Diagnostic Testing Available
We, at the Boyne Veterinary Clinic and the Angus Veterinary Clinic, understand and value the strong bond between you and your pet. Just like any other loved one, when they are sick or injured, you want them to get better as quickly as possible. In order to determine the underlying cause for your pet’s illness, we may need to perform some diagnostic tests. We offer a variety of diagnostic services at both the Boyne Veterinary Clinic and the Angus Veterinary Clinic. This allows us to obtain faster results, which may lead to a faster diagnosis and therefore, starting the necessary treatment earlier. If you have a concern regarding your pet’s health, please do not hesitate to call us and schedule an appointment.
One of the most important steps in determining the cause for a pet’s illness is a complete medical assessment. During the medical assessment, one of our veterinarians will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet. They will assess your pet’s eyes, nose, ears, oral cavity, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, neurologic function, and musculoskeletal system looking for abnormalities. They will also obtain a thorough history of your pet’s health through asking a series of questions regarding your pet’s lifestyle, or changes in their behaviour. Sometimes we can make a diagnosis after the medical assessment has been completed, however, many times we have to perform further diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your pet’s illness.
There are numerous blood tests that can be performed from routine screening tests for the different organs and their function to testing for specific diseases and parasites. The most common bloodwork performed at our clinics is a comprehensive wellness screening. This can be used as a wellness test prior to anesthesia and surgery or to help diagnose an underlying condition. This blood test includes a complete blood count used to screen for changes associated with anemia and infections, and a biochemical profile used to assess various functions (i.e. organ function) in the body. The majority of blood tests can be performed by our in-house diagnostic lab, which allows us to get results much faster than if we had to send samples off site. Our lab is well maintained and managed by highly trained registered veterinary technicians. For highly specialized or unique tests, we may have to submit samples to a local reference laboratory for analysis.
We offer digital radiography (digital images rather than images developed on film), allowing us to process higher quality x-ray images within seconds which can result in a quicker diagnosis. A digital radiograph, or x-ray, is performed when we want to assess a pet’s bones, digestive tract, heart, respiratory tract, and urinary system. It is often used to diagnose bone fractures, tumors, and foreign objects stuck inside the stomach or intestines. To ensure high quality images, pets must remain completely still while the x-rays are being taken. Therefore, occasionally your pet may require sedation for this procedure.
Analysis of your dog or cat’s stool can help to diagnose a number of diseases that can affect their gastrointestinal tract. The most common test we run is a fecal floatation, which is used to detect the presence of intestinal worms.
A urinalysis is a screening test performed on a urine sample collected from your cat or dog. It is comprised of a chemical and microscopic analysis to detect cells and substances that can be associated with various illnesses. The urinalysis can be used to screen and/or diagnose many diseases such as urinary tract infections, urine crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease.
Annual heartworm testing is recommended every spring for dogs. This is to ensure your dog was not infected the previous summer, prior to starting their heartworm prevention for the upcoming summer. It requires a very small sample of your dog’s blood and the test is performed in our clinic. It only takes 10 minutes for the test result; therefore we can give you the results during your appointment.
Cytology is the examination of cells under the microscope. It has become one of the most common diagnostic tests used in our clinics. Samples can be collected from almost anywhere in the body and can be assessed for signs or presence of infectious agents (such as bacteria) and cellular changes (inflammation, toxic or cancerous changes). The most common samples assessed are ear swabs (for infection) and skin swabs or scrapings (for infection and mites). Being able to perform cytologic evaluation of samples in our clinics allows us to obtain valuable information, even a diagnosis, much quicker than submitting samples to a reference lab.
An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a test that measures and tracks the electrical activity of your cat or dog’s heart. The ECG provides valuable information regarding the structure and function of the heart. It can be used to aid in the diagnosis of a wide variety of heart diseases from arrhythmias to cardiomyopathies.
An eye problem is one of the most common reasons a pet is brought in for a medical assessment. We offer several tests that can be performed during the appointment that will aid in the evaluation and diagnosis of your pet’s eye problem. We can stain the eyes (to diagnose a corneal ulcer), measure tear production (to diagnose “dry eye”), and/or measure the pressure within the eye (to diagnose glaucoma or uveitis).
Like an x-ray, an ultrasound is an imaging technique used to get a better assessment of changes occurring inside the body. An ultrasound uses sound waves and frequencies to generate a 2-dimensional image in real-time. It is primarily used to visualize internal organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, bladder, and pancreas to assess their size and structure and to assess for any abnormal lesions. Ultrasonography requires great skill and experience to capture and interpret images, therefore we will frequently bring in an ultrasound technician to perform the ultrasound and submit the images to a board certified radiologist for interpretation. The pet must remain completely still during the ultrasound, therefore they typically require sedation for this procedure.
These diagnostic procedures can be completed at the Boyne Veterinary Clinic or the Angus Veterinary Clinic. Although we will be able to perform the majority of your pet’s diagnostic testing at our clinic, in some circumstances we may need to refer your pet to a specialist. Occasionally, they may need a specialized test, such as an MRI or CT scan that is not available in our clinics. If you have a concern regarding your pet’s health, please do not hesitate to call us and schedule an appointment.