We perform and interpret a number of diagnostic tests to accurately determine the nature of your pet’s illness.
Ultrasound is used to provide images of the organs, enabling our Veterinary Surgeons to assess their size, structure and function. At our practices we have a dedicated ultrasound rooms to perform examinations.
Abdominal ultrasound is used to look for pregnancy and also to check the liver, spleen, stomach, intestines, kidneys, bladder and genital tract. This can be a useful test, for example when looking for causes of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Ultrasound of the heart is called Echocardiography. Echo enables us to see the size and shape of the heart chambers and look for reasons for heart murmurs. At Thanet Animal Hospital we can also use Doppler echocardiography to measure the speed of blood flow within the heart.
We can even use ultrasound to assess the eye.
It is possible to perform this test in most species, and we rarely need to use sedation or anaesthesia to facilitate the examination.
Ultrasound can also be used to guide sampling of abnormal areas.
Here at our practices we have digital radiography, allowing us to take quick, accurate x-rays with good diagnostic quality.
X-ray is commonly used to assess for broken bones, but can also be used to look for causes of breathing problems and abdominal diseases such as obstruction with a foreign body.
Contrast radiography (where dye is used to highlight a problem area on x-ray) is also available.
Endoscopy is a technique which allows us to examine the inside of the respiratory tract (bronchoscopy) or gastro-intestinal tract (gastroscopy or proctoscopy).
Effectively, this means we can visualise the inside of the airways, stomach or intestines using a fibre-optic camera. This diagnostic tool can be used to take biopsies or washes and to remove foreign material (such as grass seeds or bouncy balls). We can also use this tool to examine inside the ears, nose and throat.
Blood pressure in dogs and cats is measured in a similar way to humans. We have blood pressure kits available for routine diagnosis of high blood pressure, and also for monitoring of unwell patients or those undergoing anaesthesia.
Standard ECG is used at Thanet Vets Margate to diagnose abnormal heart rhythms, to monitor patients under general anaesthesia and to assess the effects of some drug therapies.
We also have a ‘Holter’ ECG which is a 24-hour monitor for your pet to wear while with us. This helps us to look for intermittently occurring abnormal heart rhythms.
Blood and urine tests are very useful and commonly utilised diagnostic tools.
At our main branch in Margate we have a fully functioning in-house’ laboratory, where most tests can be run on site. This allows us to provide prompt answers when something is wrong with your pet. We can also analyse cytological samples, such as aspirates taken from lumps and bumps, in-house. There is even a dedicated courier service to transport any samples which need to be analysed at an external laboratory.
Tonometry is a tool which enables us to measure your pet’s eye pressures (similar to having a glaucoma check at the opticians). This can help us to look for more serious eye problems such as glaucoma (increased eye pressure).