Even with the most proactive approach to your pet's health, they will undoubtedly experience an unexpected illness, injury or require some form of unplanned medical intervention during the course of their life. VCH is well equipped with, not only advanced equipment and testing capabilities, but also an extremely knowledgeable staff who know how and when to intervene. Our in-house diagnostic capabilities are something that sets us apart from other practices.
VCH strongly recommends annual lab work for your pet. Routine lab work provides our medical team with a wealth of knowledge about your pet. It provides a comprehensive baseline that our doctors can refer back to and compare during times of illness. Additionally, we have the capability to perform additional testing in house should your pets condition warrant it. These tests include:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) which can detect anemia, or suggest possible infection
- Blood chemistry panels which indicate how well your pet is performing the tasks of daily living at a cellular level. The liver and kidneys help remove toxins and waste products from the body and would be elevated on this panel.
- Electrolyte levels, which can affect how cells function and how the heart functions
- Thyroid function levels (T4) which help rule out hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism; metabolic conditions similar to people
- A urinalysis which provides insight into renal functioning and also urinary tract infections or kidney stones
Ultrasound and X-ray are vital in situations where our doctors want to take a closer look at something that can't otherwise be detected upon physical exam. Our medical team is trained to interpret the images these machines produce and we also have the capability to instantly send them off to a specialist for second opinion if necessary.
Skin and ear problems are two of the most common problems in dogs and cats. We are able to use what is called a cytology to diagnose skin or ear infections, and determine the necessary course of treatment. In the simplest meaning, cytology is a branch of biology dealing with the study of cells, specifically their structures and functions. At VCH, we use ear and skin cytologies to differentiate between yeast and various bacteria.