When visiting your own doctor, you likely have to travel to another facility for diagnostic testing, or schedule a future appointment specifically for other tests. When it comes to veterinary hospitals, a one-stop shop for all your pet’s diagnostic and treatment needs is ideal. Neither you nor your pet wants to travel to multiple locations or go to several appointments for recommended tests. In-house diagnostic testing also offers numerous other benefits for your furry pal—here are five of them from our Walnut Creek Vet Hospital team.

#1: In-house testing offers better care for emergency cases

Every second counts in an emergency. If your four-legged friend develops a sudden illness, or suffers a traumatic accident, we need to immediately learn what body systems are affected so we can  begin treatment as quickly as possible. A dog with pancreatitis or a cat in diabetic ketoacidosis can’t wait several days for an outside laboratory to provide test results, because that could prove fatal. 

#2: In-house testing guides a diagnosis and treatment plan

When your pet is ill, it can be impossible to determine the cause without running any diagnostic tests. While we can treat the clinical signs your pet is showing, we may not know the underlying cause, which can prove detrimental to your furry pal’s health. 

With the ability to perform the following tests in our hospital, we can make an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan immediately:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry profile
  • Thyroid hormone testing
  • Blood glucose and fructosamine testing
  • Phenobarbital level testing
  • Blood clotting times
  • Heartworm and tick-borne disease testing
  • Feline viral disease testing
  • Fecal exam
  • Skin and ear cytology
  • Fine needle aspirate
  • Urinalysis
  • Ultrasound
  • Digital radiography
  • Endoscopy

#3: In-house testing eliminates the need for multiple visits

An in-house laboratory allows us to perform all the diagnostic testing your pet needs in one visit, saving you multiple trips and time off work. For example, if your pet is ill, we can run diagnostic tests in a stair-step fashion to aid in budgeting, without needing to schedule more appointments. During the initial appointment, we can run blood work, wait for results, and then see if more diagnostic testing is required, or perform X-rays, an ultrasound, or other lab work during the same appointment.

#4: In-house testing provides safety for pets undergoing anesthesia

When your pet requires anesthesia for a surgical procedure, understanding their internal health status is an essential part of creating a safe anesthetic protocol. Although we can send blood work to an outside laboratory and wait up to a week for results, performing blood work and receiving results the same day as your pet’s scheduled procedure is much more valuable. 

With same-day test results, we can determine if your pet has an infection, electrolyte imbalance, anemia, dehydration, organ dysfunction, or clotting issues before we proceed with anesthesia and surgery. These health problems need to be corrected or appropriately managed for pets to have the best prognosis during and after procedures requiring anesthesia. 

Additionally, some diagnostic testing can only be performed while a pet is sedated or under anesthesia. For example, an endoscopy can only be done while your pet is unconscious, but it can be an ideal alternative to more invasive abdominal exploratory surgery. Once your pet is anesthetized, we can pass an endoscope down into their gastrointestinal (GI) tract to take images, collect biopsy or histopathology samples, or remove lodged foreign objects from the stomach or intestines. By having this diagnostic tool in our hospital, we can save your pet from additional anesthesia, and you from a more costly visit to a specialty hospital. 

#5: In-house testing saves pet owners money and worry

In general, laboratory tests performed within our hospital using our own equipment and staff are much more cost-effective than sending out samples to an outside laboratory for testing. With our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, we can perform many tests other general practices may be unable to, such as fructosamine testing for diabetic patients, blood clotting times before surgery, testing for rodenticide toxicity cases, and phenobarbital therapy levels for seizure patients. 

By performing a multitude of tests in-house, we are not only able to save you money, but also time and worry. We can obtain results the same day as your pet’s appointment, eliminating the stress of waiting several business days for outside laboratory results.

If your pet requires diagnostic testing, whether as part of their wellness care or because they are ill, count on our in-house laboratory for rapid, cost-effective results. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s appointment with our Walnut Creek Vet Hospital team.