Our animal companions sometimes have illnesses or injuries invisible to the eye or hidden inside the body. In certain cases, animals may demonstrate few symptoms or clues that a problem is developing. In some situations, the only clue that a pet is sick or injured may be behaviors that are unusual or troubling, such as sudden aggression or listlessness. This is when a skilled veterinary diagnostician is a pet owner’s best friend.

When diagnostic services are needed, experience and technology become important to the health of your pet. We invite you to learn more about each of these diagnostic tools and services:

Veterinary Endoscopy for Minimally Invasive Procedures

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive technology that allows the veterinarian to see an animal’s internal organs by inserting a long, flexible video camera into the body. The endoscope can be inserted into an orifice or incision to closely examine a specific area. For example:

  • GI endoscopy–Enters through the mouth to view the upper gastrointestinal tract
  • Brachioscopy–Enters the mouth to view the lungs
  • Colonoscopy–Enters the rectum to view the colon
  • Rhinoscopy–Views the nose and nasal passages

This procedure allows us to see inside the body and perform surgery with much less damage to muscles and tissues and which requires minimal healing. The veterinarian can also use the endoscope to biopsy tissue for additional diagnostic information. Contact West Valley Pet Clinic for more information about veterinary endoscopy.

A team member using the lab

Veterinary Ultrasound: Painless Diagnostic Imaging Technology for Pets

Diagnostic sonography, or ultrasound, is an imaging technique widely used by veterinarians to examine most parts of the body including eyes, tendons, muscles, joints, and internal organs for illness or injury.

Although all of our vets have additional training in performing ultrasounds, for more subtle cases, we are also able to bring in specialists to perform ultrasounds for our patients, or a veterinary cardiologist to perform an ultrasound of the heart. You and your pet receive this service in the comfort and security of our clinic, without the stress and expense of additional outside referrals.

What is Veterinary Ultrasound?

Sonograms are performed by using a handheld probe, or transducer, placed on the patient and moved over the surface of the skin. A live view of the patient’s insides is then visible on a screen. This allows our veterinarians the ability to “see through” organs—for instance, we can better appreciate those texture changes seen with chronic kidney disease, abnormal thickening of the intestine with inflammatory bowel disease, or be able to measure and see the blood supply of a mass on the liver, among many other things!

Advantages of Ultrasound

Ultrasound does not involve exposure to radiation and is painless for your pet, an advantage when dealing with a frightened, traumatized, or uncomfortable animal.

Aside from viewing the inside of an animal’s body, this technology may be used in guiding the veterinarian when performing small procedures such as obtaining needle tissue samples or fluid drainage. Diagnostic ultrasound is also often used in conjunction with other tools, such as a thorough exam, lab work, and even radiographs, to aid in diagnosing diseases in pets.

To learn more about our diagnostic ultrasound technology, contact us at West Valley Pet Clinic.

Digital Radiography

West Valley Pet Clinic offers the latest in X-ray technology–digital radiography. This type of X-ray imaging digitizes the information, much like a digital camera produces a photo.

The veterinarian sees this digitized image as a very detailed X-ray on a computer screen. This technology is excellent for such needs such as locating a foreign body inside an animal, diagnosing pneumonia or localizing a bone fracture—even in our smallest patients!

This advanced digital X-ray technology is now available at West Valley Pet Clinic. Contact us to schedule your pet for an appointment today.

Digital Dental Radiography

A primary use of digital radiography is in pet dental care, quite useful for a thorough dental evaluation. Digital dental X-ray technology has become the standard for quality pet dental care, and West Valley Pet Clinic is pleased to offer this advanced technology to all of our patients.

On-Site Veterinary Laboratory Services

A veterinary laboratory provides important diagnostic testing for both sick and well animals. Here at West Valley Pet Clinic we use Abaxis, a modern, in-house veterinary laboratory with state-of-the-art testing and equipment.

Why Is Lab Work Important?

In a healthy animal, we run laboratory tests to establish baseline values for your pet. This can often even be completed before your appointment ends! We may run such laboratory tests as:

  • CBC (complete blood count)
  • Chemistry panel (to assess organ function, glucose and electrolyte levels)
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal exams

When your pet is sick, we compare new lab work to previous baseline values to determine the exact level of illness. Sometimes we may need to use lab tests throughout the treatment of a disease to measure the patient’s response to the protocol. Laboratory tests also are used to confirm the presence of illnesses, identify developing conditions, and to rule out other diseases. This use of lab work is especially important in senior pet care, for early and accurate diagnosis of age-related diseases. When a pet is scheduled for surgery, we use pre-surgical screening tests to determine the risk of complications while under general anesthesia—this also allows us to better tailor the anesthetic protocol to your pet’s needs.

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Services for Advanced Pet Care Needs

In veterinary diagnostic care, accurate test results are just the beginning. While West Valley Pet Clinic offers a state-of-the-art veterinary laboratory, some tests cannot be performed on-site. When your pet has a special need, we use the Antech Reference Laboratory for more unique or complex lab tests. Antech, one of the largest veterinary labs in the United States, offers our veterinary clinic a comprehensive diagnostic menu, access to innovative new tests, convenient test ordering and delivery of results, and easy access to in-depth feedback from board-certified experts. When your pet needs more than what a veterinary hospital laboratory can offer, trust West Valley Pet Clinic to access the most experienced and reputable services available for your companion animal.