Diagnostic Tests & Imaging

While we can sometimes make a diagnosis simply by examining an animal, often additional tests are required to diagnose more complex conditions. Many practices can provide advanced diagnostic tests in-house, which may include:

Lab work

Our veterinary practices can test and examine urine samples as well as perform analysis of ear swabs, skin and hair samples. They can also perform a range of blood tests in-house, which typically allow assessment of: 

  • Haematology (numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) 
  • Biochemistry (assessment of organ function and protein levels) 
  • Electrolytes (essential mineral levels) 

More specific blood tests and samples require advanced equipment and specialist analysis so will be sent to an external laboratory. This is arranged by the practice and the test results will be sent to your vet when available.  

These include: 

  • Tissue samples, e.g. biopsies  
  • Culture and sensitivity (detect the presence and type of bacteria) 


Imaging allows us to gain information about structures inside the body. The different types of imaging are: 

Radiography (x-rays) and ultrasounds can be performed at most sites. However, advanced imaging such as CT scanning and endoscopy are less widely available. 

All vets can perform ultrasound scans and take x-rays; however, some may have additional qualifications (such as certificate study). If your pet needs imaging of a more complex area, or has an unusual problem, it may be recommended that you book with a particular vet for imaging to be performed. 

Find practices that offer this service