In-House Lab Tests and Diagnostics

Our facility is proud to offer an in-house laboratory that performs diagnostic tests for your pets. Because the tests are performed onsite, the results are typically available more quickly than lab tests that must be sent away to be read. Although it depends on the test, some lab results are available immediately, and others on the same day.


We have a digital x-ray machine that produces clear, crisp radiographs that can be sent electronically wherever they are needed. Consulting radiologists do not even have to be in the office in order to access the films. X-rays are important for diagnosing broken bones, but because pets cannot talk, x-rays are used for many more purposes with them than with people. If your pet has swallowed a foreign object or developed chronic pain, x-rays may be used to assess the situation. We have a state of the art digital x-ray to facilitate accurate images that can be reviewed by our Consulting Radiologist even when not in the hospital!.

Blood Tests

Routine blood testing is an important way to keep track of your pet’s internal health. Having these tests performed when your pet is healthy provides a baseline value to work from if your pet ever needs diagnostic blood work when they are sick. Knowing what is normal for your pet allows our veterinarians to better see when something is abnormal.

All common blood tests are performed here at our lab:

  • CBC (Complete Blood Count)
  • Chemistry panels
  • Pre-anesthesia screening
  • Heartworm testing

Pre-anesthesia blood work and organ function tests allow our vets to customize surgery and medication plans as needed for your pet’s safety, and diagnostic screening tests allow us to check for the presence of conditions like heartworm that are often asymptomatic.


Cytology is the study of cells and tissue for diagnostic purposes. In humans, a common example of cytology is reading a pap smear. In pets, cytology is used for many purposes, some of which include looking at cells from new lumps or bumps and examining bodily fluids for the presence of abnormal cells. Fecal smears are a form of cytology that is sometimes used to identify parasites or abnormal cells within the sample when a pet is having gastrointestinal upset.

Skin Analysis

The skin is the largest organ in the body, in both pets and people. It performs a multitude of functions and responds in a variety of ways to medical conditions. Analysis of skin abnormalities is thus an important part of understanding what is going on within your pet. Whether the condition is a simple skin infection or an external sign of a bigger internal problem, skin analysis is a valuable tool in the veterinary diagnostic process.

Balboa Pet Hospital Offers the Latest in Lab Technology and Diagnostics

We strive to provide the best possible care for your pets and to do so, we must have access to the best lab technology and diagnostic techniques. Pets cannot tell us so many of the things that human medicine relies on, so it is critical that we have access to accurate and comprehensive veterinary testing facilities. Here at Balboa Pet Hospital in San Francisco, we can check your pet over from nose to tail with our array of modern diagnostic equipment conveniently located in our onsite laboratory. Just call 1-415-752-3300 to make an appointment.

In-House Laboratory

We offer the convenience of onsite, same day lab results for many cases. We are pleased to provide our patients with the ease and benefits of our in-house laboratory.

Conducting these tests while your pet is healthy helps establish baseline values that can be used if your pet becomes ill. These values also assist veterinarians in tracking shifts in values over time, identifying questionable changes early on, before they lead to more serious medical conditions. As your pet enters the senior years, or if he or she has a chronic condition requiring medication, diagnostic and laboratory testing will help ensure the liver, kidneys, and heart are functioning properly. Equipped with the latest in diagnostic equipment, our in-house laboratory can provide immediate results for tests such as:

  • Blood chemistry panels
  • CBCs (complete blood counts)
  • Cytology
  • Skin analysis

When diagnostic procedures are needed for your family pet, you can rest easy having same-day results available in many cases. Laboratory and diagnostic tests are an important component of your pet’s comprehensive veterinary health. We can share results of your pet’s lab tests, as well as your pet’s health record information, with you securely through PETLY, your pet’s portal located right here on our website. Look for the link on every page.

Parasite Control

During your pet’s routine wellness exam, his or her veterinarian will check for fleas and ticks as well as screen for heartworms and other internal parasites. Our veterinarians strongly recommend that all pets be on a year-round parasite control regime—an easy, cost-effective way to keep your pets free from these pesky pests.

Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work

Pre-anesthetic blood work ensures your pet is healthy enough for certain procedures as well as provides his or her veterinarian with useful information in customizing anesthesia and pain management protocols for your pet.