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The first step in diagnosing an injury or illness in your pet is a physical examination. In cases where physical exam alone is not enough to diagnose your pet's condition we are pleased to be able to offer advanced diagnostic services. We offer both in-hospital diagnostics and, when needed, outside laboratory and referral services to make sure your pet receives the highest quality medical care.
Radiographs (x-rays) look at the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, pulmonary and abdominal systems. X-rays allow us to noninvasively and safely examine your pet internally. We can evaluate bones and almost any organ in your pet's body as well as examine the position, shape and size of many organs. X-rays can assist our veterinarians in diagnosing a wide range of conditions including, but not limited to:
Why digital radiology?
Digital x-rays provide us with images without having to use conventional film. Digital x-rays are obtained much more quickly and often require fewer "retakes" than traditional film. Records are stored electronically and can be quickly sent to other veterinarians in emergency situations or for review by a board-certified specialist. This allows us to get results in a matter of hours instead of days. Images can also be more easily enhanced to increase detail which allows the doctor to see fine details. Digital radiology also allows us to be more environmentally-friendly as there is a huge reduction in chemical waste.
What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure that can almost always be done without sedation (although we may have to clip a little fur). An ultrasonic gel is applied to the area of the body which the veterinarian is examining. The gel allows the transducer to slide easily over the surface of the skin and helps to create a more accurate visual image. The transducer is a small hand-held instrument that emits sound waves. These sound waves are directed into the body where they "bounce" off various organs. The sound waves are then fed back through the transducer and are shown on the viewing monitor.
When is an ultrasound recommended and where is the procedure performed?
Ultrasonography is an imaging technique that can be used for many purposes including evaluation of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It can be used to detect tumors on vital organs as well as assess the abnormal fluid accumulation in either the chest or abdomen. It can also be used to determine if an animal is pregnant. For your convenience our doctors perform ultrasounds here at the hospital and, when needed, may recommend you see a board-certified internal medicine specialist. We also work with a board-certified specialist who will come to Edgefield to see your pet or we can refer you to a board-certified specialist at a number of specialty hospitals.
What is an ECG?
An electrocardiogram is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart. It is a safe, non-invasive procedure that uses four clips (electrodes) that attach to the skin on each of the pet's legs. An ECG is used routinely to evaluate heart rhythm and identify arrhythmias in the heartbeat.
When is an ECG recommended?
An ECG is recommended prior to all surgeries that require general anesthesia to help detect problems that may not be able to be diagnosed by auscultation (listening to the heart with a stethoscope) alone. An ECG may also be recommended when the veterinarian suspects your pet may have heart disease. Some of the symptoms that may indicate your pet has a heart condition can include difficulty breathing, coughing, fainting, exercise intolerance, heart murmur or irregular heart rate. All ECGs used for diagnostic purposes are read by our on-staff veterinarians and reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist.
We offer in-house laboratory services including (but not limited to): serum chemistry, complete blood count, blood glucose, urinalysis, fecal analysis, giardia testing, canine/feline pancreatitis testing (spec cpl), fungal culture, K9 heartworm/lyme/ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis and feline leukemia/immunodeficiency/heartworm. We also perform in-house cytology to help diagnosis certain tumors, parasites or infections. Many of these tests can be performed and reported to you within 20 minutes (depending on the case). We have established relationships with outside diagnostic laboratories for more specialized testing when needed.
Please call us at 603-329-6553 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.