Diagnostic testing provides veterinarians with the information they need to diagnose and treat almost every health condition, but using outsourced tests can mean waiting several days to weeks for the results. This delay is acceptable for stable and relatively healthy pet, but can mean the difference between life and death for a patient with a critical illness or injury. The Neighborhood Veterinary Centers Calder team relies on our on-site diagnostic capabilities to provide focused, effective treatments without the wait. Here is an overview of our on-site equipment and how each can benefit your pet’s health.

On-site blood and urine testing for pets

Basic blood testing supplies information about your pet’s internal health and valuable insight and clues into their underlying problems. Tests we can perform on-site include a complete blood count, blood chemistry, blood clotting profile, blood gas analysis, and urinalysis. Together, these can reveal crucial information and guide treatment decisions for sick pets concerning the following functions:

  • Kidney, liver, and pancreatic function
  • Oxygen-carrying capacity
  • Immune system status
  • Clotting status
  • Infection presence
  • Hydration and electrolyte balance
  • Glucose regulation

On-site microscopic examinations for pets

Our trained, experienced team members can microscopically examine prepared slides and identify cells and microorganisms in skin, ear, fecal, and biopsy samples. These tests do not require special equipment, making them cost-effective. Conditions we can diagnose with a microscopic examination include:

  • Skin and ear mites
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Bacterial and fungal ear infections
  • Bacterial and fungal skin infections
  • Fatty skin tumors
  • Mast cell tumors

On-site infectious disease screenings for pets

Rapid infectious disease tests are available for select common infections in dogs and cats. These tests can be performed on sick pets or as a preventive screening during routine annual or semiannual wellness visits. When our team can identify diseases during wellness screenings in our clinic, they can immediately order additional tests or implement treatments to prevent your furry pal from becoming ill. For already sick pets, in-house tests can find the cause in less than 15 minutes. Diseases we can test for on-site include:

  • Heartworm
  • Tick-borne diseases in dogs
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Parvovirus
  • Giardia

On-site imaging for pets

The most commonly used on-site imaging tests for pets are X-rays and ultrasound. Most people think X-rays are useful only for seeing bones, but they can reveal problems in many other internal organs and structures, such as the lungs, heart, liver, stomach, intestines, kidneys, and bladder. Different tissue densities appear as varying shades of black, white, and grey, creating detailed, high-contrast digital images.

Ultrasound uses sound waves, rather than radiation, to create an image. An ultrasound image, or sonogram, provides a three-dimensional, real-time view inside the body, whereas X-rays provide a still, two-dimensional image. This technology is useful for sample collection from body cavities or organs, assessing heart function and blood flow, identifying and measuring tumors, and quickly evaluating pets in emergency situations.

When imaging test results are unclear, our veterinarians can send them to a board-certified radiologist or other specialists (e.g., oncologists) for review. Although these services cost a small fee, the expert second opinion can ensure accurate and expedited diagnoses.

Benefits and limitations of on-site testing for pets

On-site testing generally provides our team with the minimum database required to narrow down the differential diagnoses and start treatments immediately. If necessary, we can admit your pet for hospitalized care or surgery, or transfer them to a specialized facility. Immediate results also improve pet owner-veterinarian communication, making decision-making easier and reducing repeat visits for follow-up care.

At times, your pet may require additional tests to determine their underlying problem. We partner with local and national reference laboratories and university research centers to ensure owners can access hundreds of specialized tests for their pets. We also recommend sending basic screening tests to an outside lab for routine wellness care when pets appear healthy and are acting normally at home. Our in-house and reference laboratories work together to balance affordability, speed, and convenience. 

On-site testing enables our Southeast Texas veterinarians to provide your pet with the best possible care. Our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers Calder team works closely with our other locations to ensure your pet has access to advanced testing and services. Contact us to schedule your pet’s next routine wellness appointment, or for on-site diagnostic testing, when your furry pal is feeling under the weather.