Early diagnosis and treatment of conditions can mean the difference between a healthy, happy pet and one who experiences major pain, suffering, or ongoing health problems. To catch and treat any dangerous health threats to your pet as early as possible.
If your pet is ill and results are needed quickly, we have an Antech in-house blood chemistry analyzer and complete blood count machine that provides results within 20 minutes. We also have a Heska I-stat, which provides electrolytes and critical blood parameters within 2 minutes for those exceptionally sick pets. For more routine blood screening or specialized testing, we utilize Antech Diagnostic Laboratories. A courier picks up samples twice daily, and for most routine tests, we can have results back the next day.
Using our in-house laboratory, we can test your pet’s urine for sugar and ketones, which may indicate diabetes, microscopic blood, protein, pH, and bilirubin (which may indicate a liver or blood problem). We also look at the urine concentration to ensure the kidneys are working properly and look at urine microscopically for evidence of infection, abnormal cells, and crystals. If we need more information, we may send the urine to Idexx Diagnostic Laboratories for analysis or culture.
We utilize our radiology (x-ray) machine daily for such diverse conditions as evaluating the heart and lungs for pets with heart murmurs, cough, or breathing difficulties; evaluating bones for breaks, arthritis, or tumors; looking in the abdomen for ingested foreign objects, masses, bladder stones; or even evaluating puppies or kittens in pregnant pets.
An electrocardiogram evaluates the rhythm of the heart. We may recommend this diagnostic test if we hear an abnormal rhythm when listening to the heart. We may also recommend this test for a routine heart evaluation for pets with a heart murmur. One of the great advantages of this procedure is that the heart rhythm is transmitted with a special machine to the Institute of Veterinary Specialists in Gainesville to be read by a board-certified cardiologist. The cardiologist will help our veterinarians decide what medications will be helpful for your pet.
Blood Pressure Measurement
We measure blood pressure in animals similarly to how blood pressure is measured in people. We may need to shave a small patch of hair to hear the pulse accurately. Measuring blood pressure is especially important in pets with heart or kidney disease and in cats who may have primary hypertension or thyroid disease.
Glaucoma is an increased pressure in the eye. It may be caused by cataracts, inflammation, or systemic diseases. Glaucoma can be painful and, if uncontrolled, can cause the eye to rupture. When measuring the eye pressure, we first numb your pet’s eyes so they do not feel the touch of the Tonometer to the cornea. If glaucoma is detected early, it can often be managed with a combination of medications.
Dogs and cats with skin problems may have an underlying allergy to fleas, an ingredient in their diet, or to something in the environment (tree pollen, grasses, weeds, molds, or even dust mites). After ruling out other causes of skin problems, our veterinarians may recommend a hypoallergenic diet trial or blood allergy testing for environmental allergies. Blood allergy testing aims not only to find out what your pet is allergic to but also to develop a desensitization vaccine that can help control the clinical signs.
At Falls Church, we have special equipment that helps ensure your pet receives optimal care, even in the face of an emergency. We can provide Constant Rate Infusions of fluids or medications using pumps like the one shown. This pump regulates the amount of fluid or medication your pet receives and warns if the flow has stopped or the infusion is complete. We also have a chamber that can be used for oxygen therapy for small dogs and cats. When an animal has difficulty breathing, they may benefit from a higher oxygen level than room air can provide.
Call (703) 532-6121 if you think your pet could benefit from our diagnostic suite.