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Our Doctors and staff believe strongly in providing high quality Veterinary care to all of our patients without sacrificing compassion. Acquiring an early and accurate diagnosis plays a key role in treatment when your pet is ill, and we are proud to have the capability to perform almost all of our diagnostics on our premises, in most cases without the need for referral.
In critical care situations, it is crucial that we have the ability to obtain quick, reliable and most importantly accurate information regarding your pet's health. This is why we feel as though it is our responsibility to obtain as much high-tech, and state-of-the-art equipment as possible, so that we are able to provide the safest and most effective treatment for your pet as possible. Some of our latest technologies are discussed below.
Ultrasound allows us to visualize the internal architecture of many organs. Radiographically inapparent internal abnormalities such as nodules, masses, cysts and abscesses cannot only be seen, but can also be counted and measured.
Although the ultrasound examination alone is in many cases non-specific for a particular disease, in conjunction with the animal's age, sex, breed, history, physical exam, radiographic findings and labwork, as well as ultrasound guided fine needle aspirates or true-cut biopsies, the specificity for disease can be high. Many organs that are difficult to see on plain film radiographs (prostate) can be easily seen with ultrasound.
Real-time echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart) also allows us to see the heart in motion. From these images, measurements of cardiac contractility, areas of abnormal wall motion, chamber dilatation and wall thickening are made and compared to normal values.
We are proud to have Endoscopy as one of our many diagnostic capabilities. This is a huge advancement in the Veterinary profession and allows a visual examination of internal organs and body parts without invasive exploratory surgery. It was first described in the early 1800's, but it was not until the late 1800's that optical lenses were developed which could be used in viewing devices and endoscopy could start to be used. Endoscopy is performed with either a rigid or flexible fiberoptic instrument.
Flexible endoscopes such as those used in the examination of the stomach consist of a long, flexible insertion tube with a bending tip at the end that enters the body, an eyepiece, and a control section. The tip of the endoscope is manipulated using a control knob in the hand piece. In addition to the fiber bundles which provide the light source, two channels are present within the endoscope. One channel permits various endoscopic tools to be passed and fluids to be suctioned or samples taken. The other allows air or water to be passed into the stomach/intestine to insufflate (inject air into the area), or wash away mucus from the viewing port. Special video cameras can be attached to the endoscopes which allow viewing of the exam on a television screen, as well as recording the exam on video.
We depend on laboratory results to help us understand the status of your pet's health. When your pet is sick, the results of lab tests can confirm the presence of some illnesses and rule out others. When your pet is healthy we may want to run lab screening tests to establish baseline values and to possibly detect underlying disease.
We have a full scale, high tech hematology, chemistry, urinalysis and electrolyte in-house laboratory station available for immediate results at all times here at Battleground. The IDEXX Lab Station including the laser site checks blood chemistry, red and white blood cells, and electrolytes. This diagnostic equipment uses lasers for a more accurate measurement on blood work. We also have a multitude of in-house Snap tests available which can detect for such diseases as heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrliciosis, Parvovirus, Pancreatitis and Giardiaosis, in a matter of minutes!
In-house cytology is crucial in diagnosing a multitude of medical conditions from ear infections, blood diseases, tumor identifications and skin infections. We have full capability to perform accurate and timely microscopic examinations of blood smear differentials, fecal flotation and direct smears, ear swab cytology and impression smears in-house.
We have the capability to treat a number of different ocular diseases and injuries here at Battleground, and we have various tools and tests in order to do so. Some of these include the digital tonometer, designed to help read intra-ocular pressures and aids in the detection of glaucoma in your animals. We also perform Schirmer tear testing as well as Flourescein staining, all of which can be performed quickly in-house and with little discomfort to your pet.
Radiology is perhaps one of our most readily used diagnostic tools in Veterinary medicine. A radiograph is an image recorded on a special film consisting of shadows formed by structures and objects in the path of the x-ray beam. Radiography enables our Doctors to detect the subtle to obvious changes in your pet's internal structure from soft tissue changes such as tumors and masses, pneumonia, heart enlargement to orthopedic problems such as osteoarthritis, spondylosis and bone fractures…the possibilities of what a high-quality radiograph can tell us about your pet are endless.
The heart of a dog or cat is similar to that of a human, and it is stimulated by electrical activity. It is this electrical activity that is studied through an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram is useful in Veterinary medicine to determine heart rate abnormalities and detect some congenital defects. The transmission of an ECG via the phone has been used for some time in human medicine.
This is the tool that we employ here at Battleground to provide a cardiologist-reviewed, accurate and timely report; in most cases the same day as the ECG is taken. Certain breeds are pre-disposed to congenital heart disease, therefore we recommend an ECG prior to any anesthetic procedure (including spays and neuters) for all of our Boxers and Great Danes, please ask one of our Technicians for more information if you own one these breeds.