Our commitment to practicing the highest quality of medicine is as strong now as it was when we first opened our doors in 1997. A major part of that commitment is the ability to use diagnostic testing to help us help your pets.
We use diagnostic testing to:
- Diagnose the cause of injury or disease
- Screen for something that may become a problem in the future, or may be causing our pets pain, but they can’t tell us.
An example of the former might include evaluating a pet’s health when we see symptoms, for example, a cough, and need to determine the cause before we can recommend treatment. In the case of a pet who is not feeling well we may recommend x-rays to see if there is an infection, heart disease or even a tumor, We often will recommend blood work as that can tell us a great deal about what’s happening internally. For a pet who is limping, we would look for the obvious injury to bone or soft tissue. (x-ray).
We may also want to perform diagnostics to have a baseline that we can refer to in the future.
Pet’s can’t talk and often we don’t know there is something going on until it has advanced, That is why periodic blood and urine testing is very helpful as our pet’s age.
Here is a fairly complete list of the diagnostic testing we perform, some of which is done in the hospital and some is sent out to a lab depending on the nature of the test and the urgency:
- Comprehensive Blood Panel – This blood test will give the doctor an indication of problems in any of the major organs.
- Urinalysis – The analysis of a urine sample is very helpful in detecting disease or infection in your pet’s kidneys. This test looks for infection in both the bladder and kidneys.
- Urine culture and sensitivity- this test can be added to a urine sample if bacteria is detected. It determines the exact type of bacteria and to which antibiotics it will be most susceptible. This is valuable in targeting our treatment plan and reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- EKG – The electrocardiogram helps us evaluate the health of your pet’s heart.
- X-ray series – X-rays are extremely important as a tool to allow us to look for many problems including tumors, heart and lung disease, bladder stones, arthritis and much more.
- Heartworm test / Infectious disease test – This test checks for the presence of Heartworm disease, which is fatal if left untreated. This also screens for exposure to Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. These 3 diseases are transmitted by Tick Bites.
- Fecal Exam – This is an exam of the stool to look for any intestinal parasites.
- Blood Pressure – To check for any problems with hypertension (high blood pressure).
- Eye Pressure Check – To look for signs of early glaucoma which, left untreated, will cause blindness and is very painful.
- Abdominal ultrasound – ultrasound uses sound waves to determine the shape and textures of abdominal organs. It can also be used as a guide to obtain tissue, abdominal/chest fluid and urine samples need for diagnosis.
Our healthcare team is happy to discuss any of these tests with you.
-Dr. Alina Amaral