Willowrun Veterinary Hospital

Diagnostic Care

When something seems wrong with your pet, the cause often isn’t obvious. Bring them to Willowrun Veterinary Hospital and we’ll use our advanced diagnostic expertise and technology to determine exactly what’s going wrong— and how we can help treat it.

In-House Laboratory

In addition to our exam rooms, surgical suites, boarding facilities, and grooming facilities, Willowrun Veterinary Hospital also provides its clients with an in-house diagnostic laboratory.

This addition to our practice allows us to run many routine tests on-site. A few common examples of these tests include:

Complete blood count examines the varying ratios of different blood cells in a pet. This test can diagnose anemia, infections, and inflammation. It can also indicate if the pet has the ability to form healthy blood clots. This is one of the most basic, and yet important, veterinary blood tests that we perform.

Blood chemistry panel is actually a combination of blood tests performed on one sample. The panel, or "biochemical profile," is designed to pinpoint analysis of a specific organ such as the kidneys, liver, and pancreas.

Fecal testing examines a stool sample primarily to check for the presence of intestinal parasites, such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia. Intestinal parasites are a leading cause of death for pets, and can also pose a threat to people in some cases. Because they cannot be seen, the only way to diagnose them is with a fecal test. This is why this test is a regular preventative protocol in our practice.

Urinalysis is a test performed on a urine sample. This test primarily assesses the health of the kidneys and urinary system, but it can also provide additional information about the body. Urinalysis can diagnose diabetes, urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and internal bleeding. This test is routine for senior pets.

Electrolytes testing looks at electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes are essential bodily salts such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. They play a key role in regulating fluids in the body, balancing blood acidity and pressure, and repairing damaged tissues. Conducting electrolytes testing can provide insight into dehydration, bone metabolism, and general body health.

Thyroid testing is performed to diagnose the health of the thyroid gland. This gland plays a key role in metabolism, general mood, and heart and digestive function. Thyroid disorders are common, particularly among older pets. This test can help to diagnose them. Being able to perform the above tests on our premises expedites the diagnostic process. Your results will be available faster and we will be able to be involved in testing every step of the way to guarantee complete clinical accuracy.

Digital X-Ray

Digital radiography is a safe and effective diagnostic tool and the most common form of radiography used by veterinarians today. The procedure is completely non-invasive. Willowrun Veterinary Hospital provides the most cutting-edge, advanced form of this technology using our digital system.

The procedure works by using an x-ray machine to create images of the musculoskeletal system using x-ray waves that pass through the pet's body. These images are then analyzed by a trained radiologist. With the resulting images they provide, conditions such as fractures, arthritis, and pneumonia can be diagnosed.

Digital x-rays have several benefits over traditional film x-rays, these include:

  • Faster production of images- this means that the animal does not have to sit still for quite as long, and they are also exposed to less radiation
  • Greater precision- the resulting product is more detailed and accurate than those produced with film
  • Ease of electronic storage- instead of being filed away physically, digital images can be saved perpetually in our computer database
  • Ease of electronic transmittal- we can easily send you a digital version of the resulting images and, if a specialist opinion is warranted, we can also send them the x-rays with the click of a mouse

Often, x-rays are used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools, such as laboratory tests or ultrasound imaging.


Ultrasounds are a form of radiology that use sound waves to create a real-time video image of the animal's bodily systems such as the heart and lungs, or other soft tissues. Ultrasounds are non-invasive, completely safe, and require no anesthesia. Ultrasounds can diagnose conditions such as pregnancy, abdominal diseases, abnormalities of the heart and lungs, cancer, and more. While the hospital does not stock an ultrasound machine, Willowrun Veterinary Hospital is willing and able to provide it weekly from a traveling specialist for those clients who would benefit from this service.

This technology is relatively new but has proven tremendously useful in both the medical and veterinary fields. Diagnostic mysteries that previously would have required a surgery to unravel can be answered in a matter of minutes by a trained radiologist using an ultrasound system.

During the procedure, the veterinary technician pets or talks soothingly to the animal to help them keep still. If the pet patient has long fur, we will shave the area that we need to view. Then, a cooling gel will be applied to the area so our instrument can move smoothly across the skin.

The ultrasound video will be displayed on a screen in the exam room during the session. If the condition is complex, we may ask a specialist to help us diagnose or better understand the images portrayed by the ultrasound machine.

Allergy & Dermatology Testing

Dermatology is the study and treatment of skin conditions. One of the most common causes of dermatitis, the general term for skin irritation, is allergies. But dermatitis can also be caused by infections, parasites, autoimmune diseases, skin cancer, and hormonal disorders.

If your pet has any of the following symptoms to an extreme degree or a cluster of a few, we highly encourage you to schedule a visit to give your pet relief.

  • Flaky or red skin
  • Hair loss
  • Persistent scratching or biting of the skin
  • Watery or irritated eyes
  • Excessive licking of the paws or other areas of the skin
  • Lumps or bumps
  • Hot spots
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability

The first step in the dermatology protocol is to diagnose the cause of the problem. This process will begin with a physical examination. The veterinarian may also order tests to further investigate such as skin biopsies, a complete blood count, and allergy testing, depending on their professional opinions of the symptoms.

Once the nature of the disease has been categorized, our veterinarians can then assist with a treatment that will relieve your pet of the itching, burning, and general discomfort associated with dermatitis. These treatments may range from a topical cream to oral medicine, to a more aggressive treatment if the condition is a pathology such as cancer.

For allergies, shots and oral medication are popular treatment options. If the allergen is something that can be avoided, such as a dietary component or a specific household product, this will be advised.

If you suspect your pet has an allergy, pay attention to how they react when exposed to the following common pet allergens:

  • Grass or weeds
  • Different food ingredients such as protein sources or grains
  • Household cleaners
  • Perfumes
  • Dander
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Prescription drugs
  • Fleas

Your careful observation supplemented with an allergy test can help your pet to avoid irritation and allergic reactions.

Join the Willowrun Veterinary Hospital Family Today!

Located on S Brightleaf Blvd between E Wilson St and E Stevens St. Directly across from Harper's Flea Market Mall and next to The Mulch Yard.

Phone: 919-934-1504

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