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Diagnostic Care

Internal systems, ingested foreign objects, and intestinal parasites, among others, are left unseen during a physical exam. Bloodwork, lab tests, and advanced imaging takes wellness care to another level and give us greater insight into what you pet needs to improve or maintain his or her overall health.

We've invested in an on-site diagnostic laboratory and advanced imaging technology to best serve our patients. This gives us the capability to efficiently and accurately provide on-demand bloodwork, lab tests, and imaging results. Most of the tests we recommend can conveniently be performed during your pet's routine physical exam.

 

In-house Lab & Bloodwork

Lab tests and bloodwork help us to keep healthy pets on the road to good health, and sheds light on the nature of sick pets' conditions.

We recommend bloodwork be performed annually for dogs and cats, especially pets older than seven years of age. These tests provide a normal baseline of health in your pet and help us to detect changes in organ function early on when concerns are most treatable by medication or adjustments to diet and lifestyle.

Pets naturally hide signs of disease and illness, which is why we test blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissues to identify any abnormalities in your pet. The results of these tests allow us to track health trends, establish a baseline of health, and prevent disease onset and progression.

Common Bloodwork & Lab Tests Performed at Harbor Animal Hospital:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) tests for infection, inflammation, anemia, and calculates blood clotting components.

  • Blood chemistry panel is made up of a variety of tests that mainly determine the functioning of major bodily organs like the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

  • Electrolytes testing is useful in monitoring hydration levels, bone metabolism, and overall body condition.

  • Thyroid tests calculate if the thyroid is underactive, normal, or overactive. It’s critical that your pet’s thyroid functions normally because the thyroid gland regulates most metabolic functions in the body.

  • Urinalysis checks kidney function and helps to detect diabetes.

  • Fecal Tests check for the presence of intestinal parasites.

 

Advanced Imaging

Digital x-ray and ultrasound imaging technology give us an inside look at vital bodily systems.

  • Digital x-ray takes high-resolution images of bones and internal organs without exposure to radiation. Our veterinarians commonly use digital x-rays to diagnose issues like muscular skeletal disorders, tumors, bladder stones, urinary tract disease, arthritis, heart murmurs, respiratory disorders, and muscular skeletal disorders.

  • Advantages of Digital X-ray: non-invasive, painless, time-efficient results, high-resolution images, and the ability to easily share digital images with pet owners or veterinary specialists.

  • Ultrasound gives us the capability to see pets' internal organs, chest cavities, and abdominal regions. Sound waves provide us with vital information concerning organ function. In particular, ultrasound technology can identify heart disease. Ultrasound is also commonly employed to diagnose foreign body ingestion, pregnancy, masses, intestinal disorders, cancer, and heart and cardiovascular abnormalities.

  • Echocardiograms produce an ultrasound image of the heart and large blood vessels to assess overall function and anatomy non-invasively. Dr. Ned Bartlett performs case-based echocardiograms to diagnose heart disease and heart abnormalities.

 

Pain Management

Like humans, pets feel pain as a result of infections, illnesses, injuries, dental disease, arthritis, cancer, and bone disease. Pets also feel some levels of pain and discomfort after surgery.

The difference in pain management between pets and humans is that pets cannot let us know when and where they are hurting. Our medical team has years of experience recognizing even the subtlest signs of pain in our patients. This has helped us to maximize the comfort, wellbeing, and full recovery of countless patients.

Pain affects not only physical functioning, but can also have a negative impact on a pet's mental health and overall wellbeing. To treat the whole patient, pain management is a primary consideration for all pets being treated at Harbor Animal Hospital.

As your pet's caretaker, it's important to recognize signs of pain in your pet at home. If you notice any of the following signs in your pet, let us know right away:

  • Increased vocalization
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Lapses in housetraining
  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns
  • Resistance to being handled or touched
  • Less frequent grooming
  • Being more or less affectionate than usual
  • Constant licking or chewing a particular area of the body
  • Aggression, especially a previously friendly pet
  • Flattened ears, enlarged pupils, and vacant stares

 

Dermatology & Allergy testing

Skin and coat condition is a good indicator of a pet's overall health status. Ideally, a pet will have a shiny and sleek coat, and healthy skin without the presence of parasites or lesions. If this is not the case for your pet, we can help! Harbor Animal Hospital offers dermatology and allergy consultations to help patients feel their best and look good, too.

Dermatological Issues & Allergies

Dermatological issues can appear for a variety of reasons, like:

  • Parasites
  • Seasonal allergens
  • Food sensitivities
  • Fungal or bacterial infections
  • Metabolic changes
  • Stress

The #1 source of skin irritation in pets is fleas, specifically flea saliva. Irritation can be relieved with flea treatment products, but it's important to come see us first and we will recommend the right product for your pet. Never use over-the-counter brands, as these products can cause greater irritation or even be toxic to some pets.

 

Diagnosing Dermatological Issues

The most common sign of a skin issue is severe itching. This results in constant scratching, rubbing, chewing, or licking. Other common signs include scabby, red, or flaky skin, excessive shedding, hot spots, lumps or bumps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Schedule a consultation if you observe any of these signs in your pet. We're here to provide relief.

In some cases, a visual examination is enough to diagnose a pet. But, further testing is oftentimes needed to make an accurate diagnosis. This may include tests like blood samples, skin scrapings, biopsies, and cultures, which can be analyzed in our on-site laboratory for quick results and faster treatment.