In-House Diagnostic Testing
We are happy to provide state-of-the-art, in-house diagnostic testing including heartworm, feline leukemia and FIV screening, major organ functions, electrolytes levels, blood counts and MANY more. Some situations require immediate testing to allow for proper care of our hospitalized or severely ill patients.
Full Diagnostic Lab
We are proud to offer a full-service laboratory including biopsy, bacterial and fungal cultures, diagnostic cytology, blood testing, hormonal assays, fecal parasitology and even X-ray consultations from a board certified radiologist. Our laboratory is local to Phoenix—providing quick results and can even be called for immediate pickup if needed.
Heartworm is a blood parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes. The larvae are injected by mosquito bites and the worms grow in the delicate blood vessels of the lungs and heart. Dogs show NO SYMPTOMS until the heart/lungs are already compromised! In the past 10-15 years, we have seen the numbers of mosquitoes rising in the Valley.
The number of dogs who travel to the Midwest, Southeast, Northeast, and even California is also increasing. All of these factors are allowing this deadly disease into our Valley of the Sun. Regular screening and monthly (yummy) preventative tablets are an easy and convenient way to protect our pets. Please let us know if you need heartworm prevention—it is available in 6 or 12-month supplies.
Pets cannot express in words what problems they are having, so sometimes we need to check samples to ensure that we treat any illness properly. Urinalysis can give us a lot of information on your pet’s health. This information can be used to monitor kidney function, diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, bladder/ kidney stones, and even urinary tract infections. We recommend bringing a fresh urine sample for most senior visits (or if your pet is having any changes in urination). If you are unable to obtain a sample yourself, we are happy to get one at your visit!
Our pets explore the world with their mouths- that is how they are made. This allows them to smell and taste things that we would never even think of, but it also makes them susceptible to picking up parasites. Hookworms and roundworms are some of the most common parasites in dogs and cats, and unfortunately they can be passed to humans. That is why we recommend annual fecal parasite testing.
Our test is different than that at many other hospitals- we send all of our samples to a professional diagnostic laboratory that uses specialized techniques to analyze all samples. This improved technology, called Zinc Centrifugation, actually catches 5 times the parasites found in the older methods! We also include a specific test for Giardia, which is the most common parasite that we see in this area. Most other hospitals charge separately for this test, making our annual fecal testing an amazing value.
X-ray and Ultrasound
Many diseases are not visible from the outside of the body. X-ray and ultrasound allow a non-invasive way to look inside and see if there are any problems. Our hospital has brand new and state-of-the-art equipment that is designed specifically for the veterinary field. The ability to look inside can allow for painless diagnosis and monitoring of many diseases.
Dog and cats rely heavily on visual communications. The eyes are a very complex and sensitive set or organs. Glaucoma, cataracts, inflammation, allergies, eyelid problems, and “dry eye” are all common problems encountered in our furry family members. Please report any eye problems as soon as noticed. McDowell Mountain Animal Hospital is proud to be able to diagnose and treat many ocular conditions!
Biopsy is the examination of a small piece of tissue to see what kind of cells are involved in a patient’s illness. This test can be used for many different problems- skin conditions, liver problems, lumps, masses, cysts and lymph nodes. We also offer minimally invasive biopsy- using small, specialized equipment and ultrasound-guidance.
The invention of the microscope changed science as we know it. Our doctors and technicians are trained to use this vital instrument to diagnose and treat medical conditions. Cytology is the examination of a thin layer material under the microscope. Skin infections, ear infections, bowel infections, and even small needle biopsies are all routinely examined on site. This allows our patients a speedy diagnosis and proper treatment of many illnesses.
Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms and is usually performed via a culture. These organisms include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and viruses. We are proud to offer this service to help us diagnose and properly treat each infection. Some conditions that we use microbiology in treating are ringworm, urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections, abscesses, and bladder stones.
Valley Fever Testing
Valley Fever is one of the most common ailments in this state. It is an infection that enters the body through the lungs and is caused by a fungus that lives in the soil of the Sonoran desert. The good news is that it is not contagious from pet to pet, but at some point, we are all exposed to the organism. If infected, the most common symptoms are coughing, fever, loss of energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, and less commonly – limping or seizures. The proper diagnosis of Valley Fever can be a bit complicated and may include blood testing and x-rays. With treatment, we see a very high success rate for our patients!