Diagnostic Imaging

Digital Radiographs

Radiographs, or X-rays, are one of the most common and useful diagnostic tools in medicine. At Apple Valley Animal Hospital, we use digital X-ray technology to examine your pet’s bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity and other areas, and for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. If we suspect your pet has a fractured bone, has swallowed a foreign object, or is suffering from a heart problem, an X-ray can tell us what we need to know. There are many important advantages to digital X-rays:

  • They can be viewed immediately on a computer monitor.
  • The clear, detailed images can be manipulated so we can get a better view of your pet’s bones and internal organs, leading to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
  • They take less time to process, which means less time for your pet on the X-ray table, and less waiting time for you.
  • No harsh chemicals are needed to develop the images, reducing potential harm to our staff and the environment.
  • If a second opinion is necessary, digital X-rays can be sent by email to a certified radiologist.

Advanced diagnostic capabilities are an extremely important part of veterinary medicine, especially because we can’t simply ask our patients what is wrong. Our investment in digital X-ray technology reflects our commitment to offer you and your pet the best, most comprehensive healthcare available.


Ultrasound is a painless, safe, noninvasive procedure used to evaluate your pet’s internal organs. It is one of the many ways we strive to give you peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s health. Using sound waves, ultrasound produces a real-time moving picture of your pet’s organs that allows us to visualize objects that cannot be detected by X-rays alone.

To gain a more comprehensive picture of your pet’s health, our veterinarians use ultrasound to assess the shape, size, tissue density, internal structure and position of your pet’s abdominal organs, assess cardiac health (also called an echocardiogram), and diagnose pregnancy. It can also be used to identify masses or tumors and as a guide during surgical biopsies.

The ultrasound procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to perform. A diagnosis based on what we see is usually available immediately, which means we can also provide you with treatment options at the time of your appointment and minimize your worry and stress.



Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior surfaces of your pet’s organs through a small tube inserted into his or her body. An endoscopic examination can often accurately diagnose what is causing your pet’s vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain or swelling, loss of appetite or respiratory problems.

The endoscope is composed of a long thin tube, a light source camera and viewing eyepiece. The tube contains two channels: one for forceps, snares or biopsy instruments to remove foreign objects, small polyps or tumors or collect biopsy samples; and one for air or water, which is used to better view the tissue or organ.

Although anesthesia is required during the endoscopic procedure, the amount and recovery time is minimal. The benefits of endoscopy over exploratory surgery include no surgical incision, shortened anesthetic time, decreased inflammation, less stress and discomfort and an earlier return to normal function for your pet.

Accurate diagnosis of your pet’s symptoms begins with our ability to put together as complete and accurate a picture of what is going on inside your pet’s body as possible. For that reason, endoscopy is recommended when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs, and ultrasound do not give us the complete diagnostic picture.

In-House Laboratory

When performing routine wellness examinations or diagnosing an illness, what our veterinarians can’t see is as important, if not more important, than what they can see. For that reason, laboratory testing is often an essential component of diagnosing a pet’s condition. Apple Valley Animal Hospital has both in-house laboratory and outside laboratory options to best suit the diagnostic needs of your pet.

Our in-house diagnostic laboratory is equipped to perform a complete series of diagnostic tests for your pet. During an emergency your pet’s condition may need to be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Our state-of-the-art laboratory and well-trained technical staff are capable of performing complete blood counts (CBC), blood chemistry profiles and serum electrolyte measurements within a matter of minutes. We also perform skin scrapings, urinalysis, tests for giardia, feline leukemia, FIV, pancreatitis, parvovirus, heartworm disease, ehrlichia, internal parasites, Lyme disease and much more. Once your pet’s laboratory results are available, our veterinarians can begin your pet’s treatment immediately.

If you would like more information about the diagnostic services that Apple Valley Animal Hospital offers for your pet or to schedule an appointment at our animal hospital in Apple Valley, please call us at 760-490-0635.