In-Hospital Blood Testing, Laboratory, X-Rays, and Ultrasound
Many veterinary clinics need to send bloodwork out to an external lab for testing and wait for results - but not our hospitals! We have impressive modern blood testing units which are capable of running tests critical to the health of your pets in minutes to hours (depending on the type of tests). This allows our veterinarians to quickly diagnose conditions such as anemia, severe inflammation, and immune mediated diseases, and begin treatment immediately.
We use our in-hospital blood units to perform complete blood cell counts (CBCs), that check the number of red blood cells, inflammatory cells, and platelets. Comprehensive biochemistry profiles can be run to check proteins, albumin, liver enzymes, kidney function, blood glucose, calcium, and electrolytes. Comprehensive biochemistry can measure total T4, or total thyroid hormone levels, as well. For cats, this means that we can diagnose and monitor hyperthyroid disease easily. For dogs, we may still recommend a more detailed test for diagnosis, but for dogs who are well managed with their hypothyroid disease, the total T4 may be helpful for quick assessment. In summary, we can tell you so much information in this one blood profile!
Wellness bloodwork is recommended annually for most patients, particularly senior and geriatric pets.
Many of our patients will have blood testing done before their anesthesia and surgery procedures. For any lengthy surgery such as dental cleanings and oral surgery, soft tissue surgeries or orthopedic surgeries, we always do this bloodwork so we can prepare and manage the anesthesia, recovery, and any medications required. For spay and neuter procedures, we strongly recommend preanesthesia bloodwork.
Unlike some clinics which need to send samples out to external laboratories and wait days for the results, our hospitals feature full laboratories! This means that we're able to run a wide array of tests and have the results available to our veterinarians in minutes. Generally, this means that conditions are diagnosed and treated more quickly than they otherwise would have been had samples been sent to an external laboratory. Our in-hospital laboratory capabilities include urinalysis, ear cytology, and skin cytology, among other things. Our microscopes also assist us in discovering lice, ear mites, mange mites, demodex, and other parasites that live on pets' skin.
X-rays, professionally known as radiographs, are the most common form of imaging used by veterinarians to diagnose conditions such as fractures, arthritis and pneumonia. They involve exposing pets to a beam of x-rays and taking a picture of their distribution as the x-rays pass through the pet's body.
Our x-ray devices are state of the art digital units. This means that images are uploaded and displayed on monitors within seconds of taking the x-ray. We're able to show pet owners the images and even share them through email. This is in contrast to traditional x-ray units which require some time to produce films.
We also have a specialized digital dental x-ray unit - a piece of equipment which most veterinary clinics do not have. Often, the tooth and gum tissue appear relatively normal on the surface, but it is not uncommon to find abnormalities such as abscesses and cancers at the root level. Dental x-rays allow us to see this and treat these conditions appropriately.
One of the many great features of our practice which sets us apart from others is the fact that we have an ultrasound machine. This handy piece of equipment allows our veterinarians to collect useful information inside the abdomen, and assists us in uncovering problems and diagnosing certain conditions. It allows us to see abnormal fluid, changes in the size of organs, stones in the bladder, and tumours not visible on radiographs. It also guides our veterinarians in taking biopsies of the organs for further testing. When it comes to cardiac issues, we work with a cardiologist who performs cardiac ultrasounds and complete work-up and assessment in hospital.