The Importance of Diagnostic Services
Unfortunately our patients are unable to communicate with us the reason they are in pain or do not feel well. That’s why it is important to have available the diagnostic tools needed to make a diagnosis so we can get your pet on the road to recovery.
To aid in diagnosing your pet, Shaker Heights Animal Hospital offers Digital Radiography, Ultrasound, Endoscopy, Rhinoscopy, Laryngoscopy, Bronchoscopy and an In-House Laboratory.
Radiographs or X-rays are one of the most common diagnostic tools used in veterinary medicine. An X-ray gives us the ability to take a look inside your pet’s body to help determine what may be causing problems. With X-rays we can see the bones, lungs, heart and other internal organs of your pet. X-rays can help diagnose a broken bone, a foreign body or a mass that may be causing your pet’s medical condition. X-rays can also be used to monitor medical and/or surgical conditions.
At Shaker Heights Animal Hospital, we utilize advanced digital X-ray technology. The benefits of digital radiography include:
- They can be immediately viewed on a computer monitor
- Less stressful for your pet compared to traditional radiography (due to the processing speed, the entire X-ray process takes less time)
- The images can be manipulated allowing your veterinarian to get a better view if needed
- The images are more sharp and clear compared to traditional radiography
- Radiographs can be sent via the internet if a consultation is required
Another big advantage with digital radiography is that your pet is exposed to less radiation than with traditional X-rays. The digital image is scanned into the computer instead of using X-ray film and chemicals, resulting in less environmental waste.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a picture of your pet’s internal organs. Where an X-ray can give us a fixed picture of an animal’s internal organs, by moving the wand, an ultrasound can give us many different views of the organs. This procedure gives our veterinarians the ability to look inside organs as opposed to just seeing an outline, as we do with X-rays. Ultrasound in conjunction with X-rays is a very useful diagnostic tool. If an X-ray shows the spleen is enlarged, an ultrasound can be performed to see if there are any lesions or a mass on the spleen.
Ultrasounds are sometimes performed under anesthesia, as a pet must be immobile to accurately assess the body structures. The procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to perform with minimal recovery time for your pet.
There is nothing worse than having to wait a week to hear the results of your pet’s blood work. With our in-house lab, you can have the majority of your pet’s blood work results in approximately eight minutes. This aids our veterinarian in making timely diagnoses, treating your pet and getting him or her onto the road toward recovery. Laboratory testing also provides an overall look at your pet’s general health.
With the diagnostics of our in-house laboratory, we can screen for heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, feline and canine diseases, urinary tract infections, along with monitoring your pet’s general health. At Shaker Heights Animal Hospital, we feel it is vital to have a laboratory testing schedule in your pet’s general wellness plan.