Diagnostic Aids

At Larkmead Vets, we have invested in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to aid our veterinary surgeons in the speedy and accurate diagnosis of a range of pet health conditions.

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Larkmead Vets continuously invests in new equipment to provide our clients and patients with a fast and reliable laboratory service. Between our Cholsey and Didcot Park Road branches we can offer a wide range of blood testing services and urine investigation work carried out on-site.

Our vets perform in-house microscopy on many samples including ear swabs, fine needle aspirates from masses and blood smear analysis. We also carry specialist diagnostic lab equipment for emergency care. For any specimens requiring external laboratory investigations we use a courier service for the same day transfer of samples.


We have digital radiography at both our Cholsey and Didcot Park road branches. This provides us with a fast, detailed assessment of your pet in a format that can easily be exported and reviewed. For health schemes such as the BVA/Kennel Club Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Scheme we can send the images for assessment directly on your behalf.

Digital x-rays enable our vets to take images of skeletal issues and examine various organs including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and small intestines for anything of concern. This method can highlight foreign bodies lodged in the intestine or stomach, and the presence of disease, fluid, or a tumour.

A patient needs to be still to achieve a good quality digital image so X-rays are typically performed under light sedation, or under general anaesthetic when appropriate.


Larkmead vets is very fortunate to have a range of ultrasound scanners varying from small consulting room friendly scanners to larger hospital quality machines. Ultrasound scanning provides a non-invasive way of seeing inside a pet in more detail and gives instant results. Ultrasound works by bouncing high-frequency sound waves off tissues and converting the echoes into black & white images. These images show remarkable detail in soft tissues such as internal structures of the eye and the heart, the contents of the abdomen or womb, and muscles. Ultrasound scans are also used during pet pregnancies and to assist our vets when taking needle biopsies or fluid samples such as urine and bile.

As well as small portable machines we have specialised machines at our main branches which allow us to perform echocardiography (heart scans) using colour flow doppler to fully assess heart valves, blood flow and detect congenital cardiac abnormalities.

Pet ultrasound scans are usually performed on conscious pets, however in some cases, light sedation may be necessary.


We have scopes of varying sizes which can be used to investigate, the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract or in some cases retrieve small, mobile foreign bodies. Smaller scopes can be used to investigate the nasal chambers, larynx and larger part of the airways. These procedures will always require a general anaesthetic and may require special preparation beforehand.


Checking blood pressure is as important in cats and dogs as it is in humans. Older cats are particularly prone to hypertension and without monitoring and correction can lead to health problems later in life. All our branches have access to our portable blood pressure machines which are also used routinely during all anaesthetics.


A tonopen is a special diagnostic tool used to determine the intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye. It is useful tool to diagnose and confirm sight threatening glaucoma and monitor management of the condition. This is a portable device which can be located at any branch as required.



Have you got pet insurance?

X-rays, ultrasounds, and other diagnostic tools can be a crucial part of a pet’s diagnosis and recovery. Therefore, we recommend taking out pet insurance to help alleviate the financial burden of unexpected treatment.

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