Commonly referred to as X-rays, radiographs diagnose diseases and conditions in the chest, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system (this includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue). Radiographs are the most common diagnostic tool used in veterinary medicine. They are fast and accurate at diagnosing a wide variety of conditions, including:
- Foreign bodies – Gastrointestinal obstruction
- Urinary obstructions
If you think your pet might have a urinary obstruction, please head directly to a 24/7 emergency room. This can be a life-threatening emergency. Urinary blockages more commonly affect cats, and is especially dangerous in male cats.
- Bone fractures and other trauma
- Respiratory distress and pneumonia
X-rays are safe, non-invasive, and do not cause discomfort. In some cases sedation may be recommended to relieve signs of anxiety or stress your pet may exhibit during the procedure.
Comprehensive Lab Equipment
Veterinary Urgent Care clinics have in-house comprehensive lab equipment to run full bloodwork and urinalysis on your pet. Our clinics also use a larger reference lab for more in-depth tests that can be sent out.
Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS)
A point of care ultrasound, also known as a FAST scan (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma, Triage and Tracking), is a radiation-sparing, diagnostic imaging tool utilized by emergency clinicians to answer urgent, and often life-saving, clinical questions within minutes. This technology compliments the physical examination in an unstable patient as it can be brought bedside and performed non-invasively.
Information that can be gleaned quickly, stress-free, and safely with the point of care ultrasound includes:
- The presence or absence of free fluid within the abdominal, thoracic, and pericardial cavity which is critical in the diagnosis of:
- Traumatic and non-traumatic hemoabdomen and hemothorax
- Pericardial effusion: fluid accumulation in the structure around the heart.
- Ascites: fluid accumulation in the abdomen.
- Pleural effusion: fluid accumulation in the chest cavity around the lungs and heart. It occurs as a result of an impairment in circulation, in cats with left heart failure, and in cats and dogs with biventricular heart failure. Pleural effusion can cause significant difficulty breathing, and cause your pet to act very distressed or lethargic.
- Guidance for safe intravenous fluid therapy during the treatment of hypovolemic shock.
- Diagnosis of causes of respiratory distress such as heart disease, pneumonia, pneumothorax (air around the lung space), pulmonary hypertension, and thromboembolisms, among many other etiologies.
- Information to aide in the emergent diagnosis of causes of collapse such as anaphylaxis.
- Detection of cancer/tumors.
- Identification of gall bladder and urinary bladder disease.
- Assessment of fetal distress during dystocia (difficult birth).
- Evaluation of soft tissue structures such as in cases of abscesses.
Point-of-care ultrasound has revolutionized the practice of emergency medicine as it provides a wealth of life-saving information to guide treatment and aide in prognosis.