Ultrasound: a non-invasive diagnostic tool at Pet Kare Clinic
At PKC, we are proud to offer many services, including ultrasound imaging. Ultrasonography is a painless, non-invasive procedure which uses sound waves to produce a real-time visual image of the internal organs of the body. Our doctors can interpret these images immediately, or when necessary, send them electronically to a specialist for consultation. These images aid our doctors in making timely diagnostic decisions and recommendations that can help save your pet’s life and are a perfect complement to radiographs.
Ultrasound imaging allows our doctors to look inside your pet’s body, and thus help observe the structure and function of the heart, locate abdominal tumors, visualize the liver and spleen, and look inside the bladder. In addition to general assessment, ultrasound can also guide the doctor while performing needle aspirations and tissue biopsies of masses or organs which may not be functioning normally or appear abnormal.
How do I know if my pet needs an ultrasound?
Your doctor will recommend an ultrasound if it will aid in the diagnosis of a current problem. Many older pets are referred for ultrasound if cancer is suspected. Although ultrasonography is a valuable tool, it isn’t the first tool used for diagnosis of many common diseases. Routine physical exams and bloodwork are important throughout your pet’s life; many problems can be detected early through annual exams. If your pet hasn’t seen a doctor within the last year, consider making an appointment for a Wellness Exam today.
What can an ultrasound see and do?
- Sterile urine collection for urinary tract infections
- Bladder/kidney stones
- Tumors within abdominal organs, lungs, heart
- Abnormal lymph nodes
- Degenerative processes or congenital abnormalities
- Fluid outside of organs (effusion)
- Puppies! Ultrasonography can detect feti much earlier than x-rays can (around 3 weeks!)
Our doctors receive continuing education every year and are proud to offer progressive medicine, surgery and diagnostics for your pet. Any doctor can perform ultrasonography, and some of our doctors have formal training and significant experience in the area. If your pet needs a specialist for advanced diagnostics (such as a board-certified radiologist, internist or other residency-trained specialist), our doctors will refer you in the right direction.
If you are interested in seeing our new ultrasound machine, just ask!
We recently upgraded to state of the art Quattro digital radiography. This new technology allows us to get more diagnostic information and avoid having to repeat radiographs. It is faster and easier for your pet. With the Quattro Cloud we can instantly send images to
specialists for review.
Digital Dental Radiology
We also have digital dental radiology in our dental suite. Radiology is paramount for determining the health of teeth at their roots. Full mouth radiographs are included with every dental procedure. Since 80% of oral disease is hiding beneath the gumline, we are consistently diagnosing issues such as tooth root infections and fractures and occasionally detecting oral tumors and draining fistulas using dental radiology. All of which were undetectable without it.
Pet Kare Clinic’s In-House Lab Equipment
Pet Kare Clinic is proud to operate state of the art in house Heska blood analysis equipment, which enables us to perform diagnostics helping us make rapid life-saving decisions within minutes.
Recently expanded and updated in 2012, our equipment now allows us to perform many more tests in house. In house testing for applicable tests saves everyone time and avoids delay in treating critical illnesses. We also have screening tests for many diseases and can get results in minutes, before you even leave the exam room!
For more information about the blood tests that we can run in the hospital and why, see the following handout:
Understanding your pet’s bloodwork results
Other In-House Laboratory Tests
Urinalysis: Chemistry and sediment analysis to diagnose urinary tract infections and the presence and analysis of stones in the urinary tract.
Fecal analysis: To detect bacterial imbalances as well as the presence of parasites.
Cytology: Used to identify the different type of cells present in tumors, blood, and other bodily fluids.
At Pet Kare Clinic we collect and submit samples to an outside lab every weekday. The outside lab we use for all routine blood tests and biopsies is Antech Diagnostics. Our samples are picked up by FedEx at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and most test results are received the next day.
Why do we send some tests out and run some in house?
For one, it is more cost effective for our clients to send the tests out. We will elect to run tests in house when we need the results right away for optimal patient care. Secondly, the outside lab is able to run numerous tests that we are not able to run in house.