To evaluate the condition of an animal, we first conduct an initial screening. The veterinarian then decides which tests are necessary. The primary tests include blood and urine analysis, X-rays and ultrasound. More specific tests are performed as indicated, including contrast radiography of the digestive tract, urinary tract or bone marrow), EKG, endoscopy, arthroscopy, spinal tap, tissue tests, allergy tests, diagnostic, abdominal cavity examinations, etc
Clinical examination and tests are the basis for the preparation of a treatment plan.
X-rays are often the primary diagnostic method, allowing us to visualize the animal’s skeletal structures, thoracic and abdominal organs, certain types of foreign bodies and pathologies. Often the animal must be sedated if accurate and high-quality images are to be obtained.
Since autumn 2009, all of the X-rays taken at our veterinary clinic are recorded digitally and archived in the Tartu University Hospital database. The images are retained for 10 years effective autumn 2009.
Ultrasound is used to evaluate the internal structure, form and pathologies in the organs in the chest and abdominal cavity. For instance, uterine infections, changes in mass, pregnancy, bladder stones, heart valve pathologies etc. Ultrasound is often used to guide the taking of various samples, such as a urine test through the abdominal wall, liver biopsy, analysis of the abdominal fluid, tumour samples etc. An animal may require sedation for this procedure if it is aggressive, panting, or if the abdominal area is sensitive.
Endoscopy is always performed on a sedated animal. It can be used to view the mouth cavity, oesophagus, stomach and airways. The images are recorded as a video clip. Endoscopy can be used to take tissue samples and to remove some types of foreign bodies.