Laboratory tests run in the clinic encompass wellness and preventative care tests, testing to help diagnose an illness, and monitoring of chronic diseases.
- Wellness tests include pre-anesthetic bloodwork prior to surgery (to make sure there are no underlying issues that would necessitate a different approach to anesthesia for your pet), complete profiles to assess how organs like the kidneys, liver, and thyroid are functioning, and screening tests to rule out certain heart diseases in dogs and cats which have a genetic basis.
- Preventative tests include blood tests for heartworm and tick-borne diseases in dogs, and heartworm and viral diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in cats.
- We can perform comprehensive profiles when your pet is sick to help determine the cause of the illness (e.g., kidney disease, pancreatitis, and diabetes).
- For pets being treated for thyroid disease, we can tell you the thyroid level, as well as the results of a complete blood and urine profile before you leave the clinic. You will know if any changes are needed in your pet’s medication before you leave as well.
Digital radiography means that when we take an “x-ray” of your pet, we are able to see those images on a computer screen. In fact, we can show you the images in the exam room on an iPad, so you can see what the abdominal organs look like inside your pet. We also have digital images when we take radiographs of your pet’s teeth during a dental procedure. This allows us to see below the gum line to the tooth roots and the surrounding bone.
Ultrasound is a powerful imaging tool. It allows us to see specific details of internal organs that radiographs cannot show us. It can be very helpful in diagnosing problems with internal organs like the liver, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder, as well as helping diagnose heart disease.
For example, if there is a suspicion for heart disease based on hearing a heart murmur during a physical exam, or the results of a screening blood test for heart disease indicate that heart disease is likely, then the ultrasound can help determine if there is heart disease with more certainty. Ultrasound of the heart, called an echocardiogram, allows us to see the valves inside the heart, the muscle that makes up the chambers of the heart, and even the blood moving inside the heart. All of this information is very sensitive for detecting heart disease, so it is the “gold standard” to look for heart disease. We have a veterinarian with years of ultrasound experience who comes to our clinic on an as-needed basis to perform abdominal and cardiac ultrasounds. This arrangement allows the most comfort and convenience for you and your pet, and gives us the best diagnostic information possible.