Parkville Animal Hospital

Diagnostic Care

Identifying what’s wrong when your pet is unwell is the first step in providing targeted, effective treatment. Our expert team has been diagnosing pets for decades, developing an advanced and thorough approach to finding out exactly what’s going on, recommending next steps, and executing a treatment plan that will get your pet back in tip-top shape as soon as possible.

Digital X-Ray

Digital radiography is a very common medical test that uses x-ray sensitive metal plates to directly capture data during a medical examination. It is especially useful in cases where advanced diagnostic analysis of the musculo-skeletal system is required (cases that this involves include a broken bone, tumor, internal foreign object, etc.). 

Digital radiography works by transmitting invisible waves into the body; some of which pass through, and others bounce back. The data (which consists of the locations of where waves dop and no not bounce back) is all aggregated, which creates an image.

Common conditions that require radiological analysis are stones in oregons like the bladder, gallbladder, and kidneys, arthritis/osteopathic issues, and spinal cord issues.

We are able to provide digital x-rays, which, unlike traditional film x-rays, can be stored directly on a computer, meaning we can avoid the unnecessary use of physical hard drives, cassettes, or CDs to store the computerized data. Digital x-ray images also take significantly less time to render and process, which means we can refrain from keeping our patients under radiation for long lengths of time. It also means you can see the results of the x-ray as fast as possible. With this information, we can help you and your pet faster.

Further, the digital images produced from our machines are all in high definition, which is far better than the lower resolutions that film x-rays provide.

Additionally, the x-ray device is relatively small and quiet (compared to magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography devices, which are slow, loud, and large), so digital radiography is less likely to cause unnecessary fear or stress from pets.

Digital radiology also allows us to capture structures more precisely, meaning that we can analyze the shape, position, and orientation of almost any bodily structure or organ, which leads to a more confident diagnosis.

Cardiac & Abdominal Ultrasound

Our goal is to be as informed as possible every time. That’s why we may recommend ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound imaging is often used as an alternative to, or accompanying a diagnostic procedure to radiography. These results help us gain a further understanding of your pet’s health.

Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures, such as the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, as well as other organs and parts of the body. It works by sending high-frequency  sound waves into your body using a probe and a special gel. Based on where the waves bounce back, (and based on where they don’t) images are created from the data we have aggregated.

Ultrasound scanners consist of a computer console, a video display screen and an attached transducer. The transducer is a small hand-held device that resembles a microphone. Some exams may use different transducers (with different capabilities) during a single exam.

At Parkville Animal Hospital, we utilize ultrasound technology to analyze medical concerns such as masses, internal abnormalities, cancer, and pregnancy, which are similar conditions that may require an ultrasound in a human.

An ultrasound procedure is very safe, gentle, and short. Usually, the subject is placed in a lying position, and a special gel-like substance is applied to the probe. In some cases, shaving of the pet’s fur is required.

Additionally, the ultrasound device is relatively small and quiet (compared to digital radiography, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography devices, which are slower, louder, and larger), so an ultrasound is even less likely to cause unnecessary fear or stress from pets than digital radiography.

Since an ultrasound procedure is a noninvasive and generally non stressful procedure, anesthetics and painkillers are usually not needed. Our technicians are trained to deal with stress, but in particularly aggressive cases, mild sedatives may be administered with your permission. 

Follow-up exams may be needed. If so, we will explain why. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a potential abnormality needs further evaluation with additional views or a special imaging technique. A follow-up exam may also be done to see if there has been any change in an abnormality over time. Follow-up exams are sometimes the best way to see if treatment is working or if an abnormality is stable or has changed.

In-House Laboratory

Our in-house laboratory provides us with the ability to provide our clients with accurate and timely data in cases that require additional diagnostic analysis. For example, some tests we may run include blood tests and fecal tests.

We analyze all samples in-house so we can avoid sending biological samples to outside labs, which can take up precious time in more critical cases, and can impede the accuracy of the results. In other words, analyzing data in-house allows us to provide our clients with higher quality information regarding the health of your pet.

During a routine wellness visit, your veterinarian does a surface-level examination. Laboratory diagnostics take the analysis deeper, providing us with data involving the integrity of organs, blood, and more. All of this information, in combination with a superficial examination, gives us a clearer picture of your pet’s health. 

Laboratory tests and bloodwork frequently performed include:

  • Complete blood count: a test that gives information about the cells in a patient’s blood, such as the cell count for each blood cell type and the concentration of oxygen. Blood tests are recommended every 12 months for younger pets, and every 6 months for older for sick pets.
  • Blood chemistry panel: a series of different tests aimed to evaluate organ functioning.
  • Electrolyte testing: analyzes the presence of salts and minerals, such as sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate, which are found in the blood. They help conduct electrical impulses in the body, and are essential for healthy living.
  • Thyroid testing: measures the integrity of the thyroid gland, which plays a role in metabolism.
  • Urinalysis: determines renal function.
  • Fecal tests: checks for intestinal parasites. We recommend dropping off a fresh fecal sample once a year.
  • Skin scrapings: A common test that involves scraping off some dead superficial cells of the epidermis. It tests for fungi presence and parasites.

Allergy & Dermatology Testing

Allergies and dermatological issues can cause stress in animals and homes. In general, dermatitis is the term used to describe a condition of the skin in which it becomes red, swollen, and sore, sometimes with small blisters, resulting from direct irritation of the skin by an external agent Ilike pollen, nuts, etc.). Dermatitis can be caused by several sources, including allergens, irritants, infection, and more.

If untreated, a simple itch or rash can lead to widespread pain and distress. However, with the help of our services, our trained clinical team can help your pet regain or maintain healthy skin. 

Allergens can be found in the air, food, and the environment. Examples of allergens in humans are tree nuts (like chestnuts, almond, and walnuts), peanuts, pollin, dust, and mold.

The following are signs and symptoms of allergic reactions in animals:

  • Inflammation the skin (redness, swelling, hotness, etc)
  • Excessive licking and/or biting
  • Excessive itching
  • Excessive shedding
  • Watery eyes
  • Pain
  • Coughing and/or wheezing
  • General congestion

If you have noticed any of these symptoms in your pet, be sure to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. 

When you do come in, we will perform an examination and assess the condition of areas such as the skin and coat. We’ll also have a discussion with you about any environmental aspects that may be contributing to this reaction.

Next, we will recommend secondary diagnostic tests based on the findings of our primary examination. All of these tests can be processed quickly in our in-house diagnostic laboratory.

Treatment plans can sometimes be complicated, especially if your pet is allergic to multiple things. Treatment plans may include medications, creams, or injections. At Parkville Animal Hospital, we will always work with you to devise the best overall treatment for your personal situation and pet.


Endoscopy is the insertion of a long, thin tube directly into the body to observe an internal organ or tissue in detail. It can also be used to carry out other tasks including imaging and minor surgery. Endoscopes are minimally invasive and can be inserted into the openings of the body such as the mouth. It is especially useful in cases where advanced diagnostic analysis of the body systems (like the digestive system) is required. 

Your vet will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate or to diagnose:

  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing
  • Digestive tract bleeding
  • Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)
  • Polyps or growths in the colon

Additionally, endoscopy can be used to collect biopsies of tissue for the purpose of diagnosing diseases or abnormalities.

Join the Parkville Animal Hospital Family Today!

Located off of the Baltimore Beltway in the shopping center between Willoughby Rd and Hiss Ave.

Phone: 410-668-1040

Send Us A Message!

  • Monday:
  • Tuesday:
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday:
  • Friday:
  • Saturday:
  • Sunday: