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Prompt and accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition increases our ability to provide a better outcome, often at a lower total cost. At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we are proud to offer an extensive array of in-house diagnostic testing. “In-house” means that you won’t have to wait for your pet’s test to be done by an outside laboratory. In the majority of cases, we are equipped to get laboratory test results within minutes and can therefore get down to the important business of keeping your pet healthy. The Animal Hospital by the Sea offers the following in-house pet diagnostics:


When your pet is not well, a thorough “nose-to-tail” exam will often yield a tremendous amount of information, including important clues that may lead to a correct illness diagnosis and/or the detection of the earliest stages of developing disease.


Fecal examinations, parasite screens, and heartworm testing can be conducted in-house to help rule them out as cause or contributor to your pet’s illness or poor health. We are able to perform most of these tests while you wait, or if dropped off outside of a scheduled appointment, the results will be determined by the end of the day.


At the Animal Hospital by the Sea, we are equipped with a state-of-the-art digital radiology system to evaluate your pet’s musculoskeletal, cardiovascular (cardiopulmonary), gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems. This equipment decreases the stress on your pet by significantly reducing the time it takes for X-rays and therefore the time they need to be held in position. It also enables us to scrutinize the images more closely by allowing magnification and contrast adjustment, all without the need for any additional exposure to your pet. If necessary, we can arrange to have any of our studies read by a board-certified radiologist within 24 hours to increase our ability to determine your pet’s condition.

There is so much that can be learned from a simple blood sample, especially when the information is available quickly. Our laboratory is able to quickly assess the health of your pet’s major organs including the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and thyroid gland. Current information about your pet’s endocrine system and metabolism helps us identify problems faster and allows us the opportunity to readily monitor progress when problems arise.


Many disease conditions result in electrolyte disturbances, a situation that can have far-reaching effects on a body’s ability to function. In some cases, such as an obstructed bladder and the inability to pass urine, it is actually the resulting electrolyte disturbance that presents the life-threatening emergency. Evaluating your pet’s electrolyte status may help flag a diagnosis, and in most cases, correcting an imbalance can help your pet feel better and recover quicker.


A CBC gives us numbers regarding your pet’s red and white blood cells as well as platelets. These numbers can then be interpreted to reveal the presence of inflammation, anemia, certain parasitic infections, or even certain cancers.


A urine sample can provide us valuable information regarding your pet’s kidney function as well as evidence of problems such as infection, diabetes, and urinary stones. This simple test is one very significant way we can gain an insight into the health of your pet’s internal organs. While collecting a sample in a pan outside or at home may be adequate in some instances, a cystocentesis performed in the hospital is necessary to have urine cultured to evaluate an infection or to obtain the most accurate results. This simple procedure, similar to an amniocentesis in pregnant women, involves the passing of a tiny needle into the bladder from outside the abdomen. Thankfully, most pets tolerate cystocentesis very well.


There are some still tests that require the technology of an outside reference laboratory or specialist service. These include imaging studies, such as ultrasound, CT, and MRI, as well as advanced diagnostics, such as specialized blood tests, DNA studies, bladder stone analysis, and histopathology (biopsies). Through familiarity with prominent reference laboratories around the country, the Animal Hospital by the Sea can arrange for your pet to benefit from any and all diagnostic services available worldwide.

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