Diagnostic Care

Digital Radiology

The ability to provide a range of imaging techniques is essential for rapidly diagnosing your pet's medical problems. For the most part, your pet is unable to describe his or her symptoms. As a result, we need to rely on additional techniques in order to make an accurate diagnosis. The better the diagnostic technology and equipment, the more accurate the diagnosis.

We have recently purchased a new, state-of-the-art, digital radiology machine. Compared to x-rays produced by a traditional machine, the quality of digital radiographs is much better. However, not all digital x-ray machines are the same, nor do they give the same detail. It is important to have an x-ray machine that produces superior and detailed images. Our machine, an Eklin DR with a 14" x 17" Cannon Sensor Plate, is one of the best machines manufactured for veterinary hospitals. This machine produces high quality images, allowing a higher probability of making an accurate diagnosis for your pet's condition. Since all the radiographs we take are digital, the time spent taking your pets' radiographs is significantly shortened and fewer x-rays are needed to achieve diagnostic-quality results. Our digitally produced x-rays can be sent immediately via internet and we typically receive a written report from a radiologist for you within an hour.

Radiology, the most common form of imaging, allows us to view the shape, size, and location of organs inside your pet's body. Radiographs (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 detect a fractured bone, cancerous tumor, heart problem and locate an obstruction or foreign body in your pet's stomach or intestine. X-rays and Ultrasound are often utilized if cancer is suspected. We also perform x-rays for evaluation and certification by OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). We give every client a digital copy of their pet's x-rays. This CD can be easily loaded on your computer and your pet's x-rays can be viewed at home.

Digital radiology benefits the environment. Since there are no strong chemicals, film and fumes, there is much less impact on our surroundings.


Flexible Endoscopy

Endoscopy permits direct visual examination, biopsies and foreign body retrievals from your pet's gastrointestinal system. Compared to traditional anesthesia and surgery, the advantages of endoscopy include no incision, less stress for your pet and shortened anesthesia time. Endoscopy is much less painful and causes less discomfort than traditional surgery. Endoscopy not only has advantages for your pet, it has advantages for you as well. Since your pet experiences less pain and recovers more quickly, he or she returns back to normal activity within a very short period of time. Less at-home nursing care is required, no bandages need to be changed and less medication needs to be administered.

Endoscopy is used to help diagnose and treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems. Depending on the symptoms, it is used to look at the interior of the throat, esophagus, stomach, intestine and colon. Endoscopy is employed to obtain biopsies of the stomach, small intestine and colon, and look for cancer of the esophagus and stomach. Pets frequently swallow objects that can be removed as minor endoscopic procedures, rather than requiring traditional, expensive and complicated surgery. In order to make the endoscopic procedure more comfortable for your pet, we have invested in the latest video endoscopic equipment that is so gentle and maneuverable that we can travel through the mouth, esophagus, stomach and the small intestine and through the colon.


Bronchoscopy

Bronchoscopy is a technique that allows the veterinarian to thoroughly examine your pet's nasal cavities, larynx, trachea and lungs. Bronchoscopy is performed using a fiber optic bronchoscope consisting of a tube, a light source, camera and viewing eyepiece. In addition to the fiber optic light source, there are two channels within in the tube. One channel is for viewing the interior of your pet's respiratory tract and the other channel is for passing forceps, snares or biopsy instruments, allowing for the removal of foreign objects, collection of biopsy samples and removal of small polyps or tumors.

The most important feature associated with bronchoscopy is that it provides a very accurate diagnosis of diseases affecting your pet's respiratory tract. There are 2 types of bronchoscopes, rigid and flexible. The flexible bronchoscope consists of a long, thin, lighted tube and is used more frequently than a rigid bronchoscope for looking into your pet's airways. The rigid bronchoscope is used to remove large tissue samples for biopsies and to remove objects that cannot be taken out using the flexible bronchoscope.

Bronchoscopy, often used in conjunction with x-rays, is used to identify the cause of airway problems such as bleeding, trouble breathing, or a long-term, chronic cough. It is also used to remove foreign bodies, benign polyps and for performing biopsies on growths and tumors.


Laparoscopic (Minimally Invasive) Diagnostic Surgery

Your pet experiences very little pain and can often return home the same day after laparoscopic diagnostic or biopsy surgery at the Animal Hospital of North Asheville. This procedure is excellent for all pets; however, it is exceptionally beneficial to sick and senior pets. Laparoscopic surgery is performed through one or more very small holes in the abdomen and is particularly advantageous to pets needing a liver biopsy, abdominal exploratory or pancreatic biopsy. Both you and your pet benefit from minimally invasive surgery as there is much less pain, less anesthesia time, fewer potential complications and a minimal recovery period as compared to traditional abdominal surgery. Since laparoscopic surgery is sometimes performed as an outpatient procedure, your pet can often go home the same day.

Utilizing our years of experience and skill, we are proud to be the first animal hospital in western North Carolina that provides this wonderful service to our clients, their pets and the community.


Video Digital Otoscopy

If your pet suffers from an acute or chronic ear problem, you are not alone. Due to the anatomy of the ear, dogs and cats are extremely susceptible to ear infections, allergies, ear foreign bodies, growths (benign and malignant) and polyps. Until now, accurate technology for diagnosing ear problems has not been available and many of these conditions were improperly diagnosed and treated.

In order to better diagnose and treat your pet's ear problems, we have invested in a brand new technology that brightens and magnifies the interior of the ear canal. This new instrument, MedRx Video Otoscopy System, allows us to visualize, document and record the condition of your pet's ears. The technology permits us to obtain better samples for microscopic examination and bacterial culture (if necessary), thereby allowing us to make a more accurate diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, the proper treatment can be initiated, resulting in a much better chance for cure.


Ultrasound

Animal Hospital of North Asheville has invested in the latest veterinary ultrasound equipment in order to diagnose your pet's health issues. Ultrasound is a pain-free, totally non-invasive technique that uses high-frequency soundwaves to produce a real-time moving image of your pet's internal organs.

Ultrasound is used for a wide-range of diagnostic procedures. It is particularly useful in viewing your pet's abdominal organs and performing pregnancy evaluations. Ultrasound is also useful in evaluating heart functions and is used for bladder scans.

In order to make this technology as convenient as possible for you, all of our veterinarians have undergone special training in ultrasound. Since all of our doctors are proficient in this technology, we can offer highly-detailed, expertly rendered images for standard veterinary fees. Since ultrasound produces digital images, your pet's scan can be emailed to a board certified radiology specialist if an additional opinion is needed.


pet lab tests - lab testing at AHNA - Animal Hospital of North Asheville - Asheville vetsLaboratory Testing

Since your sick pet cannot tell us what is wrong, our veterinarians must sometimes supplement physical exams and diagnostic tests with laboratory testing. Our hospital is equipped with a complete and sophisticated diagnostic laboratory that allows us to measure more than 100 laboratory values, with results often available in a few minutes. In addition, we work with several outside referral labs if your pet requires more specialized testing.

Having an elaborate, in-house laboratory enables us to arrive at a more rapid diagnosis for your pet during an emergency or when time is of the essence. This is particularly beneficial for our emergency patients, hospitalized patients and evening and weekend patients who require immediate results as their conditions are often life-threatening.