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Diagnostic Services

Digital Radiology

Diagnostic Services offered by The Family Pet Clinic

Radiographs are one of the most important diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine. They allow us to view the shape, size and location of organs inside your pet's body. Radiographs are extremely helpful for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. X-rays are useful for examining your pet's bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas of the body. An x-ray can detect a fractured bone, tumor, heart problem and locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet's stomach or intestine.

With the availability of digital radiography, x-rays have become far more powerful and useful than ever before. This means that we can quickly take highly detailed radiographs, manipulate them to gain a better view of your pet's bones and internal organs, and then display them on a computer for you to see.

The veterinarians at The Family Pet Clinic are able to diagnose a very wide range of medical conditions with great speed and accuracy. Because we believe that pet owners throughout Garfield Heights, OH deserve the best possible care, we have invested in a state-of-the-art, high-quality digital veterinary x-ray machine.

The Advantages of Digital Radiology

  • Digital x-rays can be saved to a disk and given to you as part of your pet's home medical record.
  • Images can be quickly shared via email to specialists when a second opinion or additional diagnosis is needed. At The Family Pet Clinic, we are often able to receive information from a specialist back the same day.
  • Your pet's time on the X-ray table is reduced because fewer images need to be taken.
  • Digital X-rays eliminate the need to use toxic chemicals in the film development process, decreasing the risk of exposure to our staff and the environment.

Ultrasound

Diagnostic Services offered by The Family Pet Clinic

Ultrasound is a pain-free, totally non-invasive technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a real-time image of your pet's internal organs. Often considered more exact than radiographs (X-rays), ultrasound provides a movie of what is happening inside your pet's body. Additionally, unlike X-rays, diagnostic ultrasound does not use harmful ionizing radiation and there is no known health risk associated with its use.

Ultrasound is particularly useful in viewing your pet's abdominal organs and evaluating heart functions. Abdominal ultrasound allows us to fully examine your pet's liver, gallbladder, spleen, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys, urinary bladder, and parts of the stomach and intestines. Ultrasound also works well in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and a wide range of diagnostic procedures. For example, a radiograph of your pet's abdomen may show enlargement of the liver but does not tell us why it is enlarged. An ultrasound allows us to see the liver's structure in greater detail and identify specific lesions or masses.

Using the ultrasound image as a guide, The Family Pet Clinic's veterinarians can obtain biopsies without major surgery and your pet can often go home the same day. Ultrasounds are typically not stressful for your pet and take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to perform.




Electrocardiographic Studies (ECG)

An electrocardiograph (ECG) is a snapshot of your pet's heart functions. ECGs are very helpful at detecting numerous types of arrhythmias as well as a handful of other cardiac conditions that cannot be diagnosed with a stethoscope during a regular physical examination. You probably have seen an ECG machine or have had one done in your doctor's office as they are commonly used to test for common heart conditions in humans.

An ECG is a completely noninvasive, painless procedure that involves placing several electrodes on your pet's skin. The machine reads the electrical impulses coming from your pet's heart. The graph-like results produced by the ECG machine allow our veterinarians to diagnose numerous cardiac conditions. If we notice any abnormalities, we explain them and advise you on the next step.



Diagnostic Services offered by The Family Pet Clinic

Endoscopy

Endoscopy means "looking inside" and refers to looking inside the body for medical purposes. The instrument used for this procedure is called an endoscope. Endoscopy is a minimally invasive, diagnostic, medical procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior surfaces of an organ by inserting a small tube into the body. Through the endoscope, the observer is able to see lesions of organs and other internal medical conditions.

In veterinary medicine, endoscopy is commonly used as a diagnostic procedure, for tissue and organ biopsies, to remove foreign objects (particularly in the stomach) or get an inside view of a particular part of a pet's body. Even though anesthesia is required to keep an animal still during the endoscopic procedure, the amount of anesthesia and recovery time is minimal. Endoscopy is often indicated when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs and ultrasound do not give the complete diagnostic picture.

The endoscope is composed of a long tube (flexible or rigid), a light source, camera and viewing eyepiece. In addition to the fiber optic light source, there are two channels within the tube. One channel is for passing forceps, snares or biopsy instruments, allowing for the removal of foreign objects, collection of biopsy samples and removal of small polyps or tumors. Air or water can be passed through the other channel for better viewing of the tissue or organ.

The benefits of endoscopy over exploratory surgery include no surgical incision, shortened anesthetic time, decreased inflammation, less physiologic stress and discomfort and an earlier return to normal function.

The endoscope is used to help diagnose and treat a variety of gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders. Depending on the symptoms, it is used to look at the inner lining of the throat, stomach, intestine, colon or the respiratory passages (nose, throat and lungs). Endoscopy is used to obtain superficial biopsies of stomach, proximal small intestine and colon, to look for cancer of the esophagus or stomach and to remove small foreign bodies from larger airways, esophagus or stomach. Even though general anesthesia is required for an endoscopic procedure, it is still considered much less invasive than traditional surgery due to the relatively short procedure time and low occurrence of complications.

In-House Laboratory

The Family Pet Clinic maintains a full service diagnostic laboratory that allows us to perform complete blood counts, chemistry profiles, electrolytes, urinalysis, fecal exams, cytology evaluations, and other valuable tests for your pet. With our advanced laboratory technology, we are able to receive fast and accurate results, helping to determine your pet's diagnosis and what treatment therapy is required.

Our complete in-house laboratory is particularly essential to our emergency and critical care cases. We also offer several tests as part of your pet's wellness examination and specialized testing if your pet is in his or her senior years. We can often have results within 15 minutes for many tests.

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