3 Common Diagnostic Procedures Used By Vets

16 March 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Pets are an important part of many people's families. Therefore, it's only natural to feel nervous about your pet having to undergo a veterinary procedure--even when you know that it will help them. If your pet has an upcoming appointment, read on. This article will outline three diagnostic procedures commonly used by veterinarians.

1. Veterinary Ultrasound

Most people already have some familiarity with ultrasound. This is the technique that allows doctors to make images of unborn fetuses. Veterinary ultrasound uses much the same principle: high-frequency sound waves are sent through the animal's body. This provides the vet with a "picture" of internal structures, allowing them to detect such things as abnormal tumors and lesions.

Veterinary ultrasound is a painless procedure, and one which does not require that your pet be anesthetized. However, a vet will often choose to administer some sort of sedative to help calm aggressive or nervous animals. Then a portion of the animal's coat is shaved, a special gel is spread on, and a piece of equipment known as a transducer is applied. The entire procedure takes only minutes to perform.

2. Exploratory Surgery

This diagnostic technique is often used as a follow-up to an ultrasound that yields any suspicious results. The goal of exploratory surgery is merely to allow the veterinarian to refine their diagnosis by taking a closer look inside the animal. The vet may then prescribe a course of medication, or, if necessary, schedule another surgery.

There's no need to worry about exploratory surgery causing undue discomfort for your pet. They will be fully anesthetized prior to the surgery. In most cases, this procedure itself takes no more than thirty minutes, from start to finish.     

3. Culture and Sensitivity

Just like the humans in your family, your pet is susceptible to a wide range of yeast and bacteria-based ailments. In order to correctly identify such issues, vets perform a test known as culture and sensitivity. This diagnostic tool allows the vet to determine both the cause of a particular problem, and the best medication to treat it.

The culture and sensitivity is a minimally invasive procedure, most of which takes place in the lab. But first the vet must obtain a sample. Depending on your pet's particular symptoms, this sample may consist of a number of different things. Among the most common sample materials are:

  • pus or other types of discharge
  • urine
  • feces
  • infected tissue

Bottom Line

It's natural to be concerned about your pet's well-being when taking a trip to the vet. But there's no need to let your fears get the best of you. Understanding some of the common diagnostic procedures used by vets will help to put your mind at ease the next time your pet is in need of a check-up. If you have to visit an emergency vet, you can ask them about what types of procedures your pet is likely to need in their situation.