Many of our laboratory procedures are performed in-house, which allows us to see the results quickly. We routinely run complete blood chemistries, complete blood counts, urinalyses, heartworm tests, viral tests, and countless types of cytological tests.
However, just as no one person can be all things to all people, no lab can be the best at every test - that's why we routinely send samples to commercial laboratories and universities around the country for analysis. Each laboratory has its own strengths, so we choose the best in each area for every test. With few exceptions, we have the results the day after we send the sample for analysis, and we will contact you as soon as possible.
Above: Our laboratory and equipment allows our staff to perform many routine tests in-house. Photos courtesy of Murrary Whitehill.
In many cases, it is necessary to go beyond what the doctor can see on the surface and turn to the inner workings of your pet's systems for a possible diagnosis or treatment. Our clinic uses three main techniques to help us gather information in a non-invasive and safe manner:
Two CVH staff members help a patient stay in the proper position during a medical imaging procedure.
Digital Radiology - Despite the fact that it is the oldest method of looking further into a patient, radiology remains one of the most useful tools available to a modern veterinarian. Our new fully digital radiology equipment allows us to rapidly "see" inside our patients almost instantly and with incredible detail. There is no clumsy film "processing" to wait for and we can view the images within a few seconds. This technology allows us to diagnose diseases more rapidly, more precisely and with less radiation exposure to our patients and our staff.
Ultrasound - One of the newest diagnostic techniques available for your pet is non-invasive ultrasound, where the doctor uses the reflection of high-frequency sound waves inside your pet to see a computer composite image of the area. Where the radiograph allows us to view hard structures within the body of your pet, ultrasound is a perfect compliment which allows us to view the softer tissues and internal organs at previously impossible levels of detail. Using this technology, our doctors can search for irregular tissue, misshapen or swollen organs or organ walls, or abnormal fluid concentrations. The applications for this technique are truly boundless. Because ultrasound is non-invasive, your pet may not need to be placed under anesthesia, greatly reducing the possibility of problems arising during a procedure. Ultrasound is painless, and is commonly used in human internal medicine.
Above: A veterinarian performs an ultrasound on a patient and then explains the resulting printout. Photos courtesy of Murray Whitehill.
Endoscopy - Like Ultrasound and many other medical technologies, Endoscopy was originally developed for use in human medicine, but now that the equipment and techniques have been refined, it is available for veterinary use as well. An Endoscopic procedure involves the use of a tiny lens and manipulating instrument which allows the doctor to examine the inside of the digestive tract without using surgery. This way the doctor can get not only a live color view, but can also take biopsies for a definitive diagnosis through lab analysis. The minimally-invasive nature of Endoscopy means that it is safer and often less expensive than a surgical procedure used to find the same answers. Ir results in better, more accurate treatment of your pet's problems.
Telemedicine - Telemedicine is a relatively new tool which allows the doctor to capture an image and send it to a specialist for an outside opinion and analysis. the application is almost limitless, and eliminates any time or distance barriers between your pet and the best clinicians in the world. When the doctor feels that additional information is required, he or she will use a high-resolution digital camera, scanners, and internet-capable computers to instantaneously send copies of radiographs, ultrasound images, bloodwork, text, or simple close-up photos of your pet's trouble-areas to a specialist in the appropriate field. Normally, we can confer with them within hours of sending the material.