Pet Diagnostic Services
Our pet diagnostics services are designed to identify and address various health issues in your beloved pets.
Diagnostic Services at East Lincoln Animal Hospital
East Lincoln Animal Hospital works with a board-certified veterinary radiologist (Dr. Scott Tidwell) to provide in-house abdominal ultrasounds. This diagnostic allows us to better visualize your pet’s internal organs and obtain diagnostic samples. Dr. Tidwell can also review your pet’s x-rays to provide an expert interpretation for more complicated cases.
At East Lincoln Animal Hospital, we utilize an Idexx diagnostic machine to provide on-site testing of your pet’s blood chemistry to determine the overall health of your pet. These tests may also help discover a condition that may not be detectable during a regular examination. Results from these blood tests can:
- Detect infection and anemia
- Determine electrolyte status and hydration level
- Check the immune system
- Evaluate kidney, liver and pancreas function
- Screen the thyroid for Cushing’s or Addison’s disease
- Check blood sugar levels
Other routine tests that we are able to perform on-site include fecal analysis, urinalysis, and testing for parasites.
Having this on-site capability enables our knowledgeable doctors to provide diagnostic and therapeutic services to care for your pet’s complete healthcare needs, from routine physical examinations to complicated diseases and cancer evaluation. It allows our doctors to diagnose your pet’s condition quickly and efficiently so they can start the necessary treatment that will get your pet feeling better as soon as possible.
Occasionally, we use commercial veterinary laboratories for specialized tests such as Bartonella, Toxoplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever serology that cannot be performed in-house. The results of these tests are usually available online and can be downloaded directly into your pet’s medical record.
An ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging tool that allows the doctor to see internal organs. The ultrasound sends sound waves into the area of interest, where they may be transmitted through, reflected or absorbed by the tissues they encounter. The ultrasound waves that are reflected will return as echoes to the device and are converted into an image giving a 2-dimensional picture of the tissues being examined.
The ultrasound allows our experienced veterinarians at East Lincoln Animal Hospital to visualize the structure and architecture of abdominal organs so they can find any abnormalities that cannot be seen or felt during an examination. An abdominal ultrasound is most often used to diagnose bladder and kidney stones, and abdominal masses, to aid in the assessment of organ function, and to evaluate pregnancies.
Another one of our diagnostic capabilities that we offer to our clients here at East Lincoln Animal Hospital is digital radiography. This technology is a diagnostic tool that uses x-ray sensors instead of traditional photographic film. The advantages of digital radiography are that it provides images to our veterinarians much faster and with greater clarity than traditional film x-rays.
These digital images can be manipulated, enhanced, and contrasted, as well as viewed from different angles. This manipulation capability aids in diagnostic procedures since it allows our veterinarians to see exactly what he needs to see. It also lessens the need for retakes and cuts down on the time between diagnosis and treatment. These digital images can easily be transferred and shared electronically if necessary. With digital radiography, our experienced veterinarians can locate broken bones, fluid buildup, tumors, view enlarged organs as well as the presence of pneumonia.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease affecting pets in the United States. Here in Denver, North Carolina, mosquitoes are a major factor in the spread of heartworms, biting infected animals and spreading the heartworm larvae when they move on and bite their next host. These larvae can grow to be foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of infected animals. Heartworms can cause heart failure, lung disease, and damage to other organs. There are few, if any, early signs of heartworm disease in dogs and cats. It is a serious, progressive disease, but the earlier it is detected, the better the chances that your pet will recover.
Our licensed veterinarians at East Lincoln Animal Hospital can test your pet for heartworms with just a small blood sample. The test works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins. Results are obtained quickly, and our doctors will determine whether more tests are needed and if treatment is necessary. Dogs need to be tested annually, even when they are on heartworm prevention, year-round to make sure that the preventive program is working. Also, if you miss a heartworm treatment, give it to your dog late, or if your dog spits out or vomits up the heartworm pill, your dog is at risk.
If your dog tests positively for heartworms, further tests may be ordered. Confirmation of the presence of heartworms is important because of the complexity of the treatment. Your doctor at East Lincoln Animal Hospital will want to be absolutely sure that treatment is necessary. If heartworms are detected, you will need to restrict your dog’s exercise, your dog’s condition will need to be stabilized, treatment will be administered, and further tests will be taken later to determine the success of the treatment.
If your dog’s test results come back negative, then your veterinarian will start your dog on the appropriate preventive treatment that you will need to administer year-round for the rest of his life.
Cats should be put on a preventive treatment and tested as recommended by your veterinarian. Cats are not a natural host for heartworms however, just a few can make a cat very ill. Prevention in cats is critical because there is no approved drug treatment for heartworm infection in cats. If your cat tests positive for heartworms, they can be helped with good veterinary care and a long-term management plan.