The importance of advanced diagnostics
We’ve all been there: you have a sick pet, so you call the vet to ask how concerned you should be, and you’re told, “We can’t say without seeing your animal.”
It’s frustrating, but impossible to tell what’s wrong with a sick animal based on a conversation. In fact, sometimes, even a visit to your regular veterinarian can be inconclusive.
We know what it isn’t – but not what it is
Vomiting, diarrhea, rash, loss of appetite, lethargy, limping, and more are all symptoms of common, easily treatable issues – maybe your pet has a flea allergy, or a thorn in his paw, or a simple upset stomach. But those symptoms are also all signs of bigger issues, especially when they are persistent.
An examination is key to feel the abdomen for masses and blockages, to check the painful joint for misalignment or swelling, and to check for fleas or mites that could contribute to a rash. Routine bloodwork, urinalysis, radiographs, and skin tests are often needed to diagnose the cause of the symptoms—or at least rule out things that are not causing the problem.
Those are the stickiest problems, the ones where a veterinarian’s exam and routing testing can tell you what it isn’t, but the answer of what it is remains elusive. When regular exams and bloodwork are inconclusive, veterinarians rely on advanced diagnostics to give them a full picture of your pet’s health.
Advanced diagnostics give clearer answers
Advanced diagnostic tools refer to tests and tools not readily available at most general practices. This might include:
- Advanced radiography (x-ray)
- CT scan
- Exploratory surgery
- And more
These tools tell veterinarians what regular examinations and bloodwork cannot, such as the presence of tumors, broken or fractured bones, issues with the airway, esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, heart problems, and more.
What can advanced diagnostics find?
Advanced diagnostic tools can be used to identify foreign bodies, back disease, cancers or tumors, cardiomyopathy, and more.
Your regular veterinary hospital likely has many diagnostic tools on-hand, such as x-ray, cytology, and bloodwork. However, when a veterinarian cannot make a conclusive diagnosis, or treatment isn’t working, they rely on specialty hospitals such as Veterinary Referral Hospital of Hickory to help them dig deeper to get to the root of the problem.
The bottom line is, bloodwork and x-rays aren’t always enough for answers, even when a pet is obviously very sick. This is when more extensive tools and expertise are needed for answers.
What advanced diagnostics are available at Veterinary Referral Hospital of Hickory?
At our Hickory hospital, we perform:
- Digital radiography
- Video endoscopy
- Digital otoscope/opthalmoscope
- Ultrasound/color doppler echocardiography
- CT scanning
When you don’t yet have all the answers for best treatment of your pet, the resources of Veterinary Referral Hospital of Hickory are available.