A fully outfitted in-house veterinary diagnostic center provides numerous benefits to you and your pet. Having diagnostic testing capabilities in house allows our veterinarians to diagnose and treat your four-legged friend’s condition much more quickly than sending samples to an outside laboratory, while saving you time and money. When your pet is ill or injured, or simply requires annual screening tests, our Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s in-house diagnostics can provide answers without delay—during your furry pal’s appointment.
Microscope benefits for your pet
Our laboratory microscope is a key piece of diagnostic equipment that allows us to examine a range of bodily fluids, tissues, and other samples from your pet. In our lab, we have the capability to perform the following diagnostic tests:
- Fecal exam — Intestinal parasites can cause serious illness in pets, ranging from foul, bloody diarrhea to weight loss and vomiting. By examining a tiny amount of feces, our veterinary professionals can identify a multitude of intestinal parasites that could be causing your pet problems, and administer the appropriate deworming medication.
- Urinalysis — When we evaluate your pet’s urine, we can determine how well your four-legged friend’s kidneys are functioning, or if an infection is present or crystals are forming. If your pet’s urinalysis results indicate that they have an issue, we can immediately hospitalize your furry pal and provide them with an intravenous (IV) catheter to administer kidney-supportive fluids or necessary medications.
- Skin and ear cytology — By taking samples from your pet’s skin or ears and examining them under the microscope, we can diagnose infection or parasites. With in-house diagnostics, our team can quickly determine the best treatment to soothe your pet’s itchy skin or ears, and squelch inflammation and infection before the condition worsens.
- Mass biopsy — If your pet has a lump or bump, we will take a fine needle aspirate or biopsy of the mass. Using our in-house microscope, we can look at the cells and determine if the mass is malignant or benign. Having the capability to provide an immediate biopsy result prevents you from having to stress several days while waiting for an outside laboratory’s findings.
Blood analyzer benefits for your pet
Our in-house laboratory blood analyzers are crucial to getting an inside look at your pet’s health. We can run these common blood tests:
- Complete blood count (CBC) — A CBC quantifies your pet’s various blood cells. Blood cell count abnormalities can indicate anemia, dehydration, infection, inflammation, or other health issues that require immediate correction, rather than waiting for results from an outside laboratory.
- Blood chemistry panels — Your pet’s chemistry panels evaluate organ function and electrolyte levels, helping to diagnose disease processes or guide treatment.
- Specialized panels — While a general blood chemistry panel provides an overview of your pet’s organ function, specialized panels focus on certain values. Our Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital team uses blood panels to evaluate your pet’s thyroid and liver functions, therapeutic drug levels, and more. By running these specialized panels in our own laboratory, we can adjust your pet’s medication or prescribe treatment immediately through our in-house pharmacy, rather than asking you to return for test results and treatment.
Digital imaging benefits for your pet
Digital imaging rounds out your pet’s complete health status picture, because imaging allows our team to take an inside look at various body structures. Our advanced digital imaging center offers:
- Digital radiography — Digital X-rays can highlight many abnormalities within the body, whether they are part of the bone or soft tissue. In addition, we have a specialized dental X-ray unit that provides fine detail, allowing our team to detect periodontal disease.
- Ultrasonography — Unlike X-ray, which uses radiation to obtain images, ultrasound uses sound waves to capture information about body structures. An ultrasound is used most commonly to examine organs, evaluate heart function, and check a pregnant pet’s gestational status.
- Computed tomography (CT) — A CT scan refers to a computerized X-ray imaging procedure that creates a three-dimensional image of organs, tissues, or the skeleton. CT images provide much greater detail than those of X-rays.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — An MRI is another advanced imaging technique, but this modality uses powerful magnets to create a picture of your pet’s body structures based on their magnetic properties. MRI scans are particularly well suited for non-bony body structures, especially the brain, spinal cord, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. An MRI scan shows these structures in much greater clarity than in X-rays or CT scans.
If your pet is ill or injured, or simply needs annual screening tests, rely on our extensive in-house diagnostic laboratory to provide you with immediate results, so your pet can receive the treatment they need without delay. Schedule your pet’s appointment with our Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital team.