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 Pet Diagnostic Services


Advanced diagnostic services are especially important in veterinary practice because your animal is not able to tell us where it hurts of how he/she feels. Veterinarians rely on various diagnostic procedures and lab tests to gain a complete picture of your pet’s health.

During your pet’s exam at Suttons Bay Animal Hospital, we allow ample time for the veterinarian to discuss your pet’s condition and answer your questions. If a wellness exam reveals potential concerns, our advanced diagnostic equipment helps your veterinarian make a complete and accurate diagnosis. Some of our diagnostic services include:



In-House Laboratory


Our in-house pet diagnostic laboratory allows us to detect disease and conditions such as intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, heartworm disease, Lyme disease, feline Leukemia/FIV, Parvovirus, and many others. A series of blood chemistry tests can often be the key to diagnosing a range of emerging conditions. Having an in-house lab makes it easier to treat ill pets in a more timely manner as well as screen healthy pets prior to dental and surgical procedures requiring general anesthesia. Routine annual and biannual pet blood testing can help us detect early signs of disease such as diabetes, changes in liver or kidney function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference.



Reference Laboratory


For more specialized testing, SBAH has a close working relationship with the Midwest’s most comprehensive reference laboratory for diagnostic purposes. Our veterinarians usually get results within one day, so you don’t have to wait and worry about test results. 



Allergy Testing


A pet’s chronic ear infections, hot spots or coat problems can often be the result of allergies. Like humans, pets can develop allergies to foods, chemicals in the environment, pollens, molds, and even flea bites. Correct diagnosis and treatment of these allergies can make life much more enjoyable for both you and your pet.





Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body. It can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and bladder; to detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses; and to confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy.

We may use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician.

The ultrasonographer applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and create a more accurate visual image.

The transducer emits ultrasonic waves, which are directed into the body towards the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.

Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized. The hair in the area to be examined usually needs to be shaved so the ultrasonographer can obtain the best result.

If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.


*Ultrasound services are offered by Dr. Katie Cochran and Dr. John Sheard*