Advanced Diagnostic Services

Digital Radiography

Digital RadiographyRadiographs (X-rays) are extremely helpful for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. X-rays are useful in examining your pet's bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas of the body. An X-ray can spot a fractured bone, detect tumors, help with the diagnosis of heartworm disease or locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet's intestine or stomach. When used in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures like ultrasound, X-rays can accurately diagnose problems, making treatment faster and easier for your pet and your veterinarian.

In order to provide your pet with the best medical care, Hill Country Animal Hospital uses the latest in computerized radiology equipment as part of your pet's diagnostic care. Digital radiographic images are far more detailed and offer a range of features that enhance your veterinarian’s ability to make an accurate diagnosis. Because our radiographs are digital, we are also able to easily submit them electronically to a board-certified radiologist for timely second opinions.

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Ultrasound

UltrasoundUltrasound is a pain-free, totally non-invasive technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a real-time image of your pet's internal organs. Often considered more exact than radiographs, ultrasound provides a movie of what is happening inside your pet's body.

It is particularly useful in viewing your pet's abdominal organs including the spleen, kidneys, liver, and gallbladder. It can also be used to evaluate heart functions, bladder scans and the digestive tract.

Ultrasound also works well in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and a wide range of diagnostic procedures. For example, if an X-ray shows an abnormality on your pet, an ultrasound can determine the origin and whether it has spread elsewhere in your pet's body. Using the ultrasound image as a guide, surgical biopsies can be obtained without major surgery and your pet can often go home the same day. Ultrasounds are typically not stressful for your pet and take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to perform.

Hill Country Animal Hospital uses modern ultrasound technologies and is up-to-date on the latest ultrasound-assisted procedures. We also work with a board-certified internist to perform advanced ultrasound procedures in our facility.

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Echocardiograms

Echocardiograms are specialized ultrasound images of the heart that are far more precise than electrocardiographs. An echocardiogram creates a two-dimensional real-time video image of the cardiovascular system that displays the function of the valves in the heart, the contractions of the heart, blood flow through the arteries, and more.

Hill Country Animal Hospital works with a board-certified internist to provide this very important diagnostic tool to our clients’ pets in our facility.

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Our Lab

Our On-site LabPerforming preventative medicine as well as diagnosing emerging internal health issues requires the ability to perform a wide range of laboratory tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to precise laboratory test results—blood testing, biopsies, microscopic examinations, bacterial culture sensitivity, and more—it can be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet's health.

For example, diagnostic testing can detect heartworm disease, Lyme disease, infections, feline leukemia/FIV, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, and many additional diseases and conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Early blood testing can show evidence of disease such as diabetes, changes in liver or kidney function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference. Diagnostic testing is also included in pre-anesthetic screenings prior to dental or surgical procedures that require general anesthesia.

Hill Country Animal Hospital has a complete in-house laboratory that is capable of running full chemistry panels, complete blood counts, electrolytes, clotting times, heartworm testing, pancreatitis screens, snap tests for giardia, fecal testing for parasites, blood smears, parvo screens, feline leukemia, ethylene glycol to detect antifreeze ingestion, diabetes screening, and more.

In many cases, our sophisticated instruments and diagnostic capabilities allow us to receive results within minutes.

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