Diagnostic Testing

Laboratory Testing

Since your sick pet can’t tell us what’s wrong, veterinarians must sometimes supplement physical exams with sophisticated diagnostic testing.

Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital is equipped with a comprehensive on-site diagnostic laboratory, allowing us to measure more than 100 laboratory values, with results often available within minutes. In addition, if your pet requires specialized testing, we work with several outside referral labs.

Along with heartworm testing, complete blood count, blood-chemistry panel, urinalysis and fecal examination are the most common laboratory tests performed at our hospital.

Digital Radiology

With the advent of digital radiography, our hospital is able to take high-quality, digital x-rays of your pet. Harden Ranch Veterinary Hospital is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital radiography unit. Digital radiographs are extremely helpful for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical problems, including musculoskeletal, cardiovascular (cardiopulmonary), gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary systems.

The advantages of modern digital radiology are many. The time spent taking your pet’s radiographs is significantly shortened and fewer pictures need to be taken to achieve diagnostic-quality results. This means less stress for your pet, making their experience much more pleasant!

If a second opinion is necessary, digital radiographs can be transmitted to a veterinary radiology specialist, making consults much easier and faster than by sending them by regular mail or courier.

Ultrasound

HRVH is pleased to offer ultrasound, a non-invasive, state-of-the-art technology using sound waves to produce a visual map of the interior of the body. This technology allows for a painless exam of specific internal organs, primarily the heart and abdominal organs.

Ultrasound can also be used for the targeted biopsies of diseased organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys or prostate. Another application of ultrasound is to diagnose pregnancy and count the number of puppies or kittens in the mother’s uterus.

We are especially proud of our co-founder Dr. Loly Hogans, who recently completed a fellowship at the U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, in the area of veterinary ultrasound technology. Dr. Hogans’ expertise is yet another way we are able to deliver leading-edge care for your pet.

Endoscopy

With the aid of various types of endoscopes, the veterinarian can visualize areas that would not normally be accessible without invasive surgery. The scopes are equipped with a lighted camera and pictures are transferred to a monitor. Using the scopes, the veterinarian can diagnose gastrointestinal disorders, bladder and urethral disorders, nasal disorders, remove some cancerous growths and polyps; obtain biopsy samples and much more.

Flexible Endoscopy is an extremely useful procedure which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of problems occurring in the upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. GI Endoscopy is often indicated when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs and ultrasound do not provide a complete diagnostic picture. 

Rigid Endoscopes are used for examining ear canals, the nasal cavities, the pharynx and larynx and the urethra and bladder.

The endoscope can also be useful in the removal of foreign objects that may have been swallowed or inhaled by your pet. Using the endoscope as a guide, the veterinarian may even be able to remove such objects, rather than resorting to major surgery.

Even though anesthesia is required to keep your pet still during the endoscopic procedure, the amount of anesthesia and recovery time is greatly reduced from what would be typical of major surgery.

Dr. Jeff Hogans has received advanced training in endoscopy at the University of Tennessee and Colorado St. University, as part of our ongoing commitment to providing innovative medical care for your pet.

Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is a procedure in which a cylindrical fiber-optic scope is inserted into the airways. This scope contains a viewing device that allows the visual examination of the lower airways (trachea and lungs) and is used to detect and identify structural abnormalities, abnormal airway secretions, foreign bodies and masses including certain tumors.

Heavy sedation or anesthesia is required to perform bronchoscopy on our veterinary patients. Once the animal is anesthetized, the bronchoscope is passed into the trachea from the oral cavity.

If the purpose of the bronchoscopy is to take tissue samples or biopsies, forceps or a bronchial brush are used. If the purpose is to identify an infectious agent, a bronchoalveolar lavage can be used to gather fluid for culture and identification purposes. If a foreign body is seen, special grasping forceps are used for its removal, eliminating the need for more complicated surgery.

The side effects of bronchoscopy are generally minimal. Minor side effects arise from the bronchoscope causing abrasion of the lining of the airways. This results in some swelling and inflammation, as well as hoarseness caused from abrading the vocal cords. Some coughing may also result from the procedure.

Due to the minimum health risks and the diagnostic benefits, bronchoscopy is an exceptionally beneficial procedure for diagnosing lower respiratory problems in our companion pet patients.