Early detection is key when it comes to treating your pet, and Pachaug Animal Hospital offers complete in-house diagnostics including an on-site laboratory and digital radiology. This saves time, money, and most importantly, you don’t have to wait overnight for results—meaning your pet gets a diagnosis and needed treatment sooner.
Digital Radiography (X-Rays)
Radiographs, or X-rays, use electromagnetic radiation directed towards the body to highlight objects within. They can detect abnormalities including skeletal fractures, soft tissue damage, foreign bodies, and dental disease.
Orthopedic radiographs and contrast studies require the patient remain completely still to work correctly, necessitating sedation in most cases. Some specialized procedures may require anesthesia. The duration of sedation or anesthesia is usually short and patient recovery is swift.
Ultrasound is a powerful diagnostic tool that creates a real-time image of an animal’s body. This composite reveals important information about internal processes including the circulatory, skeletal and gastrointestinal systems.
An ultrasound works by broadcasting high-frequency sound waves that reflect off your pet’s internal structures. A small probe held against the skin collects the returning signals to create an image of the internal body, commonly used to examine abdominal organs like the stomach, kidneys, liver, spleen and gallbladder. An ultrasound of the heart, known as an echocardiogram, provides precise information about heart valves, blood flow, chamber size, and contractions.
There are several types of lab tests and blood screenings we may recommend, depending on your pet’s age and/or what symptoms are present. Below is a brief description of the most common types of testing and their purpose.
Urinalysis is a test to assess the health of the kidneys and urinary system. It is helpful in identifying urinary tract diseases and may provide more information about liver failure and hemolysis.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
The CBC is a routine blood test that acts like a snapshot of the red and white cells in your pet’s blood and can reveal many conditions such as whether he or she is anemic, dehydrated, or has an active infection. The CBC screens for:
· Red blood cells, which carry oxygen
· White blood cells, which fight infection
· Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells
· Hematocrit, the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component in blood
· Platelets, which help with blood clotting
Blood Chemistry Panels
In addition to the CBC, your vet may also decide to run a more specific blood chemistry panel based on symptoms, breed, or the animal’s age. These panels can give more specific information related to a diagnosis and can also be helpful in determining the progression of a disease. Some of the most common blood chemistry panels are:
· Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine – measures the health of a pet’s kidneys
· ALT and Bilirubin– these are substances that indicate liver health. When a pet’s liver is not functioning properly, these levels might increase.
· Glucose – used to help diagnose diabetes in pets
· Electrolytes – this screening measures a pet’s potassium, sodium, and chloride levels, which can be affected by a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, including dehydration, kidney failure, and Addison’ s disease
· Thyroxine (T4) – this test can give your vet information about a dog’s thyroid function
· Calcium – tumors, thyroid issues, and kidney disease are just a few of the conditions that alter calcium levels
· Canine Progesterone – for planning breeding
· Bile Acid Test – blood test for liver function
Have questions about advanced diagnostics or want to schedule a consultation for your pet? Call us at (860) 376-2544.