Radiographs, commonly known as X-rays, are useful in examining your pet’s bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity, and other areas. A radiograph can spot a fractured bone, detect cancerous tumors, and locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet’s stomach. When used in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures like ultrasound, X-rays can help accurately diagnose problems, making surgery easier and safer for your pet.
Animalcare Veterinary Hospital utilizes the latest in computerized X-ray technology and is up-to-date on the latest procedures. Through our affiliation with IDEXX Laboratories in the U.S., we are able to easily email images to them for timely second opinions in complicated cases.
Animalcare Veterinary Hospital uses modern ultrasound technology and is up-to-date on the latest ultrasound-assisted procedures. We are fully capable of performing ultrasounds of the abdomen, heart and respiratory system, and reproductive organs for health and pregnancy testing as well as performing ultrasound-guided biopsies and exploratory ultrasonography.
Ultrasound is a pain-free, non-invasive technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of your pet’s internal organs. Ultrasound is often considered more exact than radiographs because it provides a movie of internal movement instead of pictures.
This is particularly useful in viewing your pet’s spleen, kidneys, liver, and gallbladder. This also helps evaluate heart functions, bladder scans, and other areas, including thyroid glands, testicles, and mammary glands.
Ultrasound also works well in conjunction with other diagnostic tools. If an X-ray reveals a lesion on your pet, an ultrasound can determine the origin of the lesion and whether it has spread elsewhere on your pet’s body. Ultrasounds also help obtain surgical biopsies without major surgery, often allowing your pet to return home the same day of the procedure.
Endoscopy, Rhinoscopy & Otoscopy
In order to gain a view into the body veterinarians often employ the use of scopes that include endoscopes, rhinoscopes and otoscopes. Each of these small cameras is designed to be inserted into the body and then project pictures onto a television screen for your doctor to view and make an evaluation as to your pet’s health. These veterinary scopes also include tools to allow the veterinarian to take tissue samples and perform a range of procedures. In all, your veterinarian is able to easily and painlessly view, diagnose and oftentimes treat a range of problems without performing invasive surgery.
Animalcare Veterinary Hospital uses the following scopes:
Endoscope – Veterinary endoscopy aids in the diagnosis and treatment of problems occurring in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts. An endoscope allows a more complete examination of the esophagus, stomach, and some areas of the intestines in order to diagnose gastrointestinal disorders, cancerous growths, polyps, and other problems.
The endoscope is also useful in obtaining samples of potentially infected or cancerous material and serves as the visual aid during a biopsy, allowing the doctor to obtain the best sample for evaluation. This helps diagnose malignancies in the gastrointestinal tract as well as gastrointestinal disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
The endoscope also aids in the removal of foreign bodies. Animals often swallow objects that cannot be digested or passed through the digestive tract. The endoscope allows better vision of the digestive tract so these objects may be removed without major surgery.
Rhinoscope – A rhinoscope allows your veterinarian to examine your pet’s nasal passages in order to remove an inhaled foreign object, diagnose infections, find and biopsy possible tumors, as well as to diagnose and treat a range of other conditions.
Otoscope – This type of scope allows your veterinarian to examine your pet’s ears for mites, infections, hair balls and other foreign objects lodged in the ear, as well as damage to the ear canal and ear drum. Checking the health of the ear drum also provides important information as to the health of the middle ear, which is where the mechanisms for hearing and balance are located. An otoscope also allows your veterinarian to flush and remove any infectious material from your pet’s ears better than manual flushing can.
Electrocardiographs (ECG) are snapshots of how your pet’s heart functions. These are very helpful at detecting numerous types of arrhythmias as well as a handful of other cardiac conditions that can be difficult to identify through a stethoscope. You probably have seen an ECG machine—also known as an EKG machine—or have had one of these tests in your doctor’s office as they are commonly used to test for and diagnose common heart conditions in humans.
An ECG test is a noninvasive procedure that involves simply connecting four electrodes to your pet’s skin. The machine will read the electrical impulses coming from the heart as the heart contracts and provide a graph for your veterinarian to read. If we notice any abnormalities we will explain them to you and advise you on next steps.
Performing preventative medicine as well as diagnosing emergent internal health issues requires the ability to perform a wide range of laboratory tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to precise laboratory test results it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet’s health.
For this reason, Animalcare Veterinary Hospital maintains a complete IDEXX laboratory capable of performing studies for infectious disease, parasites, blood chemistries, urinalysis, skin and ear cytology, toxicology, reproductive testing, pre-anesthetic testing, and more. In many cases, our sophisticated instruments and diagnostic capabilities allow us to receive results within minutes.
Additionally, due to the importance of this one area of diagnostic medicine as well as the amount of laboratory referrals we receive from other veterinary practices, we have a full-time Laboratory Technologist on staff. Our Laboratory Technologist has developed a high degree of expertise in this area of veterinary medicine and has a number of years of training and laboratory experience.