Diagnostic Services


RadiographicsRadiographs (X-rays) are extremely helpful for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. X-rays are useful in examining your pet’s bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas of the body. An X-ray can spot a fractured bone, detect tumors, help with the diagnosis of heartworm disease or locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet’s intestine or stomach. When used in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures like ultrasound, X-rays can accurately diagnose problems, making treatment faster and easier for your pet and your veterinarian.

Pets First Animal Hospital is up to date on the latest radiographic procedures and is able to submit our X-rays to a board certified radiologist for second opinions when necessary.

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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, ultrasound provides a movie of what is happening inside your pet’s body.

It is particularly useful in viewing your pet's abdominal organs including the spleen, kidneys, liver, and gallbladder. It can also be used to evaluate heart functions, bladder scans and other areas such as the thyroid glands, testicles and mammary glands.

Ultrasound also works well in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and a wide range of diagnostic procedures. For example, if an X-ray shows a lesion on your pet, an ultrasound can determine the origin of the lesion and whether it has spread elsewhere in your pet’s body. Using the ultrasound image as a guide, surgical biopsies can be obtained 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.

Dr. Jason Arble, a board certified veterinary radiologist, expertly performs all of our ultrasounds at our hospital.

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Our In-House Lab

Our In-House LabPerforming preventative medicine as well as diagnosing emerging internal health issues requires the ability to perform a wide range of laboratory tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to precise laboratory test results it is difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet’s health.

For example, diagnostic testing can detect heartworm disease, infections, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, and many additional diseases and conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Early blood testing can show evidence of disease such as diabetes, changes in liver, kidney and thyroid function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference. Diagnostic testing is also included in pre-anesthetic screenings prior to dental or surgical procedures that require general anesthesia.

Pets First Animal Hospital maintains a complete in-house lab that is in some cases able to provide us with results within minutes. Dr. Ricia Walker’s past experience includes three years at the Clinical Pathology Laboratory at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University, which has given her a unique background in diagnostic cytology.

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