When our animal companions are feeling sick or have become injured, they cannot speak to explain what’s wrong or tell us where it hurts. It’s up to us, as loving pet parents and qualified veterinary professionals, to be able to recognize the signs that something might be wrong, and to take the appropriate measures necessary to identify, diagnose and treat the problem in a timely manner. Veterinary diagnostics are invaluable tools that provide our doctors with the ability to learn what’s happening inside your pet’s body so that we can quickly and accurately address the problem and get your companion back on the road to good health again as soon as possible.

Merrick Animal Hospital utilizes a broad range of routine and advanced diagnostic tools, such as laboratory testing, x-rays and ultrasound imaging, to help manage the ongoing health of our patients. We use cutting edge equipment, up to date techniques and modern technology to measure and monitor your pet’s health in the most effective way possible. If there is a problem, we are fully prepared to develop an appropriate treatment plan that will address the issue at hand quickly and accurately. With many medical conditions, time is of the essence. Our in-house laboratory allows us to obtain results from a wide variety of diagnostic tests in a timely manner, greatly improving the outcome for our patients.

Radiology (X-Ray)

A radiograph (also known as an x-ray) is a type of photograph that can capture an image of the inside of the body and reveal information that may not be discernable through an external exam. Radiography can be used to evaluate almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, and abdominal organs, as well as the skeletal system. Radiography is painless, safe, and completely non-invasive. Because the level of radiation exposure needed to perform this type of testing is very low, even pregnant females and very young pets can undergo radiography.

Merrick Animal Hospital utilizes x-ray technology to evaluate our patients’ bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the internal organs. An organ’s size is important because some medical conditions – such as kidney, heart, or liver disease – can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can also be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected using radiography, as can bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions. We also use x-rays to look for hidden dental disease including abcessing, cavities, and dental cysts.

Radiographs are an important tool that can help us achieve an accurate and timely diagnosis for your pet. Our radiology service is staffed by caring, skilled professionals who will provide state-of-the-art care with compassion and expertise.

Ultrasound Imaging

Ultrasonography is a diagnostic technique that uses ultrasound waves to produce internal images of the patient’s body. Unlike other imaging techniques, like x-rays, ultrasonography does not use radiation. Instead, this technique uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) waves to create a picture of what is going on inside your pet’s body. Ultrasonography is a completely non-invasive, painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases.

Ultrasound waves can generate excellent images of abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and kidneys. It is also useful for assessing fetal health and monitoring pregnancy in breeding animals, and it can help us diagnose and stage (determine the severity of) some forms of cancer. What’s more, because ultrasound images are produced in real time, this technology can be used to evaluate the heart as it beats to help us detect abnormalities in the motion of heart valves, measure blood flow through the heart, and monitor contractions of the heart muscle. It can also be used to assess the heart for defects.

As we strive to provide our patients with the highest quality medicine and diagnostic testing, we are pleased to offer ultrasound as one of our diagnostic capabilities.