State-of-the-art diagnostic services are vitally important at West Suburban Veterinary Associates. Accurate and timely diagnoses are the foundation for appropriate treatments. We invest in the very latest equipment and tests to ensure your pet has every chance to thrive.
Digital radiology (x-ray) is a valuable diagnostic tool that aids in our treatment of your pet. West Suburban Veterinary Associates was proud to be the first general practice in Chicago’s western suburbs to use this advanced technology.
Digital x-ray technology is faster and more efficient than traditional film x-rays resulting in less time on the x-ray table (and less discomfort) for your pet. Digital images are better quality than film x-rays and they can be saved to a disc or emailed to veterinary specialists, enabling us to perform immediate referral consultations when necessary. We partner with board-certified radiologists for consultations and can receive the results of a digital x-ray interpretation in as little as 20 minutes.
West Suburban Veterinary Associates employs the latest ultrasound technology. Ultrasound is a form of imaging that allows us to look inside your pet’s body without surgery. It is a completely noninvasive technique. The ultrasound machine sends sound waves into your pet’s body, listens for the echoes, and the echoes form a picture of what’s going on inside your pet.
A few of many reasons that we may suggest an ultra-sound of your pet would be:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of appetite (anorexia)
- Fluid detected in the abdomen
- A mass or abnormality found during a physical
- Unexplained vomiting or diarrhea
- Abnormal bloodwork or X-rays
Ultrasound allows us to look at the size and texture of organs in a three-dimensional way. An ultrasound can show abnormalities on the surface of organs as well as changes within those organs. This information can be invaluable in deciding whether or not to perform surgery on your pet, to help determine if further diagnostics are needed and to obtain more information prior to a surgery.
Our hospital is equipped with a full-service diagnostic laboratory and staff capable of running dozens of laboratory tests from fecal exams to complete blood counts. In an emergency, seconds count, and our trained veterinary technicians are capable of quickly and accurately producing your pet’s lab results.
Digital Dental Radiology
WSVA utilizes digital dental radiographs when performing periodontal therapy on your pet. Dental radiographs are one of the most important diagnostic tools available to ensure the health of your pet. Dental radiographs allow our doctors to visualize the internal anatomy of the teeth, roots and the bone that surrounds the roots. Digital dental radiographs help us diagnose many hidden conditions that may otherwise go undiagnosed. The radiographs can help us discover a fractured or broken root, cysts, tooth resorption, early tumors or un-erupted teeth. Dental radiographs can also help us examine teeth that appear healthy but may actually be compromised. Since our patients can’t speak, they’re unable to tell us that they have a toothache and that they may have been uncomfortable for some time. Dental radiographs will help us discover a problem before it becomes a problem for your pet.
A microscope is an invaluable diagnostic tool that is used throughout the day in veterinary medicine. Our doctors and technicians are able to evaluate many things under the microscope, such as skin infections, mites, urinary infections, parasites, ringworm, allergic reactions and more. We can even identify cancer cells from an aspiration of a lump on your pet. Although we do have to send samples to an outside laboratory to be read by a pathologist, this piece of equipment can help us quickly identify many issues giving us the opportunity to treat your pet immediately. Our microscopes are equipped with a digital camera which gives us the ability to capture an image to show you what we’ve discovered during our evaluation.
An otoscope is a small, lighted magnification source that enables us to see into your pet’s ear canal. It is often used to assess and detect ear problems early. Redness, discharge, excess wax, growths or abnormalities, ear mites and even foreign bodies can be detected with an otoscope. At WSVA we have a digital otoscope that is equipped with a small camera that transmits images from the ear canal to a video monitor, giving our veterinarians close-up views during ear exams. As your pets advocate, our video otoscope will help you understand the diagnosis as you’ll be able to see your pets ear on the screen as well!
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is the only test that can accurately diagnose an arrhythmia or a conduction abnormality in an animal’s heart. Abnormalities include breathing problems, shock, fainting or seizures, cardiac murmurs and systemic disease that affect the heart (tumors, kidney dysfunction, heartworm disease).
The ECG helps our veterinarians decide when other diagnostic tests should be done including blood pressure measurement, thoracic radiography or echocardiography. We also use ECG as part of the preoperative work-up in older animals, for monitoring patients during and after surgery and for evaluating the effects of cardiac drugs.
Our veterinarians perform electrocardiography on a periodic basis in breeds prone to arrhythmias if clinical signs are present. These breeds include boxers, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds and miniature schnauzers.
Tonometry is the method our veterinarians use for pets to determine the fluid pressure inside the animal’s eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP). More than 40 breeds of dogs and cats are at risk for glaucoma. A lightweight “pen” makes momentary contact with the cornea. This gentle measurement only requires a couple of numbing drops to the eye and is painless for your pet.
Ultrasonic Doppler Animal Blood Pressure System
West Suburban Veterinary Associates, P.C., uses the non-invasive Doppler technique which is the method of choice for measuring blood pressure in animals from kittens to large dogs. It is used to screen for hypertension, to check blood pressure in surgery, to monitor blood flow at the extremities during surgery and to check for intact blood vessels after trauma and before amputation.