physical exam and common tests
Health Testing For Your Pet
How do we get the most important information we can gain to help protect your pet’s health? We talk to you!
The information you provide us about your pet is critical. No one knows them like you do. Many times owners know something isn’t right, even before we can find it. We will always take you seriously and listen to your concerns.
Sometimes though, pets hide their symptoms and owners have no idea there is a problem.
This is where our physical exam comes in.
Our goal is to examine your pet from their nose to the tip of their tail.
A good physical examination should include a look in their mouths, eyes, and ears. We will examine their skin, how they move, and how act as well. Obviously, these steps have to be tailored as some pets are more nervous than others, but we will do our best to get all the information we can while minimizing the fear factor.
Blood Work and Urinalysis
These are critical tests for any sick patient, as well as our otherwise healthy but older patients. See the graphic below for more information.
Blood Pressure in Pets
While we can measure blood pressure in our dogs and cats, it isn’t quite as simple. We have to use equipment that is a bit different and it can be really tough to get good reliable numbers.
Our pet’s blood pressure will change with fear like ours does, so we will often try to get blood pressures while the pet is in their family’s lap or resting beside them. We have to be patient and let them adjust to the equipment, so it can take some time.
Animals get glaucoma like people. It is very painful but because it causes headaches, our patients are often unable to alert us to this type of pain. Measurement helps us take the guesswork out of this problem.
We also test for low eye pressure (uveitis) that is also painful and caused by a long list of problems.
X-rays help us see bones and the outer shape of organs. Because our images are digital, we can easily send this critical information to specialists if needed such as radiologists and surgeons. We can also give you a copy of the images on disc.
While x-rays let us see the outer shape of organs, ultrasound lets us see inside the organs. This tool is useful for finding certain types of tumors, evaluating the liver, kidneys, and bladder among other areas of concern.
We are also able to take x-rays of the teeth. This takes a special machine but is the only way to know if a tooth is healthy or not.
It is particularly useful for evaluating the heart as well, though for this we will often make a referral to a cardiologist.
This is one of our most common tests.
Our pets frequently get ear infections, but these infections can be from different causes and may require different medications. The ear cytology tells us which type of infection is present so we can use the proper medication.
Owners are often confused when we need to repeat this test. This is because one type of infection tends to turn into another over time.
Just because a pet has responded to a medication in the past, doesn’t mean the new infection is the same.