Animal Hospital of Dunedin

Diagnostic Care

To aid in the diagnosis and treatment of pet health conditions, our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and resources. Our in-house laboratory provides fast results and our diagnostic imaging helps us find out more than a physical examination. Trained to develop the best course of action for any condition, our skilled clinicians are here for you and your pet.

Digital Radiography

Our medical team looks to digital radiography for support in the diagnosis of countless medical conditions. Going beyond what can be seen or felt during a routine physical examination, digital radiography provides us with high-definition images of internal systems.

The procedure takes very little time. A miniscule amount of radiation is omitted during the procedure, which makes the procedure safe for all pets. Our staff will keep your pet calm and still while the images are being taken, and reward them for a job well done with a tasty treat and head scratches.

The high-quality images produced help us to assess the health of organs in the body, such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Digital x-rays images are also captured to diagnose the severity of orthopedic injuries, such as breaks and fractures. 

Other common conditions diagnosed with digital radiography include chronic arthritis, liver disease, spinal cord diseases, and bladder stones. 

The size, shape, and position of the organs and bones in the body are meaningful. Organ size can be changed due to certain medical conditions, such as heart disease and kidney disease; And organ shape and organ position can highlight serious concerns such as intestinal blockages and tumors. Having this information available to us allows our doctors to make informed diagnosis and treatment recommendations for your pet.


Ultrasound imaging technology sends sound waves through the body and records the echoing waves to create a clear, real-time video of the organs, abdominal region, and chest cavity. The results give us greater insight to potential abnormalities in the body, particularly in regards to fluid-filled structures and soft-tissues. 

Animal Hospital of Dunedin, our medical team utilizes ultrasound technology to investigate a wide range of medical concerns, such as abdominal masses, foreign body ingestion, heart and lung abnormalities, some forms of cancer, and pregnancy.

The procedure takes less than an hour, in most cases. First, your pet will be placed gently on their side and kept calm by our trained team. Next, we will apply a cool gel to the skin and glide a probe across the skin’s surface. If your pet has a lot of fur, we may need to shave a small area in order to take the ultrasound images.

Because ultrasound imaging is a non-invasive and painless procedure, general anesthesia is typically not necessary. Our clinical team is trained to mitigate stress in your pet by speaking to them in a calm and comforting voice and giving head scratches and praise. Please understand, if your pet is showing high levels of stress or aggression, we may need to administer a low-level sedative. We will acquire your consent first.

We want our diagnoses to be as informed as possible every time. That’s why your veterinarian may recommend ultrasound imaging and digital x-ray imaging. Ultrasound imaging is often used as a complementary diagnostic procedure to digital radiography. Together, these image results give us a comprehensive understanding of your pet’s internal health status.

Laboratory Services

During an annual (or semi-annual) wellness visit, your veterinarian does a superficial examination. Laboratory diagnostics take the examination process deeper, providing us with data such as organ function, blood chemistry levels, and underlying abnormalities. All of this information, in combination with the findings of a physical examination, give us a thorough dataset of your pet’s health.

The doctors at Animal Hospital of Dunedin recommend a pet have routine blood work once a year, similar to a wellness examination. If your pet is a senior or sick, blood work may be recommended every six months. Fecal examinations and urinalysis tests are also recommended annually.

We have the capability of running in-house fecal checks, heartworm tests, urinalysis, parvo tests, feLV/FIV, chemistry (only when needed), pancreatitis tests and skin scrapings.

Several frequently performed diagnostic laboratory tests include:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) looks at the number of red blood cells, white blood cells. And platelets in a blood sample. These results provide our clinical team with a wealth of information about your pet’s current health condition, and shines light on the presence of abnormalities such as inflammation, infection, anemia, and some forms of cancer, to name a few.
  • Blood Chemistry Panel is used to gauge the health and functioning of the organs. It is also used to record a baseline of health for your pet and monitor treatment success.
  • Urinalysis is recommended annually as part of your pet’s preventative care. The test looks at the appearance of the urine (color, clarity, and odor) and urine chemistries to identify urinary tract infections and systemic diseases, such as liver failure and hemolysis.
  • Thyroid Testing verifies if the thyroid gland is over- or underproducing the amount of hormones necessary for metabolism and energy. This test is encouraged annually for all pets, and is a strong recommendation for senior pets.
  • Electrolytes Testing measures sodium, potassium, and chloride levels in the body; all of which are critical to proper cell functioning. The results will confirm a pet’s general health status, identify dehydration, and assess bone health.
  • Fecal Exams are recommended annually, so we recommend bringing a fresh stool sample to your pet’s annual examination, if possible. This test identifies intestinal parasites, internal bleeding, digestive issues, pancreatic issues, and some diseases.
  • Skin Scrapings check for the presence of fungi and parasites. It is one of the most common dermatological tests performed in our laboratory.

Allergy & Dermatology Testing

Allergies and dermatological issues are distressing - physically and mentally. In general, dermatitis is the term used to describe any condition causing inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis can be prompted by several agents, including allergens, external irritants, infection, and internal disease. Some pets also have a genetic predisposition to certain skin conditions and allergens.

If left untreated, what begins as an itch, can lead to physical pain and even mental distress. With the help of our dermatological services, our trained clinical team can help your pet regain physical and mental well-being.

Allergens are inescapable. They can be found in the air we breathe, the food we consume, and the environment we live. Several of the most common allergens include pollen and flowers, weeds and grasses, wheat and grains, protein sources, perfumes, and household cleaners.

Notice any of the following signs in your pet? If so, we highly encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians. We can help to give your pet relief.

  • Inflammation the skin; Flaky skin
  • Excessive licking; Excessive biting
  • Excessive itching;
  • Excessive shedding; Hair loss
  • Lumps and bumps on the skin
  • Watery eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Behavioral changes resulting from distress/irritation

If you’ve observed any of the above-listed symptoms in your pet, the first step is to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians. First, we’ll perform a physical examination and visually assess the condition of the skin, nails, and coat. We’ll also have a discussion with you about any sudden changes at home, symptoms you’ve observed, and more.

Next, we’ll recommend secondary diagnostic tests based on the findings of the physical examination, such as skin scrapings or we will recommend a patient see a specialist.

Treatment plans are often multi-faceted, as pets are oftentimes allergic to more than one thing. Treatment may include oral medications, topical creams, dietary changes, injections, and more. We will work with you to devise the treatment plan most effective for your pet.

Join the Animal Hospital of Dunedin Family Today!

Conveniently located off of Main Street on the corner of Pinehurst Road and San Christopher Dr.

Phone: 727-733-9351

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