Watson's Friends Animal Hospital

Veterinary Diagnostics in Palmetto, FL

Veterinary sick visits and diagnostic care involve seeking medical attention for a pet when they are unwell or showing signs of illness. Sick visits usually involve an examination by a veterinarian to assess the pet's condition, discuss the symptoms, and gather relevant medical history. Diagnostic care may include various tests and procedures to identify the underlying cause of the illness.

Pet X-ray

Pet X-rays are an essential tool for veterinarians to diagnose and treat various health conditions in animals. They provide a detailed image of the bones, organs, and soft tissues, allowing veterinarians to identify any abnormalities or injuries.

X-rays can also help detect:

  • Bone fractures
  • Foreign objects
  • Abnormalities in the lungs and abdomen
  • Monitor the progression of certain diseases, such as arthritis

Preparing for a Pet X-Ray

Before the procedure, we will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare your pet. In general, you will need to fast your pet for a few hours before the X-ray to ensure that their stomach is empty. This will prevent any potential complications during the procedure. You may also need to remove any collars, tags, or metal objects from your pet's body, as they can interfere with the X-ray image.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the X-ray, your pet will be placed on a table or held by a technician to keep them still. The X-ray machine will emit a small amount of radiation, which is safe for your pet and will not cause any harm. The technician will take multiple images from different angles to get a complete view of your pet's body. The process is quick and painless, and most pets do not require sedation.

After the Procedure

After the X-ray, we will review the images and discuss the results with you. If any abnormalities are found, we may recommend further testing or treatment. In some cases, your pet may need to be sedated for more detailed images or to perform additional procedures, such as removing foreign objects. We will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your pet after the procedure, such as limiting their activity or administering medication.

Pet Ultrasound

If your pet is experiencing health issues, we may recommend an ultrasound to get a better look at what's going on inside their body. Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of your pet's internal organs, allowing for a non-invasive and painless way to diagnose potential health problems.

Ultrasounds are useful for detecting:

  • Tumors
  • Cysts and other abnormalities.
  • Pregnancy monitoring
  • Guiding veterinarians during certain procedures

Preparing for an Ultrasound

Before your pet's ultrasound, we may ask you to withhold food and water for a certain amount of time. This is to ensure that your pet's stomach is empty, which can provide a clearer image during the procedure. We may also ask you to bring your pet's medical records and any previous imaging results to the appointment. It's important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the best possible results from the ultrasound.

What to Expect During the Procedure

During the ultrasound, your pet will be placed on a table and a water-based gel will be applied to their skin (we may shave the area first to allow for better imaging). This gel helps to transmit the sound waves and allows for a clearer image. The veterinarian will then use a handheld device called a transducer to move over your pet's body, emitting sound waves and capturing images of their internal organs. The procedure is painless and typically takes around 30 minutes, depending on the area being examined.

After the Procedure

After the ultrasound, your pet can resume their normal activities and eating habits. The gel used during the procedure can be easily wiped off with a towel. We will review the images and discuss the results with you, providing a diagnosis and potential treatment options if necessary. In some cases, we may recommend further testing or a follow-up ultrasound to monitor any changes in your pet's condition.

In-House Laboratory

An in-house laboratory is a facility within a animal hospital that is equipped with the necessary tools and equipment to perform various diagnostic tests on animals. These tests can include blood work, urine analysis, fecal exams, and more.

Having an in-house laboratory allows us to quickly and accurately diagnose and treat a variety of conditions in pets. This is especially important in emergency situations where time is of the essence.

Parasite Testing

Parasites are a common problem in pets, and they can cause a range of health issues, from mild discomfort to serious illness. Some parasites can even be transmitted to humans, making it crucial to keep your pet parasite-free.

Parasite testing is a type of in-house laboratory testing that involves examining a sample of your pet's feces for the presence of parasites. This is typically done during your pet's annual wellness exam, but it may also be recommended if your pet is showing symptoms of a parasitic infection.

Heartworm SNAP Testing

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm that is transmitted through mosquito bites. Heartworm snap testing is a type of in-house laboratory testing that detects the presence of heartworms in your pet's blood.

Heartworm snap testing is crucial for your pet's health for the following reasons:

  • Early Detection: Heartworms can be difficult to detect in the early stages, as symptoms may not be present. By regularly testing your pet for heartworms, we can catch any infections early on and provide prompt treatment.
  • Preventative Care: Heartworm disease can be fatal if left untreated. Regular heartworm snap testing allows us to prescribe preventative medication to keep your pet safe and healthy.
  • Protects Other Pets: Heartworms can be transmitted to other pets. By testing and treating your pet for heartworms, you are not only protecting their health but also the health of those around them.

    FIV/FeLV Snap Testing

    FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) and FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) are two viral infections that can affect cats. These viruses can weaken the immune system and make cats more susceptible to other illnesses. FIV is primarily spread through bite wounds from infected cats, while FeLV can be transmitted through saliva, blood, and urine. Both viruses can be fatal if left untreated.

    FIV/FeLV snap testing is a quick and easy way to detect these viruses in cats. The test involves taking a small blood sample from your cat and using a specialized kit to detect the presence of FIV and FeLV antibodies. Results are typically available within 10-15 minutes, making it a convenient option for both pet owners and veterinarians.

    Early detection of FIV and FeLV is crucial for the health and wellness of your cat. These viruses can be difficult to detect in the early stages, as cats may not show any symptoms. By the time symptoms do appear, the virus may have already progressed to a more advanced stage, making treatment more difficult and less effective.

    FIV/FeLV snap testing is especially important for cats that spend time outdoors or come into contact with other cats. These viruses are more commonly found in stray or feral cats, so if your cat has any contact with these animals, they may be at a higher risk of infection. Additionally, if you are considering adopting a new cat, it is important to have them tested for FIV and FeLV before introducing them to your current pets.


    Urinalysis is a diagnostic test that examines a sample of your pet's urine. It is a non-invasive and painless procedure that can provide valuable insights into your pet's overall health.

    During a urinalysis, we will analyze the physical, chemical, and microscopic properties of your pet's urine. This information can help identify any underlying health issues that may not be apparent during a physical examination.

    Urinalysis testing is an essential tool for veterinarians to assess your pet's health. It can help detect early signs of diseases, monitor chronic conditions, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

    Some common conditions that can be detected through urinalysis testing include urinary tract infections, kidney disease, diabetes, and liver disease. By identifying these issues early on, we can provide prompt treatment and improve your pet's chances of a full recovery.

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