Routine lab work is a necessary part of pre-anesthetic screening and wellness care. Blood tests may also be critical in aging animals, when changes to internal organs manifest themselves in blood screens before problems appear clinically. Imaging at our clinic consists of digital x-rays and ultrasonography. These technologies help us see problems with bones, teeth and internal organs that aren't evident upon physical examination. All x-rays are processed with digital technology, using the latest diagnostic software to enhance images and allow us to send them via e-mail for immediate evaluation by board-certified radiologists. We also triage with collaborating clinics for administration of MRI's and CAT-scans, when necessary.
The most common test we perform is a blood chemistry, which screens how well organs, such as the kidneys, liver and pancreas, are functioning. It is important to know how healthy these organs are prior to anesthetizing your pet or starting certain long-term medications. A complete blood count (CBC) is helpful fort identifying systemic infections, anemia and immune-mediated problems.
The urinalysis is used to detect urinary tract infections and diabetes, and to confirm organ dysfunction seen on other blood tests. In tandem with this test, we think healthy pets should be checked for internal parasites annually. We check stool specimens for worm larvae and eggs that can pass directly to other pets or family members.
Other tests help diagnose lumps, bumps and lesions. Some allow us to evaluate fluids from abnormal tissues by swabbing, scraping or aspirating fluids, staining the material and examining the specimen under the microscope. Based on the cytology, (study of cells), we can determine if involved tissues are benign, have infections, contain cancer cells or bear evidence of parasites. Our nursing staff has extensive training in laboratory techniques. Between the PVPH lab and out-sourced lab and imaging services, we are confident we can find the answer to most of your pet's problems.