DIAGNOSTIC WORK UP
If your pet is sick, we will be asking a series of questions to find out as much as possible about the illness or injury. You know your pet better than anyone, so you will be the one answering the questions! Getting a good history (“the signs and symptoms you have noticed”) is very important and will help get us on the right track for a faster diagnosis. Once we know as much as we can about the history, and we’ve finished our physical examination, we may be able to answer all your questions immediately. However, sometimes there could be more than one possible diagnosis, so to be certain about the cause of the problem, we may have to do some diagnostic testing.
We do blood testing, urinalysis, and fecal analysis either here in our in-house lab for fastest results, or at a referral lab for the more complex tests such as histology (tissue samples) and bacterial cultures. Occasionally we use specialized labs in the US if we need a particular test that isn’t done here in Canada.
Just like in a human hospital, we are often doing x-rays and barium series. From time to time we will need to run our ECG machine after a chest xray to further evaluate the heart.
If we feel the need for a specialist in ultrasonography, we will let you know and suggest we call one in. We do this because we might only do this procedure occasionally and because the procedure calls for specialized equipment. That way we can keep our overheads down and so keep our fees lower. If your pet requires very indepth treatment or diagnostics, like an MRI, referal to a specialist might be considered and discussed with you.