X-rays, or radiographs, are one of the most useful and common diagnostic tools in medicine. At Heartland Animal Hospital, we use X-rays to examine different parts of your pet's body - such as his or her bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity, and more. Our digital X-ray machine provides us with clear, detailed images which can be manipulated for a better view on-screen. This technology helps us diagnose many medical and surgical conditions more quickly and more accurately. Because the digital X-rays are immediately viewable on a computer monitor, they are an invaluable resource in monitoring a range of conditions.
If we suspect your pet has a fractured bone, swallowed a foreign object, or is suffering from a heart problem, an X-ray can tell us what we need to know. Advanced diagnostic capabilities are an extremely important part of veterinary medicine, in part because we can't simply ask our patients what's wrong. Our investment in digital X-ray technology reflects our commitment to offer you and your pet the best, most comprehensive healthcare available.
When performing routine wellness examinations or diagnosing an illness, what our veterinarians can't see is as important, if not more important, than what they can. That's why we have a complete in-house diagnostic laboratory that allows us to perform a wide range of tests on blood, urine, feces, and tissue aspirates. Having these diagnostic tools at our fingertips allows us to offer faster, accurate diagnoses or assessments of your pet's health. We do utilize a next-day results laboratory for comprehensive bloodwork.
Test results can also help us in the early detection of diseases and other conditions affecting your pet's health and well-being. Diagnostic testing can detect heartworm disease, parvovirus, infections, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, and many additional diseases and conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Blood testing can show early evidence of diabetes, changes in liver or kidney function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference.
Laboratory testing provides information about your pet's overall systemic health without the need for invasive and expensive procedures.
Below are short descriptions of the most common laboratory tests performed:
Complete Blood Count (CBC): CBC testing measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a sample of your pet's blood. The numbers of each type of cell provides information to help
diagnose anemia, infections and leukemia. A complete blood count can also help your veterinarian monitor how your pet is responding to a 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, liver enzymes, kidney 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, and for routine monitoring in our senior patients.
Urinalysis (UA): Laboratory testing of your pet's urine can help detect the presence of 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.
Internal Parasite Screening (Fecal): Your veterinarian will 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 can confirm the presence of intestinal parasites, including roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and giardia. A fecal examination is part of your pet's complete wellness examination.
We moved to Ashland late in 2000 and began using Heartland Animal Hospital in the spring of 2001. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff took the records of our pets from previous veterinarian’s office and used those to start providing treatment to our pets and building their own records. Fifteen years later, we are still sold on the services our pets receive. Dr. Cuddihee and her staff have celebrated our new pets with us and have been caring and empathetic when we’ve had to say goodbye to some very old friends. While it is difficult to talk about euthanasia of very special animal family members, it is important to me to say that the staff at Heartland have kept some of our pets happy and healthy longer than the breed books say they should live. They have been kind, respectful and caring of both of both the pet and us when the time has come to humanely euthanize the animal. Our dogs look forward to going to the vet’s office in Ashland (and know where the treats are). Our cats are tolerant of trips to the vet and rarely get their claws out (a four star review from a cat, believe me). Finally, I would like to make two points. Dr. Cuddihee will give you every option and scenario for treatment available (and the cost associated with it) but she allows you to make the decision of how to proceed. Second, I recently discovered the price of specialized dog food is less at her office than it is at the farm store in Columbia. So if you want great care and service, and reasonably priced pet products, go to Heartland.
Brooke Dawson, “Blackie”, “Critter”, “Etta”, “Smokey”, “Beau”, & “Gabe”