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(804) 360-0100 H

(804) 360-0100


What is Veterinary Diagnostics and How Does It Improve My Pet's Health?

Medical tests intended to promote detection and diagnosis of an illness or disease are called diagnostics, or diagnostic tests. Diagnostics performed by your veterinarian in Glen Allen VA include blood tests, urine tests, biopsies and imaging scans such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and x-ray scans. Electrocardiograms (EKGs) are a type of diagnostic test that evaluates a pet's heart health by monitoring the heart's electrical activity. Electroencephalograms (EEGs) measure brain activity to determine if an animal is suffering neurological damage. In addition to revealing detailed information about your pet's internal organs, diagnostics is also essential for developing proper treatment programs directly addressing your pet's illness or disease.

Beagle peering out the window in need of Diagnostics.

Specialty Blood Testing

Blood tests are diagnostics commonly utilized by your Glen Allen veterinarian to detect bacteria, viruses and other pathogens in an ill pet's bloodstream. Types of blood tests include:

  • Cancer panels for detection and management of canine cancer (whether confirmed or suspected)
  • Calcemia panels for diagnosing hypo/hypercalcemia (low or high calcium in dogs)
  • Infectious diseases panels for detection and management of bacterial or viral diseases
  • C-Reactive protein panels for detecting systemic inflammation associated with musculoskeletal, neurological and circulatory disorders

Another disease detected with diagnostic blood testing is immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), a common cause of reduced red blood cell counts in dogs. IMHA is diagnosed when a dog's immune system starts attacking red blood cells, destroying these oxygen-rich cells more rapidly than bone marrow can produce new cells. If your Glen Allen VA suspects your pet is suffering IMHA or simple anemia, this test may be ordered to determine what type of treatment is necessary to reverse the disease.

Signs Your Pet May Need Diagnostics

To more closely evaluate joint problems, internal injuries, and organ dysfunction, your vet may recommend x-rays, ultrasounds or MRIs. Symptoms of diseases or disorders that should undergo diagnostic testing include:

  • Stiffness, limping and weakness in limbs
  • Joint swelling
  • Weight loss/decreased appetite
  • Chronic diarrhea/frequent vomiting
  • Lumps, masses, tumors on or under the skin
  • Skin problems that resist standard treatment
  • Cognitive issues (pet seems confused, wander around aimlessly, fail to heed commands)

What is a Biopsy?

Biopsies are not strictly diagnostic tests but a type of cell sampling test that involves your vet removing tissue from an animal and examining it under a microscope. A biopsy may be ordered for masses or tumors to determine if they are benign or malignant.

Veterinary diagnostics optimize your vet's ability to diagnose your pet as accurately and quickly as possible. Call today at (804) 360-0100  to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing if your pet is ill or suffering a chronic health condition.

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