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Diagnostic Services offered

Diagnostic Services offered Digital Radiology (X-rays)

At Steele Creek Animal Hospital, we use the latest in advanced digital radiology as part of your pet's diagnostic care.

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. Compared to traditional x-rays, digital radiographs provide our doctors and medical staff with higher quality images. This means better diagnostic information that is produced more quickly with less inconvenience in time and stress to you and your pet. Radiographs are used to evaluate injured pets and to assess internal body organs such as the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys and bladder. Radiographs are also used to diagnose orthopedic and neurological conditions.

Most pets are cooperative during radiographic procedures and do not require sedation. Pets who are in pain or frightened may receive mild sedation to prevent further discomfort and stress during the procedure. A few special radiographic procedures require general anesthesia. Your pet's veterinarian will discuss any specific needs with you prior to proceeding.

The Advantages of Digital Radiology:

  • Image quality is better, often reducing the number of images needed. This means less time/stress for you and your pet.
  • Images can be quickly shared via email for review by a board-certified radiologist or specialist when a second opinion or additional diagnosis is needed.
  • Digital radiographs can be saved to a memory device for your pet's home medical record.
  • Digital radiographs eliminate the need to use toxic chemicals in the film development process, decreasing the risk of exposure to our staff and the environment.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

High blood pressure can be just as dangerous for your pet as it is for you. High blood pressure - also known as hypertension - is far more common in pets than many people realize and can cause a number of serious illnesses such as renal disease, heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and more.

Blood pressure is also an important consideration during surgery because increases or decreases in blood pressure can indicate a serious surgical issue such as a negative reaction to anesthesia.

For these reasons, the veterinarians at Steele Creek Animal Hospital recommend regular blood pressure screenings for your pet during wellness checkups. This allows your veterinarian to determine a baseline blood pressure for your pet as well as notice if there is an indication of hypertension. Because pets often do not want to sit still and because of their fur and small vessels, measuring your pet's blood pressure requires patience on everyone's part. This information, however, can be life saving.

An ultrasonic Doppler blood pressure monitor is a highly reliable and accurate instrument used for measuring your pet's blood pressure. After your pet's blood pressure has been measured, your veterinarian will explain the results and provide recommendations if necessary. Your veterinarian will also discuss the signs and symptoms of hypertension and home care strategies to prevent this dangerous condition.

UltrasoundUltrasound / Echocardiography

Steele Creek Animal Hospital offers both abdominal and cardiac (heart) ultrasound services. Ultrasound is a non-invasive modern technique that produces a visual imprint of the interior of your pet's body. Ultrasound uses sound waves, which have no harmful effects and the examination is painless. Ultrasound allows the doctor to achieve a further depth of detail that complements information obtained from radiographic examinations.

Abdominal ultrasounds are performed at Steele Creek Animal Hospital by our staff veterinarians. A board certified veterinary radiology specialist comes to our hospital to perform echocardiograms, advanced abdominal ultrasounds, and ultrasound guided biopsies. Outpatient ultrasounds are also offered with internal medicine specialists and cardiologists.

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 examination of these organs is crucial when a diagnosis depends upon seeing an organ, but exploratory surgery and anesthesia would not be desirable. Abdominal ultrasound has revolutionized the study of liver diseases, and is extremely useful in diagnosing and monitoring treatment of many types of cancer.

Echocardiography is a standard non-invasive technique for assessing cardiac anatomy, pathology and function. It is the preferred method for diagnosing many types of heart problems. Because the heart is a very complex organ, animals, like humans, can suffer from a wide variety of heart diseases. In order to correctly diagnose and treat these diseases, it is necessary to see how the heart is functioning. Using ultrasound, it is possible to watch the heart in motion and to measure each of its parts.

Diagnostic Laboratory

Sometimes we need to rely on diagnostic tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis. At Steele Creek Animal Hospital, we offer on-site laboratory testing as well as comprehensive laboratory service from Antech Diagnostics and other area laboratories (Michigan State University, Cornell, Texas A&M, etc.) known for their specific testing expertise.

Our laboratory is capable of processing dozens of tests, including complete blood counts (CBCs), blood chemistry panels, parasite testing (to detect the presence of heartworms, intestinal worms and other internal parasites) and more. Your pet's laboratory tests are performed by our team of specially trained veterinary technicians. The results of the laboratory tests are interpreted by your pet's doctor so she can then provide fast, accurate treatment for your pet.

The following are the most common laboratory tests performed at our hospital.

LaboratoryIn-House Testing Available:

  • Complete blood counts
  • Major organ function chemistries
  • Urine analysis
  • Electrolytes
  • Blood gases
  • Heartworm testing
  • Virus testing (Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Parvovirus)
  • Tick exposure
  • Fecal examination for parasites
  • Skin scraping to detect skin parasites
  • Fungal cultures
  • Skin cytology
  • Mass cytology
  • Ear cytology

We refer to Antech, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and Cornell for:

  • Wellness panels
  • Extended blood evaluations
  • Cultures (skin, urine, ear, wound, etc.)
  • Complete thyroid evaluation
  • Adrenal gland function testing
  • Digestion/pancreatic function testing
  • Cytology and biopsy histopathology
  • Drug metabolism monitoring

Wellness Laboratory Testing

Wellness testing is offered to all patients during their annual and senior pet examination at a very reasonable price. Laboratory testing allows for early detection of internal problems prior to onset of symptoms. Many medical conditions can be managed more easily, successfully and more cost efficiently when diagnosed early.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

CBC measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a sample of blood. The numbers of each cell type provide information to help diagnose anemia, infections and leukemia. If your pet is undergoing treatment for a condition, a complete blood count can help your veterinarian monitor how your pet is responding to the treatment.

Blood-Chemistry Panel (Chem Profile)

A blood-chemistry panel measures electrolytes, enzymes and chemical elements of your pet's blood. Included in a chem profile are important components such as calcium and phosphorous levels, kidney and liver enzymes, glucose and total protein. These measurements help your veterinarian determine how your pet's organs such as kidneys, pancreas and liver, are functioning. Blood-chemistry panels help diagnose and treat illness, as well as monitor your pet's response to treatment. A blood-chemistry panel is usually performed to screen for potential problems and risks before anesthesia is administered.

Fecal Examination (Fecal)

Your veterinarian may examine your pet's feces under a microscope for clues about many different kinds of diseases, including difficulties with digestion, internal bleeding and pancreas disorders. Most importantly, a fecal examination confirms the presence of intestinal parasites, including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and giardia. A fecal examination is part of your pet's complete wellness examination.

Urinalysis (UA)

Laboratory testing of your pet's urine can help detect the presence of specific substances that normally do not appear in urine, including protein, sugar, white blood cells or blood. Measuring the dilution or concentration of urine can also help your veterinarian diagnose illness. Urinalysis can be helpful in diagnosing urinary tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, kidney problems and other medical conditions.

Glaucoma testingGlaucoma Screening

Glaucoma is an eye disease caused by an abnormal increase in the eye's fluid pressure that results in blindness. There are two types of glaucoma: primary and secondary. Primary glaucoma is an inherited condition that usually affects middle-aged to older pets. Dog breeds genetically predisposed to primary glaucoma include Spaniels, Beagles, Basset Hounds, and Huskies. Cat breeds include Siamese, Burmese, and Persians. Screening for glaucoma using tonometry to measure intraocular pressure in these pets is an important part of their wellness exam.

Secondary glaucoma results from injury or disease of your pet's eye. Chronic infections, lens luxation, and eye tumors are the most common causes. Diagnosis of secondary glaucoma is again based on pressure measurements using tonometry and identification of the underlying eye injury or disease.

Glaucoma symptoms include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • Cloudy appearance to eye
  • Bulging eye

Glaucoma is treatable and when diagnosed early, treatment can save your pet's vision. Pets with early stages of glaucoma may show no symptoms, thus screening for this disease is encouraged.