In-House Diagnostics & Advanced Imaging
Dogs and cats benefit from fast, efficient medical diagnostics just like people do. This seems obvious, right? But perhaps this is even more important with pets in a way because they can’t tell us what’s wrong. We can’t ask them questions, and most animals are pretty stoic about physical ailments in the early stages, so pet owners don’t always see outward symptoms as early as we’d like to. In addition to diagnosing an obvious type of problems like a fracture or advanced thyroid disease which often presents with some pretty striking symptoms, we cannot overstate how many times routine or “cautious” diagnostics have revealed a significant illness that allowed for early intervention.
Nothing else in medicine tells a dog or cat’s health story as quickly as a blood panel. At OAH are able to glimpse how the major organs are functioning, if there are abnormalities in the production of some hormones, if the body is currently fighting off an illness that is elevating white cell counts, or if mystery symptoms add up to a tick-borne illness as just a few examples. We sometimes find out that a pet has a UTI, but that wasn’t even the reason for the pet’s appointment!
The information that is brought forth is immensely helpful and also comforting when it’s able to remove worries or doubts. There are certainly many things that a veterinarian must observe during exams of a pet, but the internal picture is the complementary piece of the puzzle.
In-House Blood Panels
We’re proud to be a veterinary practice that can help our patients by providing many same-day lab results. Many can be delivered during your appointment time! This is both convenient for you and helpful to us to have results as quickly as possible. Some veterinary practices send out all of their lab work and receive results in 1-2 days on the most common tests and panels, so we are proud to be among those who can help our patients quickly and with minimal back-and-forth for you. With that said, we do send out to a top, a reputable lab for very specialized tests as well as biopsies and cultures. Some of our in-house labs include:
- FeLV-FIV testing for cats
- Pre-op panels to verify major organ health before surgery
- CBC-Chem panels for a more in-depth look at blood counts and serum chemistries
X-Rays are hugely informative in establishing a diagnosis. We can see not just fractured bones and arthritis, but also intestinal obstructions and masses growing in the body. We once found a toy car inside a Labrador Retriever’s intestine!
Our team relies on a microscope and trained eyes every day for a wide variety of needs ranging from identifying specific species of parasites to looking for suspicious cells drawn from fine-needle aspirates taken from growths. We even spin urine samples in a centrifuge then examine the sediment for signs of crystals as part of a urinalysis.
Diagnostics via Microscope:
- Microfilariae (larval heartworms)
- Demodectic or sarcoptic mange mites
- Ear mites
- Various intestinal parasites found in fecal samples
- Suspicious cells
- Urine crystals
Urine samples taken from dogs and cats can tell us a lot about what might be going on your pet. We evaluate several different areas ranging from pH to the presence of blood, crystals, protein, sugar, white blood cells, etc. in the urine.