man looking through microscope

Fast, Affordable Diagnostic Care

There was a time when veterinarians had to send out all blood work to an outside lab to be processed. Sometimes patients had to be sent to large hospitals to have ultrasounds or X-rays performed. Those days are past. We have the equipment necessary to run most diagnostic tests in our own facility, sleuthing out the results within minutes. That ensures that you don’t have to wait hours or days to find out what is wrong with your furry friend or how to best treat it. Your pet can be on their way to a cure much faster.

In-House Laboratory
slide of white cell count

Laboratory testing is one of the most important diagnostic tools for both detecting and diagnosing illness in your pets. Technological advances have made possible an incredible inventory of in-house testing possibilities. Elizabeth Animal Hospital has extensive lab equipment and trained staff to provide results as quickly as available. We take every advantage of in-house technology and provide the best care that it makes possible.

Our in-house tests include:

Blood tests

  • Complete blood count
  • Electrolytes
  • General health profile
  • Kidney panel
  • Pre-anesthetic panel
  • NSAID panels (for therapeutic drug monitoring)

The Pre-Anesthetic Panel, along with electrolytes and a complete blood count, are recommended prior to routine surgery, such as spays and neuters. It provides safe anesthesia for your pets by screening for underlying diseases or illness.

The General Health Profile is the most comprehensive panel for use in establishing baselines, screening senior pets and evaluating sick animals. We recommend it be run on all clinically ill patients to help target the causes of common presenting signs.

Complete Blood Counts help screen for anemia, infection, and dehydration. Microscopic exam of a blood film is always performed along with the blood counts to look for blood cell abnormalities and blood parasites.

NSAID Panels (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and Kidney Panels are used for therapeutic drug monitoring and treatment monitoring.

We also use Idexx, an outside reference lab, for expanded testing. They offer daily pickup and very fast turnaround time for results.

Fecal Analysis and Tests

Because you can contract certain parasites from your pets, routine fecal parasite exams are highly recommended. All of these tests are particularly important when faced with chronic diarrhea. The results will help your pet receive the appropriate treatment.

  • Fecal Parasite Exam—direct and indirect
  • Parvo Test
  • Idexx

Other

These are microscopic exams that involve careful sampling and interpretation by the veterinarians and trained staff at Elizabeth Animal Hospital.

  • Urinalysis
  • Skin test for parasites
  • Lump aspirates/bump evaluation
  • Ear cytology
  • Vaginal smears
On-Site, State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Services
ultrasound of a cat kidney

Ultrasound for your pets can be used as a diagnostic tool by itself or in addition to X-rays. In the case of abdominal masses, we can use the ultrasound machine to get a closer look.

In the past we had to send our patients to specialty centers for ultrasound services. It was inconvenient for you, introduced additional stress on your pets, and was expensive. To streamline the process, reduce strees (to you and your pet), and reduce the cost to you, we purchased our own ultrasound machine and the training require to use it. We can capture the necessary images and use Telemedicine to have them interpreted by expert ultra-sonographers with 24 hours.

We are excited about the time and money this will save you and the reduction of stress for your pet. Most of all, we are excoted to use state-of-the-art technology and training to provide the best care possible to your pet.

We offer two types of ultrasound: complete abdominal ultrasound, and cardiac (heart) ultrasound.

The complete abdominal ultrasound will image all organs in the abdomen. This includes the urinary structure, blood vessels, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, spleen, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, stomach, and intestines. These images are invaluable when diagnosing a problem. Ultrasound can be used in real time to guide us during biopsies and aspirates of diseased tissue. The images help us determine what tissue is involved in disease, how to best treat it medically, and whether or not surgery is needed.

The cardiac ultrasound is used to determine if your pet's heart is struggling, and why.

Our ultrasound patients will require sedation to ensure the needed images are clear and readable. Even Dr. Anderson's stellar patient, Avis, requires sedation for good imaging. Telling a squirming pet to "stay still" is rarely successful and a nonmoving patient is vital to product the best images. We will also have to shave your pet's stomach area to ensure we procure the best images.

What conditions would benefit from an ultrasound? This short list is only the beginning:

  • A pet that just seems to be off
  • Any type of cancer
  • Blood in a pet's urine or stool
  • Chronic or severe diarrhea
  • Chronic or severe vomiting
  • Confirming a viable pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive drinking and urination
  • Enlarge abdomen
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • General lab work abnormalities
  • Liver enzymes elevated on blood work
  • Low blood glucose
  • Owner concerned about possible cancer
  • Painful abdomen
  • pets who urinate in inappropriate places
  • Weight loss
  • The list goes on and on

Ultrasounds can help in evaluating tendon and ligament injuries, and when looking at issues involving the liver, spleen, kidneys, and urinary bladder. When it is important o obtain a sterile urine sample, an ultrasound can be used to locate the urinary bladder and accurately guide a special (cystocentesis) needle to obtain the sample.

Our plan is to expand our services to orthopedic (bone and joint) ultrasounds in the future.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We look forward to giving your pets the best care available.

Digital X-Rays
digital x-ray of knee repair

We offer the very latest, state-of-the-art, digital X-ray capabilities. In the spring of 2014, we added digital X-ray technology to our arsenal of diagnostic tools. This X-ray machine and processor help us get the most accurate films for general and dental diagnosis.

Radiographs or X-rays for your pet are used to diagnose a variety of bone and soft tissue conditions. We commonly take X-rays for animals exhibiting lameness or to evaluate arthritic conditions. In the case of an accident or acute injury, X-rays are obtained to look at bone fractures and soft tissue trauma.

We also use X-rays to look for thoracic (chest) and abdominal (stomach) abnormalities or masses. Dogs and cats with heart and lung conditions are screened on a regular basis to look for signs of progression of disease (e.g., congestive heart failure). If we find an abnormal mass during our physical exam, we will check X-rays to help diagnose the condition. In the case of an abdominal mass, we can use the ultrasound machine to get a closer look.

X-rays are frequently used to screen purebred dogs for hip and elbow dysplasia. The X-ray films are sent to the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and compared to the other dogs of the same breed. We see a large number of working and sporting dogs at Elizabeth Animal Hospital and perform OFA X-rays regularly for those breeds of dog. Dogs exhibiting abnormal films can then be removed from the breeding pool by spay or neuter. In this way, we try to reduce the incidence of these crippling conditions in dogs.

When an animal is suspected of having an intestinal obstruction, one of the most critical diagnostic tools is a barium study. The pet is given oral barium that shows up white on an X-ray. Multiple X-rays are taken over time to monitor the flow of barium through the digestive tract and locate the obstruction in the intestines. Then surgery is performed to remove the obstruction. You would be amazed at what has been taken out of the intestines of dogs and cats. Why would they swallow these foreign objects? We don't know and despite our best efforts at communication, they aren't talking.