Diagnostics & Technology

The best treatment is a proper diagnosis.

When possible and affordable we always encourage our clients to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. This is only accomplished by having a sound fundamental understanding of normal and abnormal physiology, experience, training and in some cases advanced training in internal medicine and disease pathophysiology.

A good internist is one who can diagnose diseases by creating a proper list of differential diagnosis that may cause a symptom or set of symptoms. A good internist is extremely astute in diagnostic medicine to choose the proper test or set of tests needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

Equipment On-Site:

  • Clinical Laboratory – CBC, serum chemistries, PT, PTT, blood gas etc.
  • X-Ray and State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Machines
  • Electrocardiogram and Doppler Blood Pressure Machine
  • Cardell Multiparameter Heart and Lung Monitor
  • Large Variety of Endoscopes both Flexible and Rigid – Flexible scopes include pediatric endoscope and bronchoscope and rigid scopes include laparoscope, arthroscope, cystoscope, thoroscope, rhinoscope, and otoscope. These are used to look into your pet’s esophagus, intestines, trachea, lungs, abdominal and chest cavities, joints, vagina, urinary bladder, ears, and nose. These are high power magnification tools using attached state of the art digital video camera equipment so we get a very clear look at things with minimal pain and recovery for your pet. Surgery and diagnostic sample collection can often be performed at the same time using highly specialized tools that fit into these scopes.  It was not long ago that the veterinarian had to perform major exploratory surgery just to look at what we can now easily see, and more clearly see using these scopes, with much less pain to your pet and quicker recovery. These tools are rarely found in any non-specialty veterinary hospital however they are all found and used here on a regular basis by highly trained and experienced staff. See “Minimally Invasive Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Surgery” for more details.

At GPH We Conduct Thorough 45-60 Minute Internal Medicine Exams

Obtaining a thorough history of your pet’s symptoms, duration of symptoms, medications your pet may be on. For drop off examinations, we ask you to fill out a questionnaire which takes about 15 minutes to complete so we know as much about your pet as we can before performing the examination. Performing an accurate full physical examination of all body systems.

With this information, we create a list of possible diseases that could explain all of your pet’s symptoms and physical abnormalities. This is called our “Differential Diagnosis List.” We then sit down with you and discuss what we found on physical exam and what our list of differential diagnosis are.

Then we discuss with you the type of diagnostic testing we may need to do to prove or rule out items on our list. For instance, we may need blood work, urine tests, imaging x-ray, ultrasound, the use of high tech scopes etc. We provide you an estimate before running any tests.

If one cannot afford testing, we will make an educated guess diagnosis based on our knowledge, experience, and sometimes advanced training, and provide you with the best treatment of your pet’s symptoms. This is called a symptomatic, or empiric, approach to trying to resolve the disease symptoms. For example, if your pet has a skin infection for the first time we may not recommend you spend a lot of money on expensive dermatology tests. We would educate you as to the many causes of skin infections, treat your pet for a skin infection and evaluate the results. If the skin does not get better or the problem persists after one or two rounds of medication then we would recommend beginning some dermatology testing to make a proper diagnosis. This way, you are treating your pet with the most effective medications, whether they be long or short term, so as to avoid constant visits to the veterinary hospital, unnecessary expense, and anxiety of your pet.

In-House Lab Work

The Goodland Pet Hospital is an innovative veterinary care provider, and one of the ways that we separate ourselves is through our huge amount of in-house lab work services. Using the latest testing technology and advanced lab screening, we are well equipped to perform emergency lab work, hormone testing, and detecting a wide range of illnesses and conditions. In order to understand better how The Goodland Pet Hospital’s in-house lab work can help you, here is more information about our internal medicine veterinary services.

Emergency Lab Work

When it comes to a pet emergency, you don’t want to wait for results from diagnostics like blood work, urinalysis, stool analysis, and hormonal testing. There are many diseases and conditions that can only be detected through lab work screening methods. Waiting for these type of tests may not only cost your pet valuable time but could actually jeopardize their life. Here are some of the main tests The Goodland Pet Hospital offers in both emergency and standard examination settings.

Blood Work

At The Goodland Pet Hospital we perform a variety of both red and white cell blood tests that can spot a wide range of disease and disorders.

Red blood cell tests can detect conditions like anemia, polycythemia, and many other disorders.

When certain white blood cell counts rise, it is a sign that your pet’s body is infected with a disease. In other cases, it may be a sign of a parasite, tumors, inflammation, and even certain types of cancer. It all depends on the type of white blood cells that are elevated inside the bloodstream.

Urinalysis

Urinalysis tests can also provide valuable insight into your pet’s health. For example, urine typically contains a certain amount of bacteria, but if our tests detect an abnormally high level of bacteria, it’s a sign of a bacterial infection. From there, your vet can prescribe antibiotics to help control your pet’s infection.

Furthermore, chemical analysis for your pet’s urine can detect pH levels, density levels, and help your vet spot signs of glucose, protein, or fragmented blood cells in your pet’s urine. These are the type of signs that your pet has a disease, defect or injury that requires treatment. Your vet can also detect a variety of signs of kidney diseases, such as an overabundance of “casts”, which are congealed proteins made in the kidney.

Stool Samples

Stool samples can also provide important insights into your pet’s health. Your vet can examine your pet’s stool for signs of cysts or eggs from parasites like Cryptosporidium or Giardia. Other parasites like tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms will also produce eggs that can be found in the stool. Stool analysis can also spot other problems like bloody stool, which is often a sign of a serious illness.

Hormonal Tests

Your The Goodland Pet Hospital medical team can also conduct a wide variety of specialized hormonal tests on your pets which can help detect conditions that are often present in both cats, dogs, and other pets:

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s disease
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Acromegaly

These are just a few of the serious hormonal conditions your pet can suffer from, and why The Goodland Pet Hospital’s in-house lab is so important to properly diagnose your pet.

Contact The Goodland Pet Hospital Today!

The Goodland Pet Hospital not only offers state-of-the-art lab work for your pet but a variety of other diagnostic tools such as X-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, and EKG testing which help you accurately diagnose virtually any condition your pet is suffering from. The Goodland Pet Hospital also features veterinary surgical procedures to help restore your pet back to health once a diagnosis is made. When you need a veterinarian in Santa Barbara – call us today at 805-685-4513 or visit our office at 7126 Hollister Ave Goleta, CA 93117.

Equipment and Technology

Our Santa Barbara pet hospital has advanced medical equipment ON-SITE to aid in diagnosing your pet’s illness. We are one of just a few hospitals in the Santa Barbara area to carry such equipment.

Clinical Laboratory

CBC, Serum Chemistries, PT,PTT, blood gas etc.

  • X-Ray and State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Machines
  • Electrocardiogram and Doppler Blood Pressure Machine
  • Cardell Multiparameter Heart and Lung Monitor

Laparoscope

Endoscopy of the abdominal cavity commonly used as a diagnostic tool for taking biopsies of the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is also used at GPH to perform spay, retained abdominal testicle, adrenalectomy, and gastropexy (Stomach Tacking to prevent gastric torsion).

  • Biopsies of: Liver, Kidneys, Pancreas, Adrenal Glands, Prostate, and most abdominal organs.
  • Removal of Abdominal Testicles, Ovaries, Adrenal Gland
  • Laparoscopic Assisted: Gastropexy (Stomach Tacking to prevent stomach twisting,) Intestinal Foreign Body Removal and removal of a diseased part of the intestine, Bladder Stone Removal
  • Laparoscopic exploratory of the entire abdominal cavity

Cystoscope

Endoscopy of the urinary bladder, used in patients presenting with chronic infections, blood in the urine, straining to urinate, incontinence, trauma, stones, and abnormal radiographs.

  • Obtain biopsies of the bladder wall or growths on the bladder wall
  • Stone removal
  • Evaluate for Ectopic Ureters (birth defect of the lower urinary tract)
  • Examination of the lining of the bladder

Arthroscope

Endoscopy of the joint, used in cases of chronic lameness, joint pain, joint instability, swelling, and abnormal radiographic findings. Used for joint examinations and to take accurate joint capsule biopsies.

  • Knee: used to confirm Cruciate Ligament and Meniscal diseases.
  • Surgical example: Removal of torn Meniscal tissue and Cruciate Ligament tissue, OCD Lesion removal, help fix knee joint fractures
  • Elbow: used to confirm Coronoid Disease, OCD (Osteochondrosis Dessicans,) Ununited Anconeal Process
    Surgical example: Fragmented Coronoid Process removal and Abrasion Arthroplasty, help fix elbow fractures
  • Shoulder: used to confirm Bicipital Tendon Partial Tears and Tendonitis, OCD Lesions
    Surgical example: Bicipital Tendon Release and Humeral Condyle OCD Lesion Debridement
  • Hips: used to evaluate the cartilage health in the hips prior to doing TPO (Triple Pelvic Osteotomy) for Hip Dysplasia
  • Hock: (Ankle Joint) used to evaluate for OCD Lesions.
    Surgical example: OCD Lesion Debridement

Rhinoscope

Endoscopy of the nasal cavity. Commonly used in dogs and cats presenting with nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, chronic sneezing, nasal bleeding. facial distortion, nasal pain, and abnormal radiographs.

  • Evaluate the entire nose for lumps and foreign bodies such as foxtails.
  • Obtain biopsies before nasal surgery to create a proper surgical approach.
  • Obtain nasal secretions to help make a correct diagnosis.
  • Remove polyps in some cases.

Video Otoscope

Endoscopy of the external and middle ear allowing for safe and thorough ear cleaning under constant visualization, removal of foreign objects, polyp removal and diagnostic sampling.

  • Evaluate the entire external ear canal and take samples and remove foreign material
  • Evaluate the middle ear for lumps, foreign material etc. and in some cases removal of foreign material and lumps.

Thoracoscope

Endoscopy of the Thoracic (chest) Cavity. Commonly used to help take diagnostic tissue samples and perform some surgical procedures within the chest cavity with minimal pain to your pet. Surgeries such as partial lung lobe removal and partial pericardial sack (sack around the heart) removal can easily be performed by use of these minimally invasive tools.

  • Removal of part of the Pericardial Sack to treat Cardiac Tamponade (fluid around the heart.)
  • Removal of part of a diseased lung lobe (Lung Cancer for example)
  • Obtain biopsies of masses within the chest cavity

Bronchoscope

Endoscopy of the Larynx, Trachea and Lower Bronchi. Commonly used to help take diagnostic fluid samples and remove foreign material from the airways.

  • Evaluate the Trachea and Larynx
  • Obtain fluid samples from the lungs to aid in making a diagnosis
  • Remove foreign material from the airway
  • Used to assist in Larynx and Tracheal surgeries

Gastroscope and Colonoscope

Endoscopy of the upper and lower intestinal tract.

  • Removal of foreign objects from the Esophagus, Stomach and Upper Small Intestine
  • Obtain biopsies and fluids from the intestinal tract to help make a diagnosis
X-Ray, Ultrasound, Endoscopy

X-Rays and Ultrasound

Ultrasound and radiology are essential components of any good veterinary hospital. At GPH these two imaging methods are present ON-SITE and are frequently used on a daily basis. Radiology (X-ray) gives us information that ultrasound can’t give. Ultrasound renders information that radiology can’t give. They are often used together for these reasons as they complement each other. These imaging tools help us make an accurate diagnosis by allowing us to identify any anatomical abnormalities and then focus on the diseased sites.

RELATED DIAGNOSES treated on a regular basis at GPH

The potential uses of both X-ray & ON-SITE ultrasound are too long to list as they are an essential component of any good veterinary hospital.

EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE ON-SITE:

X-ray – X-ray technology uses electromagnetic radiation to make images. The image is recorded on a film, called a radiograph. The parts of your body appear light or dark due to the different rates that your tissues absorb the X-rays. Calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most, so bones look white on the radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less and look gray. Air absorbs least, so lungs look black. At GPH we have a board-certified radiologist read all of our films monthly which helps keep us current and sharp at interpreting radiographs on a daily basis.

Echo Cardiography with Color Flow and Pulse Wave Doppler – Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body without entering the body. It allows your veterinarian to view the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver and other organs. Unlike x-rays, ultrasound does not involve exposure to radiation. Our state of the art Ultrasound machine allows us to see blood flowing through arteries and veins by use of color flow Doppler. Additionally, we can measure the amount of blood flow per second by use of the pulse wave Doppler. Both of these imaging capabilities allow us to accurately assess your pet’s heart and abdominal organs far better than just simple ultrasound alone. Our machine is also equipped with 3D image mode. Additionally, if the disease site is an abdominal site we often do ultrasound-guided tissue aspirates or biopsies so we can evaluate the site microscopically to help make a definitive diagnosis. These imaging tools can also be used to help us remove fluid from around the heart, lungs and abdominal organs. Studies of this fluid help us make a diagnosis as well as often make your pet feel better.

EXAMPLE of the Uses of These Machines

Perhaps one of the more complicated cases where these imaging tools helped us save a dog’s life was a dog who had a pellet gun shot within the sack surrounding his heart. Once the diagnosis was confirmed by a combination of these two imaging tools a standard pericardiectomy was performed here to remove the pellet. If not for the use of these tools this dog would have died from an accumulation of fluid around the heart and suffered eventual heart failure.

Electrocardiogram and Doppler Blood Pressure Machine

At The Goodland Pet Hospital, our Santa Barbara veterinarians and dedicated staff continually research the latest diagnostics technology and equipment available to help our Santa Barbara veterinarian professionals understand your pet’s condition as quickly as possible. With results from highly accurate equipment, we can quickly and correctly diagnose your pet then recommend either a second opinion, refer you to a vet surgeon or pursue another course of treatment.

How Our Electrocardiogram and Doppler Blood Pressure Machine can Benefit Your Pet

If you have noticed unusual behavior in your pet that might denote a serious underlying health condition, we hope that you will talk to one of our Santa Barbara veterinarians about our advanced technology diagnostics equipment, including our electrocardiogram and our Doppler blood pressure machine. Our Santa Barbara veterinarian team fully embraces the benefits of these medical tools.

You might wonder how to determine whether your pet needs an intensive diagnostic evaluation. Ideally, making and keeping regular annual appointments will give us the best opportunity to detect health anomalies in your cherished pet. If we note issues that may cause further health issues for your pet in the future, such as an irregular heartbeat, unusually challenged breathing or high blood pressure, we waste no time ordering the appropriate diagnostic test to rule out conditions that may worsen or treat any illness that we discover. Diagnosing and acting quickly gives you the opportunity to prevent diseases from progressing or save your pet from problems they may have in the future.

Why Might Your Pet Need Electrocardiogram Diagnostics?

Sometimes problems arise six months away from your next wellness appointment with us. In such a case, we hope you will call us to schedule an examination so we can determine whether we should order a diagnostics test. We want to share a few symptoms your pet might exhibit that makes it crucial to contact us for an urgent examination and possible testing:

  • Arrhythmias heard on auscultation
  • Breathing problems
  • Shock
  • Fainting or seizures
  • Cardiac murmurs
  • Systemic diseases that may affect the heart, which includes kidney dysfunction, heartworm disease, and tumors.

A Doppler Blood Pressure Test & your Santa Barbara Veterinarian

You may have never considered the possibility of your pet developing high blood pressure or hypertension, but it can happen just as it happens in humans and can affect your pet’s heart, eyes, kidneys, and nervous system. If your pet suffers from seizures, circling, nose bleeds and other symptoms, we want to catch high blood pressure before it causes additional damage.

Pre-Anesthetic Diagnostics

Superior pet care starts with an experienced veterinarian and precision diagnostics. You’ll find both at The Goodland Pet Hospital. Dr. Joseph Dalo, our Santa Barbara vet surgeon, was the very first small animal veterinarian to offer Santa Barbara County residents small animal state-of-the-art minimally invasive diagnostics. These include arthroscopic, laparoscopic, endoscopic, thoracoscopic surgery using state-of-the-art equipment and advanced training. He also uses his knowledge, experience and has a variety of advanced diagnostic tools available prior to any pet surgery. These pre-anesthetic diagnostics are designed to give the veterinarian the most complete and precise look in determining health problems with your pet.

Thorough Diagnostics for Your Pet

The importance of proper diagnosis cannot be overstated. That is why La Concepcion conducts extensive 45-60 minute internal medicine exams. We start with your pet’s health history, the pet’s symptoms, duration of symptoms, and any medications they may be taking. We will then conduct a physical exam of your pet’s body systems to best determine the potential causes of those symptoms. This is referred to as a “Differential Diagnosis List.” This list is based on our years of training and experience in pet care.

We will discuss this list with you and potentially recommend additional testing to prove or rule out items on the list. Additional testing may include blood work, urine tests, x-rays, ultrasound, high-tech scopes and more. We provide owners with an estimated cost of these tests prior to conducting them.

On-Site Testing Equipment at Our Animal Hospital

The Goodland Pet Hospital has a variety of diagnostic technology right on-site to provide quick and accurate testing. This equipment includes:

  • A Clinical Laboratory – Our on-site lab facilitates a variety of tests including CBC, serum chemistry, PT, PTT, blood gas, and more.
  • X-Ray and State-of-the-Art Ultrasound Machines – These provide us a look “inside” your pet to verify a diagnosis prior to pet surgery from our Santa Barbara pet surgeon.
  • Electrocardiogram and Doppler Blood Pressure Machine – Our equipment gives us precise readings on blood pressure and electrical activity of the heart.
  • Cardell Multiparameter Heart and Lung Monitor – This valuable technology helps us determine the health and strength of your pet’s heart and lungs. This is critical in pre-anesthetic diagnosis.
  • A Large Variety of Endoscopes both Flexible and Rigid – These high power magnification tools are attached to state-of-the-art digital video camera equipment which allows us to diagnose pets without exploratory surgery.

Having the proper diagnostic technology and equipment available helps us provide diagnostics that are precise and accurate.

Welcome to The Goodland Pet Hospital!

We're open five days a week to serve the pets of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez, Ventura, Carpinteria, and surrounding areas.

For emergencies, please call ahead so we may be prepared for your arrival.

Hours

Mon - Thurs: 8 am – 7 pm
Fri: 8 am – 5 pm
Weekends: Closed

Visit Us

7126 Hollister Ave
Goleta, CA 93117
Click here for directions.

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