You want your sick or injured pet to feel better as soon as possible. To help you achieve this goal, our Smithtown Animal Hospital team uses in-house equipment to diagnose pets’ conditions quickly. Rather than waiting for test results from an outside facility, our in-house diagnostics enable us to begin your pet’s treatment right away, helping them feel better as quickly as possible. Our team uses imaging, and laboratory and cardiac function tests to evaluate your furry pal’s health thoroughly. Learn about the tests our team most commonly performs and the role they play in your pet’s recovery.

In-house laboratory testing for pets

By having in-house laboratory equipment, our team can perform basic blood and urine testing and get the results while you are at our hospital, in about 15 minutes. To evaluate your pet’s complete blood profile, one machine checks their blood cell levels, and another detects substances dissolved in the liquid blood portion (i.e., serum or plasma). Together, the complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry panel provide crucial information about your pet’s internal organs, and endocrine and immune systems’ functioning if they are sick or we are prepping them for surgery. 

Using bedside test kits, our team can also check for common infections such as feline viral diseases, heartworm, or pancreatitis. By using a same-day blood test, we can detect changes and determine whether we should perform additional testing or start treatment right away. Blood tests can detect these common conditions:

  • Dehydration
  • Infections
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Clotting disorders
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Adrenal disorders (e.g., Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Internal bleeding
  • Pancreatitis

In-house radiography for pets

Radiography (i.e.,  X-ray) is a valuable tool for visualizing internal structures. The X-ray apparatus sends a small amount of radiation through a specific body area to a film plate below. The machine then creates a greyscale image that shows each internal structure as a different shade based on density and the amount of radiation that traveled through each tissue. Bone appears white, while air and fluid appear dark or black. We use X-rays to look at patients’ hearts, lungs, abdominal organs, soft tissues, and bones.  X-rays help our team diagnose these common conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Airway disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease, infections, or stones
  • Tumors
  • Bladder stones
  • Megaesophagus
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) foreign bodies
  • Fractures
  • Arthritis

In-house ultrasound for pets

Ultrasound is an advanced imaging modality not readily available in all veterinary clinics. However, our Smithtown Animal Hospital team offers complete ultrasound examinations, including internal medicine specialists’ interpretation. Rather than relying on radiation like X-rays, ultrasound bounces high-frequency sound waves off body structures and displays a real-time, moving image. We use ultrasound to examine, measure, and biopsy internal organs, detect tumors, examine blood flow, and observe heart valves and chambers in action. We most often use ultrasound in the following situations:

  • Performing noninvasive biopsies
  • Collecting sterile urine for culture
  • Evaluating liver and kidney structure and size
  • Checking for intestinal, gallbladder, or pancreatic inflammation
  • Looking for primary tumors or cancer that has spread from tumors in other locations
  • Evaluating ligaments, tendons, or muscles for injury
  • Evaluating heart size, structure, and function

In-house heart rhythm testing for pets

Electrocardiography (ECG) is a noninvasive, inexpensive test that screens for heart rhythm abnormalities. This test is useful before a pet receives anesthesia, for high-risk breeds (e.g., boxers), for older pets, or as part of a complete heart function workup for pets who have a heart murmur or heart enlargement. We may also perform an ECG to rule out heart involvement in sick pets who are extremely weak, have electrolyte abnormalities, toxicities, or a history of at-home collapse, and to monitor pets during hospitalizations or surgeries.

How in-house testing and advanced diagnostics benefit pet health

In-house diagnostic tests are beneficial because they provide our Smithtown Animal Hospital team with immediate answers to our most important questions about your pet’s health. Pets often experience anxiety while at the clinic, and their adrenaline can suppress illness signs you’ve seen at home. Fortunately, diagnostic tests don’t lie. They give us objective data and save valuable time. For sick pets or those experiencing emergencies, immediate results can be lifesaving.

To complement in-house testing, our team also relies on outside facilities’ diagnostics. For example, we may send blood or urine tests to an outside laboratory to screen healthy pets whose results are not needed immediately. An outside facility can also provide more complex testing. In addition, our team collaborates with local specialty hospitals that perform advanced imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), when X-rays or ultrasound do not provide the specific information we need. By relying on immediate in-house test results and those of outside facilities, our team can pinpoint your pet’s diagnosis and treat their condition effectively.

To provide your four-legged friend with effective treatment, we must first diagnose their condition. Our in-house diagnostic equipment provides immediate, crucial information about your pet’s health. Schedule your pet’s routine annual wellness examination and, if they’re unwell, same-day testing with our Smithtown Animal Hospital team.