That’s why in addition to determining symptoms and physical examination findings, diagnostic tests are very important in figuring out the reason for your pet’s illness.
At Carlsen Animal Hospital, we offer a full complement of diagnostic services including:
- Laboratory Diagnostics (in hospital): Point-of-care laboratory testing is important when pets are very sick and urgent test results are needed. Our in-house laboratory suite allows us to perform blood counts, blood chemistry analysis, electrolytes and more. We also offer microscopy to assess ear and skin infections and needle biopsies of bumps and swellings.
- Reference Laboratory: For specialized testing not able to be performed in-hospital, Carlsen Animal Hospital utilizes a reference laboratory, to which blood, urine and tissue samples are sent for diagnosis.
- Diagnostic Imaging with Digital X-Rays: Digital x-rays are far superior to traditional “film” radiographs, and allow much more detailed visualization of abnormalities of bones, joints, soft tissue structures and internal organs. Images are obtained within a very short period of time, and images can be digitally enhanced as needed rather than having to repeat x-rays – saving time and enhancing the ability to detect problems accurately.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that complements digital radiology. Whereas radiographs show the contours and density of structures in the body, ultrasound shows the internal structures of organs which cannot be seen on radiographs. This allows for more in-depth assessment of heart problems and diseases of the abdominal organs, such as liver and kidney disorders, stomach and intestinal problems, adrenal disease, and disorders of the urinary bladder and reproductive system. Ultrasound can also be used to assist in collection of fluid from the abdomen for analysis, or needle biopsy samples from organs such as the liver and spleen, to aid in the diagnosis of disease. Ultrasound biopsies are minimally invasive, and have few complications compared to surgery for biopsy. However, ultrasound biopsies are very small samples; therefore in some cases surgical biopsy is more appropriate.
- Endoscopic Services: Endoscopy is both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. Endoscopy involves passing a scope into the gastrointestinal tract to visualize problems, remove foreign objects, and collect biopsies to diagnose disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Endoscopy also offers an advantage over surgical exploration for biopsies, since the procedure is less invasive, with less complications and faster recovery time.