A diagnostic is a medical test that allows your doctor to rule out, or diagnose, a potential health condition which is discussed during your pet’s general health exam. 

At Applecross Veterinary Hospital, we offer a variety of diagnostic tests that cater to your pet’s individual concerns. Most of these tests can be performed in clinic, in our in-house laboratory, which offers fast and efficient results for you and your pet. Sometimes more in-depth tests require referral to an outside laboratory. If need be, our doctors will refer your pet’s tests to a veterinary specific lab. 

We can perform the following diagnostics in our laboratory:

Basic Blood Panels

We offer 2 types of blood screening panels: Pediatric and Adult;

  • Our pediatric panel consists of a CBC (Complete Blood Count), Chem 10, and Electrolytes. These tests assess the base values of the liver and kidney while also analyzing the white blood cell count, red blood cell count, and electrolyte values. This allows your veterinarian to determine if your pet can withstand anesthesia and it will give an insight into any underlying conditions. This is also important to establish a “base-line” profile for their future.
  • The Adult panel consists of a CBC, Chem 17, and Electrolytes. Although these tests are very similar to the pediatric panel, this gives the veterinarian a more in-depth analysis of the internal organ function. 


  • A total T4 (TT4) is an additional blood test that analyzes the thyroid function in Canines as well as Felines. This diagnostic tool is to determine if your pet has thyroid disease.


  • An SDMA test is an additional blood test that analyzes kidney function and can detect the quality of kidney health with as little as 25%1 loss of kidney function.

Bile Acid Snap Test

  • The Bile Acid snap test is an additional blood test that evaluates how well the liver is processing bile. This test is mainly ordered when patients have liver disease or elevated liver enzymes detected in their blood work.


  • The cPLI, of fPLI is an additional blood test that assesses Canine or Feline (respectively) pancreatic health. This test would be ordered if your pet is experiencing pancreatitis-like symptoms, which is further identified in their basic blood panel.


  • A urinalysis is performed by firstly collecting a urine sample by free catch (in a container) or collected by cystocentesis. A cystocentesis ensures a sterile sample which is important for urine cultures and to ensure minimal environmental contamination. From this sample, we use our laboratory equipment to screen for crystals, bacteria, and abnormal cells in the urine. A urinalysis is used as an annual health screen, along with the blood panel, but is also used to diagnose specific urinary issues (e.g., urinary tract infection).

Fine Needle Aspirate

  • A small cell sample is collected from a mass which is aspirated onto a slide with the use of a needle and syringe. This slide is then stained and examined underneath a microscope to determine what type of cells the mass. If the cells are abnormal and unidentifiable, the veterinarian may recommend having the slide sent off for further analysis with a specialist.

Ear Cytology

  • Samples of the skin’s surface are taken from your pet and applied to a microscope slide. This slide is then stained and will be analyzed to determine if there is a skin infection present and what the best course of treatment will be. 

Digital Imaging

  • Radiographs (X-rays)
    • Our x-ray machine uses radiographic beams that penetrate the tissue that is in the beams field of view. These beams are picked up by our sensor which gives a 2D image/silhouette of the area. X-ray imaging is best for diagnosing foreign bodies, bone fractures, cancerous masses, pregnancy, and much more.  
  • Ultrasound 
    • Our in-house ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves that reflect off organs to provide the veterinarian a 3D real-time image of tissues and organs in greater detail. Ultrasound is generally used for examining heart valve function, abdominal and pelvic organ development, diagnosing a mass or tumor, and other various assessments.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

  • An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a piece of medical equipment that measures the amount of electrical activity the heart generates as it contracts. An ECG is used to look for abnormalities or irregularities in the heart rhythm.