Diagnostic Services

X-rayDigital Radiographs

Radiographs, or X-rays, are one of the most common and useful diagnostic tools in medicine. After performing a thorough examination, diagnostic tests are sometimes necessary to identify the underlying cause of your companion’s illness.

The veterinary team at Derry Animal Hospital uses digital X-rays to examine your pet’s bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas and for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. There are many important advantages to digital X-rays:

  • They can be immediately viewed on a computer monitor.
  • The clear, detailed images can be manipulated to get a better view of your pet’s bones and internal organs, leading to a faster, more accurate diagnosis.
  • They take less time to process, which means less time for your pet on the X-ray table (and less stress), and less waiting time for you.
  • No harsh chemicals are needed to develop the images, reducing potential harm to our staff and the environment.
  • If a second opinion is necessary, digital X-rays can be sent by email to a board-certified veterinary radiologist.

Advanced diagnostic capabilities are an extremely important part of veterinary medicine, especially because we can’t simply ask our patients what’s wrong. Our investment in digital X-ray technology reflects our commitment to offer your pet the best, most comprehensive healthcare available.

OFA Radiographs

We also perform specialized X-rays to detect hip dysplasia and other inherited diseases in your pet. These OFA radiographs and evaluations are then submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, a non-profit foundation which keeps a database of all breeds over many generations. Their goal is to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic disease through data and research.

OFA radiographs and evaluations can be submitted for hips, elbows, knees and shoulders. There is a standard by which all veterinarians must follow regarding the positioning of the animal being radiographed, the labeling of the radiographs, and forms submitted. In this way, the x-rays are consistent. When dogs are radiographed, owners need to bring in their AKC registration forms and their pet must be microchipped for identification.

Please refer the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website for further information.

Veterinary UltrasoundUltrasound

Ultrasound is a painless, safe, non-invasive procedure we use to evaluate your pet’s internal organs. Using sound waves, ultrasound produces a real-time moving picture of your pet’s organs that allows us to visualize objects that cannot be detected by X-rays alone. It is one of the many ways we strive to give you peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s health.

At Derry Animal Hospital, we use ultrasound to assess the shape, size, tissue density, internal structure, and position of your pet’s abdominal organs, assess cardiac health (also called an echocardiogram), and diagnose pregnancy. It can also be used to identify masses or tumors and as a guide during surgical biopsies.

The ultrasound procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to perform and, unless it is being used during a surgical biopsy, does not typically require sedation. A diagnosis based on what we see is usually available immediately, which means we can also provide you with treatment options at the time of your appointment and minimize your worry and stress.

Our In-House Laboratory

When performing routine wellness examinations or diagnosing an illness, what our veterinarians can’t see is as important, if not more important, than what they can. At Derry Animal Hospital, our comprehensive laboratory testing provides information about your pet’s overall systemic health without the need for invasive and expensive procedures.

Our in-house diagnostic laboratory allows us to perform blood-chemistry panels, complete blood counts, Heartworm and tick-borne disease testing, feline retroviral testing, urinalysis, urine cultures, cytology and more. Without timely access to these test results, it would be difficult to make an accurate assessment of your pet’s health.