The single, most important thing a pet owner can do to maintain their pet's quality of life while maximizing their lifespan is to have routine physical exams and lab work performed by an expert team of veterinary medical professionals.
Routine physical exams and wellness labwork allow us to establish a baseline for each patient. Your pet's care team will carefully examine each of your pet's major biological systems. This way, we can quickly notice if something is different or goes awry. The symptoms of health problems are typically subtle at first, then gradually progress until they reach an advanced stage.
Routine physical examinations and laboratory testing help us to catch these issues earlier, when they are much easier to treat. Preventive care can help your pet live a longer and happier life by your side.
Your Pet’s Exam
Each time you bring your pet in for an exam is a chance for us to perform a thorough evaluation. As a regular patient, this affords us the chance to pick up on small changes throughout your pet’s years and ensures a high quality of life as long as possible.
Your veterinarian and care team will evaluate your pet's eyes, ears, skin, teeth, internal organs such as the lungs and heart, body condition and behavior during the exam. Additionally, you'll likely see them performing movements to evaluate your pet's skeletal and neurological systems for signs of potential problems. Your care team may ask you questions to help them evaluate your pet's nutritional status as well.
In-House Laboratory & Diagnostic Services
The SoMa Animal Hospital team knows how important a prompt and accurate diagnosis can be in the care of your pet. That's why we offer a full, in-house laboratory as well as ultrasound and digital radiography (x-ray). These tools allow us to provide the highest standard of medicine for your pet and offer the best treatment plan possible.
Some of the common tests we can run in our laboratory include kidney, liver and pancreatic evaluations, feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) screenings, parvovirus testing, senior and puppy/kitten screenings and stool testing.
We also maintain relationships with referral laboratories and veterinary radiologists we can utilize when necessary.
How Do X-Rays Work?
By directing electromagnetic radiation toward the part of the body in question, digital radiographs (also called X-rays) create an image highlighting your pet's bones and internal organs. In many cases, radiographs can show your veterinarian things like skeletal fractures, foreign bodies that may be present, the extent of dental disease and even soft tissue damage in some cases.
What is Ultrasound?
Much like radiographs and labwork, ultrasound provides our veterinary team with a view of your pet's internal organs and soft tissues, allowing us to rule in or out possible diagnoses and develop a treatment plan for your animal. Because of the type of waves used to create the image, ultrasound is more suited to viewing your pet's soft tissue structures versus the bony structures that an x-ray can see. Your veterinarian may use this modality to evaluate tendon or ligament damage, get a closer look at your pet's internal organs or even suggest its use in certain procedures like biopsies or centesis.
All of this helps us to make an accurate care plan and make suggestions to improve the health and longevity of your pet.