Full Diagnostic Testing For Pets
Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital
Diagnostic testing is an important part of veterinary care and a crucial way for veterinarians to identify and treat problems in a pet family member. The ability to perform diagnostics enables us to know more precisely what is wrong and better treat your pet. The more information we can obtain on your pet's condition, the more accurate our diagnosis will be.
Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital is proud to offer state-of-the-art medicine and diagnostics. We have the capability to run complete diagnostic tests under our own roof, and we can perform more advanced diagnostics by utilizing outside laboratories and referral specialty pet hospitals. The ability to perform diagnostics in-house means that we can obtain information faster. In an emergency, we are able to run many of these tests immediately, and when every minute counts, this is critically important.
Diagnostics Offered At Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital Include:
Full In-House Veterinary Laboratory - We are able to perform full blood chemistries, complete blood cell counts, electrolyte analysis, and urinalysis within minutes to start treatment for your pet immediately. We can also evaluate cytologies, fecal samples, and run blood typing and coagulation studies. In addition, we are able to perform quick tests to check for various viruses and blood borne illnesses, such as heartworm, tick fever, feline leukemia, and FIV, as well as many other basic tests.
Blood tests are a window into your pet's life. They provide vital information concerning kidney, liver, and other organ functions, along with some disease processes, such as diabetes. Animals age much faster than humans; therefore, one year to us can be equivalent to 6-7 years to a pet. For this reason, changes in your pet's health may appear much more rapidly. Performing blood tests will allow us to see what kind of changes may have occurred and will allow us to determine if treatment is required.
In addition to diagnostic blood tests, Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital also offers DNA blood tests. The ability to run DNA and other genetic tests has only relatively recently become a common procedure in veterinary offices. DNA tests can give you a unique view into your dog's pedigree. The Wisdom Panel offered by Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital compares your dog's DNA to over 170 breeds, providing you with one of the most accurate reports available. This information may be useful to both owner and veterinarian, as it may provide insights into behavior and potential health concerns.
Urinalysis - Many conditions can be discovered by performing a urinalysis. Obviously, urinary
conditions, such as an infection or crystals, can be detected immediately when performing this test in-house. This test can also indicate a more subtle condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Fecal Analysis - A fecal test is a common way doctors rule out the more easily treated gastrointestinal problems when they are treating your pet. Parasites and bacterial overgrowths can be detected by testing a fecal sample.
Cytologies - When the doctor wants to examine a condition on a cellular level, they will perform a cytology test. Cytology may be done on a fluid sample collected from a mass or on an ear swab taken from your pet. The purpose behind cytology is to understand what types of cells are involved in your pet's condition, which is critical to ensure the pet is being treated correctly. Cytology may be performed in-house for an immediate result, or sent out for a more comprehensive test.
Cultures - If your pet is battling an ongoing infection, a culture may be ordered by your veterinarian. When a culture is performed, a sample is taken from your pet and the cells are grown over the period of several days to a week. The most common culture performed in-house is a fungal culture, testing for the presence of ringworm. Bacterial cultures are sent out and, once the cultures are grown, they are tested with various antibiotics to determine which medication will best treat your pet.
Digital Pet X-Rays - One of the most common and valuable medical diagnostic tools is radiography, or X-rays. X-rays are highly useful for screening areas of the body that have contrasting tissue densities or when evaluating solid tissues. The ability to perform X-rays is not uncommon at veterinary facilities; however, the ability to perform digital X-rays sets Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital ahead of facilities which are not utilizing digital X-rays. Digital X-rays are faster, crisper, and more detailed than traditional X-rays. They are also easier to transport if you must be referred to a specialist (they are simply put on a CD). They can also easily be emailed.
Digital radiographs greatly enhance our ability to evaluate your pet's musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. This technology can produce highly detailed pictures in a very short period of time. It is also easily compatible with telemedicine, which enables our veterinarians to send images to specialists for consultation, or referral, as needed.
X-rays can be used to detect a variety of ailments including arthritis, different forms of cancers, lung diseases, including pneumonia, bladder and kidney stones, as well as evaluating bone damage, organ integrity, and identification of foreign objects that may have been ingested.
Veterinary Ultrasound - Ultrasound offers a non-invasive and non-surgical method of imaging the internal organs and greatly assists the diagnostic process. Ultrasound technology utilizes sound waves to form images of internal health processes in a noninvasive manner. This technique is especially useful for evaluating the heart, abdominal organs, and reproductive system. Ultrasound may also allow your veterinarian to visualize internal anomalies, such as cysts, masses, and abscesses that x-rays sometimes cannot image. It is the perfect instrument for assessing soft tissues such as the liver and spleen.
No anesthesia or sedation is necessary to administer an ultrasound to the heart or abdomen, if your pet is cooperative. With the ability to obtain real time information, the outcome can be evaluated right away; however, in some cases the images may need to be sent to a veterinary radiologist for a more in-depth evaluation.
Ahwatukee Animal Care Hospital offers in-house ultrasound and echocardiograms. We offer services ranging from pregnancy exams to organ biopsies. Ultrasound images can also be sent remotely to specialists anywhere in the country for second opinions.
To learn more, click on the Ultrasounds link.
Digital Dental X-Rays for Pets - By providing diagnostic information about processes occurring below the gum line (i.e. root damage, tumors, abscesses), X-rays greatly enhance the quality of dental care your pet can receive. Digital dental X-rays
provide the most thorough and accurate imaging of your pet's mouth, allowing our veterinarians to better assess the integrity of each tooth. Dental radiographs will help to distinguish between healthy teeth and any which may need to be extracted.
To learn more, click on the X-rays link.
Veterinary Telemedicine - In all diagnostic imaging services, telemedicine may be used to quickly transfer results to a specialist or other veterinary professional for further evaluation or referral. This is useful in treating all patients, but is especially helpful when providing care for exotic pets and birds - pets that may require the expertise of a certified exotic or avian specialist for advanced care.
Endoscopes utilize fiber optic technology for examination of your pet's oral cavity, esophagus, nasal cavity, stomach, or small intestine. This allows for biopsies to be taken and foreign objects to be removed in a minimally invasive manner.
EKG - Electrocardiograms allow us to see and record the heart's electrical activity. This shows us if there is any weakness in the heart or irregular heart rhythm. An EKG may give us insight into potential heart disease or other problems affecting the heart.
Blood Pressure - Hypertension (high blood pressure) may be the result of many medical conditions, and the presence of high blood pressure in your pet may indicate a more serious condition that needs to be treated. It may also be a side effect of certain medications common in pets. Regular evaluation is critical to ensure your pet is safe.
In addition to our in-house diagnostics, we also offer comprehensive panels that are sent to an outside lab with most results back within 72 hours.
If diagnostics are recommended for your pet, your veterinarian will discuss options for different tests and their benefits with you.