Veterinary Services

Diagnostic Care

When your pet is sick or injured, they can’t tell us what’s wrong. A thorough physical exam and history (symptoms you’ve noted at home) are the first important steps. If the diagnosis is not immediately evident upon initial assessment, our medical team will recommend specific diagnostic tests. These may include:

  • Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
  • Imaging such as X-rays or ultrasound, which allow diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary.
  • Microscopy is quite useful in the evaluation of lab samples such as ear swabs, skin impressions and scrapes, and needle biopsies of tumors. These tests are helpful in the diagnosis of dermatologic and otic (ear) conditions.
  • Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer tear test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (tonometry).

Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Our medical team can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.

In-House Laboratory

We utilize state-of-the-art laboratory equipment to perform common baseline and emergency labwork. These results are available to our veterinarians within approximately an hour.  When our animal companions are in pain, they cannot tell us where they are hurting. In order to establish what is happening, we perform lab tests to help identify common concerns such as dehydration, anemia, and infection, in addition to more extensive concerns such as kidney disease, liver disease, and pancreatitis.

Common laboratory diagnostics performed at UPCC:

  • K9 parvo test
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Full Chemistry panel (kidney, liver, pancreas, protein)
  • Urinalysis
  • PT (prothrombin time) — measures clotting capability
  • Ethylene glycol — used for antifreeze ingestion
  • Fecal Analysis
  • Cytology

Certain labwork can only be performed by an outside laboratory. We recommend partnering with your primary veterinarian to have such diagnostics completed.

  • Histopathology
  • Phenobarbitol level

Surgery & Related Services

At some point in your pet’s life, they may need a surgical procedure. Our facility offers the following surgical services for your canine and feline friends:

  • Lacerations/wound repair
  • Aural (ear) hematoma repair
  • Cesaerean-section for difficult labors
  • Enucleation (eye removal)
  • Abdominal and soft tissue procedures

In the best interests of our pet, if we feel we are not equipped to address your pet’s surgical need, you will be referred to an alternative facility. Any surgical procedures performed are outpatient-based. Your pet will go home with you the same day with instructions to guide you through home care.

Emergency & Urgent Care

In an emergency, seconds count. When you arrive with your pet on an emergency or urgent care basis, our highly trained staff will perform an immediate triage assessment to assess the stability of your pet and the need for medical intervention. In life-threatening situations, placing an IV catheter and administering IV fluids, giving oxygen supplementation, and pain relief medications may be elements of the initial stabilization of your pet. As your pet is stabilized, our medical team will refer your pet to an emergency facility to address your pet’s specific needs.

The first component of basic triage is assessing your pet’s level of consciousness, airway/breathing, circulatory status (pale gums or weak pulses, racing heart), and pain score. Patients needing urgent medical attention, upon consent will be moved to our treatment area for immediate doctor assessment and commencement of care. If your pet is deemed stable, your wait time can vary based on the medical conditions of the other pets being treated. After your pet’s condition as been assessed, your veterinarian will review a diagnostic plan which may include imaging (radiographs, ultrasound) and laboratory evaluation (blood and/or urine tests) to ascertain the severity of the situation and tailor treatment for your pet.