose potential heart conditions your pet may suffer from.

Electrocardiography, also referred to as EKG, is a diagnostic tool used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. The recorded measurements are then reviewed by a cardiologist to screen for or monitor any heart conditions.

Why would my pet need electrocardiography?

If your pet is having heart-related health issues, diagnostic tools such as an EKG or Echocardiogram can be used to help diagnose the problem and provide direction to your doctor as to treatment options.

When would my pet need electrocardiography?

Our doctors may recommend an EKG if they hear that your pet has a heart murmur during an exam, if we are planning to schedule anesthesia for your senior pet, or if they are experiencing any symptoms of heart related conditions. If your pet is experiencing symptoms such as lethargy, fainting, shortness of breath, or other irregular behaviors, contact us immediately as those could be indications of heart disease.

How does electrocardiography work?

Veterinarians use EKG testing and echocardiograms to evaluate your pet’s heart. They are both non-invasive, safe with no risk of exposure to radiation, and only take a few minutes. They’re performed typically with the pet lying down on a padded table.

The EKG is an effective tool that measures the electrical efficiency of the heart. It’s commonly used to evaluate the heart rhythm, identify abnormalities in the heartbeat, and potential damage to the heart muscle and tissue. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound technology, or high-frequency sound waves, produced by a transducer and directed towards the chest. These two exams used together can greatly increase the accuracy of diagnosis of many heart conditions for your dog or cat.

Laboratory Services

Diagnostic testing can identify problems your pet may be experiencing so that proper treatment can begin before a condition worsens.

Unfortunately, pets can’t tell us where it hurts, and oftentimes, a healthy appearing animal may be masking symptoms of disease or illness. We recommend veterinary diagnostic testing to identify any problems and to begin treatment as early as possible. These tests are especially helpful when symptoms are unspecific or hard to define.

When would laboratory work be needed?

Most laboratory work is done through routine wellness exams as directed by our doctors. For emergencies or unscheduled visits, our diagnostic lab will run various tests to determine the best treatment for your pet.

We recommend regular tests to determine your pet’s health. If any concerns or conditions are found, we will help you decide on proper treatment. If your pet is showing irregular behavior, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Our doctors will determine which laboratory services are appropriate during your exam.

How do veterinarians use laboratory work?

To ensure a proper diagnosis, we first examine your pet by looking at their eyes, ears, and skin; then we check their cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and skeletal systems for any abnormalities. We will then perform blood and/or urine tests if necessary to check their kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system. Based on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic testing.

If you’re concerned that something may be wrong with your pet, please call us to schedule a medical assessment.

Radiography

We’re equipped with a digital radiography machine and it allows us to perform routine radiography services to identify many types of illness or injury when pets are sick or suffer a trauma.

Radiography, also known as X-rays, is one of the most common and valuable medical diagnostic tools. X-rays are highly useful for screening areas of the body that have contrasting tissue densities, or when evaluating solid tissues.

Why would my pet need X-rays?

If your pet is sick or has suffered a trauma, X-rays provide a minimally invasive tool to help our doctors diagnose your pet. X-rays are also used in general wellness exams to diagnose potential problems before they become serious.

When is X-ray testing appropriate?

We may recommend veterinary X-rays as part of a diagnostic procedure if your pet is experiencing any health conditions or as a preventive measure in a routine senior wellness examination. We use radiology alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools depending on the patient’s condition.

How is X-ray testing used?

X-rays can be used to detect a variety of ailments in animals including arthritis, tumors, bladder and kidney stones, and lung abnormalities such as pneumonia. They are also used to evaluate bone damage, the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, genitourinary system, organ integrity, and even identify foreign objects that may have been ingested. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use short-acting general anesthesia.

When we need a more specialised opinion on certain radiographic views, our digital system allows us to send the views to a specialized radiologist for interpretation and get a radiology report within a few hours or day depending on urgency of the case.