Diagnostic Services

X-RaysDigital Radiographs

Radiographs, or X-rays, are one of the most common, useful diagnostic tools in medicine. At St. Francis' Pet Hospital we use X-rays to examine your pet's bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas and for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. If we suspect your pet has a fractured bone, has swallowed a foreign object, or is suffering from a heart problem, an X-ray can tell us what we need to know.

To provide the highest-quality veterinary care for your pet, St. Francis' Pet Hospital has invested in a state-of-the-art digital X-ray machine. There are many important advantages to digital X-rays:

  • They can be immediately viewed on a computer monitor.
  • The clear, detailed images can be manipulated to get a better view of your pet's bones and internal organs, leading to a faster, more accurate diagnosis.
  • They take less time to process, which means less time for your pet on the X-ray table (and less stress), and less waiting time for you.
  • No harsh chemicals are needed to develop the images, reducing potential harm to our staff and the environment.
  • If a second opinion is necessary, digital X-rays can be sent by email to a specialist.

Advanced diagnostic capabilities are an extremely important part of veterinary medicine, in part because we can't simply ask our patients what is wrong. Our investment in digital X-ray technology reflects our commitment to offer you and your pet the best, most comprehensive healthcare available.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a painless, safe, non-invasive procedure we use to evaluate your pet's internal organs. It is one of the many ways we strive to give you peace of mind when it comes to your pet's health. Using sound waves, ultrasound produces a real-time moving picture of your pet's organs that allows us to visualize objects that cannot be detected by X-rays alone.

At St. Francis' Animal Hospital we use ultrasounds to assess the shape, size, tissue density, internal structure and position of your pet's abdominal organs, assess cardiac health (also called an echocardiogram) and diagnose pregnancy. It can also be used to identify masses or tumors and as a guide during surgical biopsies.

The ultrasound procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to perform and, unless it is being used during a surgical biopsy, does not typically require sedation. A diagnosis based on what we see is usually available immediately, which means we can also provide you with treatment options at the time of your appointment and minimize your worry and stress.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior surfaces of your pet's organs through a small tube inserted into his or her body. An endoscopic examination can often accurately diagnose what is causing your pet's vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain or swelling, loss of appetite or respiratory problems. It can also be used to collect biopsy samples and remove foreign objects, small polyps or tumors.

Although anesthesia is required to keep pets still during the endoscopic procedure, the recovery time is minimal. The benefits of endoscopy over exploratory surgery include no surgical incision, shortened anesthetic time, decreased inflammation, less stress and discomfort and an earlier return to normal function for your pet.

Accurate diagnosis of your pet's symptoms begins with our ability to put together as complete and accurate a picture of what is going on inside your pet's body as possible. For that reason, endoscopy is recommended when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs and ultrasound do not give us the complete diagnostic picture.

Telemedicine

Providing you an accurate, timely diagnosis is vital to all the veterinarians St. Francis' Pet Hospital. On the occasions when we require assistance to provide your pet with the best medical care, we use veterinary telemedicine consultants, to help us evaluate X-rays, ultrasounds and EKGs.

LaboratoryOur In-House Medical and Diagnostic Laboratory

When performing routine wellness examinations or diagnosing an illness, what our veterinarians can't see is as important, if not more important, than what they can.

Because protecting your pet's health is our most important job, we have a complete in-house diagnostic laboratory that allows us to perform a wide range of tests on blood, urine, feces and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to these precise test results, it would be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet's health. Test results can also help us in the early detection of diseases and other conditions affecting your pet's health and well-being.

For example, diagnostic testing can detect heartworm disease, Lyme disease, infections, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, and many additional diseases and conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Blood testing can show early evidence of diabetes, changes in liver or kidney function, or provide a baseline for future reference. Diagnostic laboratory testing is also completed prior to dental or surgical procedures that require general anesthesia.

Laboratory testing provides information about your pet's overall systemic health without the need for invasive, expensive procedures. Thanks to our in-house diagnostic laboratory, we can deliver your pet's test results quickly – often within a few minutes – minimizing your wait for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Back To Top