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Types of Diagnostic Tests for Pets

Diagnostic tests can give us a lot of insight into the causes behind your pet's symptoms. In this post, our veterinarians in Wisconsin Dells describe the tests that help identify the underlying causes of your pet's health issues. 

Diagnostic Testing for Pets 

Diagnostic tests play an integral role in diagnosis and treatment for people with a variety of diseases and illnesses. And since our pets are unable to tell us how they're feeling, where they might be experiencing pain or discomfort, and what kind of pain they feel, these tests are even more critical for diagnosing symptoms in our four-legged friends. 

Diagnostic testing can help your vet determine the cause of your pet's symptoms quickly, so treatment can begin without delay. 

Here, we'll explore some types of diagnostic testing for pets used by veterinarians when caring for your pet's health. Some of these are offered at our hospital, while we may recommend others and refer you to a specialist depending on your pet's needs and circumstances.

Blood Tests 

Blood tests are a common diagnostic test our vets use to diagnose health issue in pets. These tests help your veterinarian check your how your four-legged friends organs are working, and whether their electrolyte levels, blood cell counts, and more are within the acceptable range.

Whether you're bringing your pet in for their annual checkup or you're worried about specific symptoms they're displaying, blood tests are a valuable tool for maintaining your pet's well-being. Older pets, in particular, benefit greatly from regular blood tests since they are more vulnerable to certain health conditions and diseases. These tests can also be performed quickly and your vet will only need to take a small blood sample. 

Fecal Testing 

Fecal tests make it easier to find out whether your dog or cat has any hidden intestinal parasites in their system. To have this test done, you'll need to collect a fresh stool sample from your pet and take it to your vet's office for analysis in our in-house lab. This allows your veterinarian to detect potential issues before symptoms appear. 

Heartworm Tests

Heartworm disease is a very serious condition that is usually fatal in pets. Many veterinarians strongly recommend annual heartworm testing for cats and dogs. Heartworm testing typically involves a blood test that reveals whether antigens produced by adult female heartworms are present. 

Urinalysis

Urine tests can be used to evaluate how well your cat or dog's kidneys are functioning and whether they have a urinary tract infection or other problems with their urinary system. These tests require only a small urine sample and can be completed quickly. Pet parents can collect the urine sample in most cases, but sometimes a veterinarian may need to obtain it directly from the bladder using a needle. 

X-Rays 

These valuable, non-invasive diagnostic tools are used to assess various health conditions, such as joint problems, respiratory issues, and bone fractures in dogs and cats. While they can be done quickly, pets may need to be sedated so they will remain still during the procedure. X-rays are especially helpful for evaluating older pets or those diagnosed with chronic health conditions. 

Ultrasound

Veterinary ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses sound waves to produce real-time images of internal organ function. This technology is commonly used to evaluate the health of the heart, liver, and kidneys. Ultrasound is often recommended for pets with suspected heart or liver disease or for pregnant pets in order to monitor the health of developing fetuses.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a process that involves the use of a small camera attached to a flexible tube. The tube is inserted into the pet's body through an opening such as the mouth or rectum, allowing a veterinarian to examine the internal organs. Endoscopy is commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal issues but can also be used to evaluate the respiratory system and other organs.

Biopsy

A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves the removal of a small sample of tissue for examination. Biopsies are often recommended when a pet has a suspicious lump or growth that may be cancerous. The sample is examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or benign.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a diagnostic test used to evaluate the heart's electrical activity. It is often recommended for pets with heart disease or those at risk for heart disease. The non-invasive test involves attaching electrodes to the pet's chest to monitor the heart's electrical activity.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic test that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of internal organs. MRI can be used to evaluate neurological issues, but it can also be helpful when evaluating other organs. MRI is typically only available at specialist veterinary clinics and can be more expensive than other diagnostic tests. Most pets require sedation to keep them still during the procedure.

Pet Diagnostic Tests at Dells Animal Hospital

At Dells Animal Hospital in Wisconsin Dells, we have access to a range of tools that help our team of vets pinpoint the precise cause of your pet's medical issues so that we can provide you with an accurate and definitive diagnosis.

Our diagnostic imaging capabilities help us to provide more time-sensitive treatment options and to share data with your primary care veterinarian efficiently. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Would you like to learn more about veterinary diagnostic imaging? Contact our Wisconsin Dells vets to schedule an appointment today.

New Patients Welcome

Dells Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Wisconsin Dells companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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