Dublin Veterinary Hospital

Diagnostic Care

When something is wrong with your pet's health, the first step is identifying the source of the problem. When you bring your pet in for a sick visit, we’ll combine the information you provide with a full examination of your pet, sometimes supported by radiology or lab work, to identify what’s wrong and move toward an effective treatment plan.

Digital X-Ray

When it comes to your pet's health, there may be more than what meets the eye. Radiographs, more commonly known as x-rays, can help us look beyond the surface to provide images of the heart, lungs, and musculoskeletal system. This is an invaluable diagnostic tool for veterinarians.

One of the greatest benefits of x-ray technology is that it is non-invasive. This attribute makes it inherently less dangerous for your pet. Radiographs can be particularly useful for diagnosing afflictions such as bone fractures, arthritis, and pneumonia.

X-rays work by exposing the patient to an x-ray beam, or wave of energy, and then taking a picture of its distribution as they pass through the body. Some people might be worried about exposing their pet to the x-ray beam, but there is no need to worry. The amount of exposure the patient is subjected to is harmless. You might see the practitioner donning protective gear, but that is because their line of work might cause them to be exposed to these x-rays more frequently.


Ultrasounds are another form of medical imaging, similar to x-rays. The difference between the two diagnostic procedures is that instead of exposing your pet to x-ray waves, ultrasounds expose them to sound waves to capture an image of their internal structures. The resulting image shows information that is a little different from an x-ray.

Ultrasounds can help to diagnose foreign body ingestion, abdominal masses, intestinal disorders, cancer, pregnancy, heart and cardiovascular abnormalities, stones in the urinary tract, and more.

If you have ever had a friend or family member show you a picture of an unborn baby, this was likely an ultrasound image. You may have had the experience of thinking it can be hard to make out all of the content that is in such images. This is why trained specialists, or radiologists, are often consulted to help decipher ultrasound images. These types of exams can help veterinary professionals better understand the way the internal organs are working structurally. They can provide insight into conditions that may not have turned up in bloodwork or other tests.

Ultrasound is a non-invasive and pain-free procedure. Ten to twenty years ago, a veterinarian may have had to conduct a surgery for a diagnostic question that can now be answered with an ultrasound. With ultrasounds, it is possible to get detailed and accurate images of your pet's internal organs without anesthesia in most cases. The majority of the time, petting and talking quietly to your pet is enough to keep them still for the ultrasound. The accessibility and safety of ultrasounds have been a huge stride for veterinary medicine.

In-House Laboratory

Timing and accuracy are two factors that are key for diagnosing sick pets. At Dublin Veterinary Hospital, we have an in-house lab to assist our doctors and staff in delivering diagnostics as quickly and accurately as possible.

Many veterinary hospitals must send your pet's bloodwork and lab tests to an outside laboratory for testing. Then they must wait on the third party to receive the sample, test it, and get back to them. Having an in-house lab cuts down on time and makes delivering your results a far simpler procedure. In addition to speed, an in-house laboratory also benefits our quality control. It gives Dublin Veterinary Hospital oversight over the entire diagnostic procedure.

Here are some examples of lab work that we may conduct:

  • Complete Blood Count is one of the most routine blood tests which may be administered for your pet. It informs us of different cell types in the blood, which aids us in diagnosing anemia, infection, and inflammation.
  • Blood Chemistry Panel is actually a series of tests which are formulated to assess the function of different parts of the body such as the pancreas, liver, or kidneys.
  • Electrolytes Testing measures electrolytes in the body, which are essential for healthy organ function. Veterinarians look at the sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and phosphorus (different common electrolytes) for insight into monitoring dehydration, metabolism, and overall wellness.
  • Thyroid Tests determine the overall state of the thyroid gland, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Having hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can have serious repercussions. This test is conducted by taking a blood sample.
  • Urinalysis assesses the function of the urinary tract. In older cats for example, for whom abnormal kidney function is common, this is a routine exam. Urinalysis is also for the treatment and diagnosis of diabetes.

Allergy & Dermatology Testing

Allergies and other dermatological conditions can cause your pet to feel irritable and uncomfortable. By accurately diagnosing and treating the issue inflicting your pet's skin, ears, hair, and/or nails, your veterinarian can work with you to decrease these symptoms and positively affect your pet's quality of life. Dermatological treatments can include topical creams, oral medicine, and more.

Diagnosing the root cause of the condition is the first step on the road to relief. Dermatological issues can include allergies, infections, parasites, dermatitis, autoimmune disease, hormonal disorders, tumors, and skin cancer.

Watch out for any of these signs in your pet:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive licking or biting of the skin (often the paws)
  • Visibly flaky, scabby, or red skin
  • Excessive Shedding
  • Lumps
  • Hot spots
  • Itchy or runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Snoring due to an inflamed throat

Once the problem is spotted, we can use our state-of-the-art in-house lab to analyze blood samples, skin scrapings, biopsies, and cultures to zero in on the root cause.

Allergic reactions are a common problem which may be difficult to treat, especially if the trigger is a mystery. Pay close attention to the seasons, conditions, and external stimuli that your pet tends to be around when they are most irritated. Examples of common allergens include:

  • Parasites (fleas are common allergens/skin irritants)
  • Grass
  • Weeds
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Essential oils
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold spores
  • Wheat or grains (when ingested as food)
  • Protein sources (when ingested as food)
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Shampoos

Although it can often be difficult to decipher which allergen could be ailing your pet (particularly when it is a food allergen), keeping a look out for how your pet reacts around these common allergens could offer helpful insight.

Our clinical team will help advise treatment plans and accurate diagnosis to help your pet get back to feeling healthy and happy.

Join the Dublin Veterinary Hospital Family Today!

Located across the street from Wawa and directly next to Weis Markets on W Dublin Pike.

Phone: 215-249-9800

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Our preferred methods of payment are: Cash, Check, Credit: Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express & CareCredit.