Diagnostic Services at Our Slidell Veterinary Hospital

Pet XraysOne of the frustrations of dealing with a sick or injured pet is that you cannot simply ask him or her what is wrong. It is one of the reasons why Slidell Veterinary Hospital has invested in the latest diagnostic technology. When your pet is not well, we need to find out what is wrong and prevent the problem from becoming more serious. We work with you to minimize your pet's discomfort and eliminate your worry.

Digital Radiology

Radiographs, or X-rays, are one of the most common and useful diagnostic tools in medicine. At Slidell Veterinary Hospital, we use X-rays to examine your pet's bones, lungs, heart, abdomen, oral cavity, and other areas, and for diagnosing and monitoring many medical and surgical conditions. If we suspect your pet has a fractured bone, has swallowed something he or she wasn't supposed to, or is suffering from a heart problem, an X-ray will tell us what we need to know.

Because X-rays are such a valuable diagnostic tool, Slidell Veterinary Hospital has invested in a state-of-the-art digital X-ray machine. There are many important advantages to digital X-rays:

  • They are immediately able to be viewed on a computer monitor.
  • The clear, detailed images can be manipulated so we can get a better view of your pet's bones and internal organs, leading to a quicker and more accurate diagnosis.
  • They take less time to process, which means less time for your pet on the X-ray table (and less stress).
  • No harsh chemicals are needed to develop the images, reducing potential harm to our staff and the environment.

Advanced diagnostic capabilities are an extremely important part of veterinary medicine, especially because we can't simply ask our patients what is wrong. Our investment in digital X-ray technology reflects our commitment to offer you and your pet the best, most comprehensive veterinary healthcare available.

At Slidell Veterinary Hospital, we also use X-rays during dental appointments so that your veterinarian can thoroughly examine your dog's teeth and oral cavity. To learn more about the hospital's dental services, visit the Dental Services page.


Ultrasound is a painless, safe, non-invasive procedure that we use to evaluate your pet's internal organs. It is one of the many ways we strive to give you peace of mind when it comes to your pet's health. Using sound waves, ultrasound produces a real-time moving picture of your pet's organs that allows us to visualize objects that cannot be detected by X-rays alone.

At Slidell Veterinary Hospital, we use ultrasounds to assess the shape, size, tissue density, internal structure, and position of your pet's abdominal organs, assess cardiac health (also called an echocardiogram), and diagnose pregnancy. It can also be used to identify masses or tumors and as a guide during surgical biopsies.

The ultrasound procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to perform and, unless it is being used during a surgical biopsy, does not typically require sedation. A diagnosis based on what we see is usually available immediately, which means we can also provide you with treatment options at the time of your appointment and minimize your worry and stress.


Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure commonly used to evaluate the interior surfaces of your pet's organs through a small tube inserted into his or her body. Using an endoscope, we can accurately diagnose what is causing your pet's vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain or swelling, loss of appetite, or respiratory problems.

The endoscope is composed of a long tube, a light source, camera, and viewing eyepiece. The tube contains two channels: one for forceps, snares, or biopsy instruments to remove foreign objects, small polyps, or tumors or collect biopsy samples; and one for air or water, which are used to better view the tissue or organ. Although anesthesia is required to keep pets still during the endoscopic procedure, the amount and recovery time is minimal. The benefits of endoscopy over exploratory surgery include no surgical incision, shortened anesthetic time, decreased inflammation, less stress and discomfort, and an earlier return to normal function for your pet.

Accurate diagnosis of your pet's symptoms begins with our ability to put together as complete and accurate a picture of what is going on inside your pet's body as possible. For that reason, endoscopy is recommended when routine blood and urine tests, radiographs, and ultrasound do not give us the complete diagnostic picture.

Video Otoscopy

Chronic or recurrent otitis (ear infection) is a common and frustrating disease. At Slidell Veterinary Hospital, we use a comprehensive approach to identify and manage all predisposing factors, primary causes, and perpetuating features in each case. It is not uncommon for an ear infection's underlying cause to be undertreated, which can lead to chronic and painful infections, scarring of the ear canal, hearing loss, and generalized systemic infections. For that reason, identifying the underlying cause is the key to successful therapy.

In pets with signs of otitis, video otoscopy provides several important diagnostic and therapeutic advantages over traditional hand-held diagnostic and operating-head otoscopes. Moreover, video-otoscopy can aid in record keeping and client education. The otoscopic examination takes only a few moments and does not cause pain or discomfort to your pet. Once completed, one of our veterinarians will discuss with you the health of your pet's ears as well as any treatment options if necessary.

Symptoms of an ear problem include:

  • Head shaking
  • Foul odor
  • Redness or swelling around the ear
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Scratching or pawing at the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Excessive ear wax buildup
  • Loss of balance

If your pet displays any of these symptoms, please call Slidell Veterinary Hospital to set up an appointment. The sooner an ear problem is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance for a successful resolution.

LaboratoryOur In-House Diagnostic Laboratory

When performing routine wellness examinations or diagnosing an illness, what our veterinarians can't see is as important, if not more important, that what they can see.

Because protecting your pet's health informs everything we do, we have a complete in-house diagnostic laboratory that allows us to perform a wide range of tests on blood, urine, feces, and biopsied tissue. Without timely access to these precise test results, it would be difficult to make an accurate diagnosis or assessment of your pet's health. Test results can also help us in the early detection of diseases and other conditions affecting your pet's health and well-being.

For example, diagnostic testing can detect heartworm disease, Lyme disease, infections, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, urinary tract infections, and many additional diseases and conditions that can go unnoticed in their early stages. Early blood testing can show evidence of diabetes, changes in liver or kidney function, or simply provide a baseline for future reference. Diagnostic laboratory testing is also completed prior to dental or surgical procedures that require general anesthesia.

Laboratory testing provides information about your pet's overall systemic health without the need for invasive and expensive procedures. Thanks to our in-house diagnostic laboratory, we are able to deliver your pet's test results quickly — often within a few minutes — minimizing the time you need to wait for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

For more information about our diagnostic services, please email or call us at (985) 643-4822. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.