If your pet is sick or hurt, you don’t want to wait for test results from an outside laboratory or be referred to another practice for further diagnostics. Our Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team knows how upsetting it is when your pet needs veterinary care, and we provide in-house diagnostics to ensure their care is not delayed. Keep reading to learn the benefits of in-house diagnostics for pets and what this technology entails.

Pets and owners benefit from in-house diagnostics

In-house diagnostics allow our veterinary team to get results quickly, and provide many benefits for you and your pet including:

  • Improved emergency and critical care — A pet experiencing a veterinary emergency can’t afford to wait for results or go to another practice for a diagnostic workup. In-house diagnostics help our team make an accurate diagnosis in a timely fashion so we can start treatment as soon as possible.
  • Better monitoring Critical care cases often need frequent monitoring to determine if treatment adjustments should be made. In-house diagnostics allow our team to promptly know when your pet’s condition changes so we can make changes if needed.
  • Improved anesthetic safety — Certain conditions can cause complications for a pet undergoing general anesthesia. In-house diagnostics help detect these conditions before anesthesia is induced so we can make the necessary adjustments to ensure your pet is safe.
  • Improved drug safety — A medication may be contraindicated if your pet is affected by certain health conditions. In-house diagnostics provide valuable information about your pet’s health so we can determine the best medications to address their needs.
  • Reduced anxiety — Waiting for your pet’s test results can be stressful. In-house diagnostics provide faster results to decrease your anxiety.
  • Convenience — Not having to schedule an appointment at another veterinary practice to get diagnostic results is more convenient and saves you time.

In-house laboratory benefits pets

Our in-house laboratory is equipped with advanced technology to provide accurate results when minutes matter. Tests that we can run include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) — A CBC evaluates your pet’s red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, and can detect conditions such as anemia, infection, inflammation, clotting disorders, and certain cancers.
  • Biochemistry panel — A biochemistry panel assesses multiple body systems to evaluate your pet’s overall health, and can detect conditions such as electrolyte imbalances, diabetes, kidney insufficiency, and liver disease.
  • Urinalysis — Evaluating your pet’s urine can provide valuable information about their health. A urinalysis can detect conditions such as urinary tract infections, urinary calculi, diabetes, and kidney disease.
  • Cytology — Our veterinary team is trained to microscopically evaluate blood smears and tumor aspirates.

Digital X-ray benefits pets

Digital X-rays provide high-quality images that improve patient care and support better patient outcomes. The main advantages include:

  • Image quality — Digital X-ray images are consistently high-quality, providing a clear picture of the area in question. In addition, images can be magnified and adjusted for brightness and contrast to optimize bone and soft tissue exposure. This helps our veterinarians accurately diagnose your pet’s condition.
  • Immediate results — Images appear immediately, providing fast results so your pet’s treatment isn’t delayed.
  • Decreased radiation exposure — Digital X-ray technology requires less radiation to produce images, reducing your pet’s radiation exposure.

Ultrasound benefits pets

Ultrasound uses sound waves that travel through the body and reflect back to the ultrasound probe when they encounter boundaries between fluid and soft tissue or tissue and bone. These echoes generate electrical signals that are sent to the ultrasound scanner, and the scanner calculates the distance from the probe to the tissue boundary to generate a two-dimensional image. Ultrasound is a non-invasive way to provide images of organs and tissues in real time, and typically doesn’t require sedation. Ultrasound is commonly used in such situations as:

  • Helping to detect foreign objects ingested by pets. Objects such as fabric, string, plastic, and wood can’t be detected with X-rays, while ultrasound can help find the obstruction, potentially saving the pet’s life.
  • Helping to assess organs such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen, gallbladder, and adrenal glands.
  • Helping to assess pets affected by urinary tract disorders.
  • Helping to diagnose conditions such as endocrine disease, GI disorders, cancer, fever of unknown origin, and immune mediated diseases. 
  • Determining whether blood is accumulating in the chest or abdomen.
  • Diagnosing pregnancy, determining how many fetuses are present, and determining the pregnancy stage.
  • Detecting masses, including cancerous lesions.
  • Assessing cardiac function and diagnosing heart conditions. 
  • Examining blood flow and assessing the quality of blood flow through arteries.
  • Obtaining biopsies from organs or masses, assisting in surgical procedures, and obtaining urine from the bladder.

Endoscopy benefits pets

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows a veterinarian to look inside the GI tract or body cavity to gain diagnostic information. The scope is a long flexible tube that produces light and transmits an image to a television screen. Pets are placed under general anesthesia for the procedure. Indications for endoscopy include:

  • Retrieving a foreign body — When a pet ingests a foreign body, endoscopy can be used to retrieve the object, potentially avoiding an invasive surgery.
  • Obtaining a biopsy — The endoscopy has channels to pass forceps through for obtaining biopsies.
  • Viewing a tumor — Endoscopy can be used to get a closer look at a tumor to determine an appropriate surgical approach.  

In-house diagnostics provide fast results to ensure your pet’s treatment isn’t delayed. Contact our Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care team if your pet experiences a veterinary emergency so we can diagnose them quickly and ensure they receive the care they need.