Radiographs (X-rays) help our veterinarians evaluate the muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary systems. This ability to produce x-rays and evaluate the information (especially in emergencies) can be crucial.
Our in house laboratory allows us immediate access to perform tests. The following are examples of the test we can do:
- Heartworm Testing
- Fecal Floatation
- Blood Chemistries
- Fungal Cultures
- Urinalysis Dipstick with USG & Cytology
When any irregular heart rhythm is detected on a clinical examination, an electrocardiogram ECG or EKG is recommended. The small, electrical impulses normally generated by the heart are amplified 3,000 or more times and recorded by the ECG machine. An ECG is extremely sensitive and can detect minor disturbances in the heart and allow us to diagnose many types of heart disease.
An ECG is a simple test to perform. Your pet is usually placed in a standing or lying position and electrodes (small metal clips) are attached to the elbows and knees. A jelly or liquid is applied to improve electrical conduction between the patient and the electrodes.
ECG’s are reviewed by a board certified veterinary cardiologist. If any abnormalities are noted, ECG rechecks or further testing may be needed, such as x-rays, blood work, blood pressure monitoring or an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart).
Just like humans, it is important for your veterinarian to monitor your pet’s blood pressure. Pets can have both high blood pressure (hypertension) and low blood pressure (hypotension).
If your pet has low blood pressure, their vital organs will be deprived of oxygen and nutrients. The symptoms of a pet with low blood pressure could include the following.
- Fainting or sudden collapse
- Pale gums
- Frequent urination and increased thirst
- Fast, shallow breathing
A Pet with high blood pressure will present different symptoms. It is important to treat high blood pressure as it can affect the heart, kidneys, eyes, and the nervous system. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Dilated pupils
- Retinal detachment
- Hemorrhage of the eye
- Blood in the urine
- Protein in the urine
- Bleeding from the nose
- Swollen or shrunken kidneys
- Heart murmurs
- Weakness, either on one side of the body or in the legs
- Involuntary oscillation (rolling) of the eyeballs
- Palpable thyroid gland (when hyperthyroid)