Performing preventive medicine and diagnosing emergent internal health issues requires the ability to perform a wide range of laboratory tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to precise laboratory test results, it is often difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet’s health. Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital has one of the best in-house diagnostic laboratories in the Dakota County area. In many cases, our sophisticated instruments and diagnostic capabilities allow us to receive results within minutes.
Laboratory testing allows our veterinarians to obtain important information for assessing your pet’s overall systemic health without the need for invasive, expensive procedures. At Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital, we maintain an advanced in-house laboratory and regularly perform tests during your pet’s wellness exam or when we suspect your pet may have a health issue.
For example, diagnostic testing can detect Heartworm disease, Lyme disease, infections, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, and many additional conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Early blood testing can show evidence of disease such as diabetes, changes in lInver or kidney function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference.
Radiographs, or X-rays, are one of the most common, useful diagnostic tools in medicine. At Inver Grove Heights Animal 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 you with the highest-quality veterinary care for your pet, we have 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 emailed 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 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 Inver Grove Heights 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 or routine wellness checks.
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, minimizing your worry and stress. If more advanced imaging is needed, we have specialists come to our facility.
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.