Diagnostic Imaging and Lab Services

An Accurate Diagnosis is the First Step to Effective Treatment in Pets

Does Guardian Veterinary Specialists have all the advanced imaging and testing capabilities  onsite that are necessary to diagnose my pet? The answer is yes.

We’ve invested in a comprehensive array of sophisticated technology—all available right here  in our hospital—so that we can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet and speed the time to  treatment. Our specially trained staff will ensure that your pet undergoes testing comfortably  and safely. 

Our aim is to obtain the most complete information possible about your pet’s condition so we  can determine the best treatment plan and start your pet on the road to recovery. Here’s an  overview of the advanced diagnostic resources we may use:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):

Guardian Veterinary Specialists is one of the few  veterinary facilities in this region to have MRI on site. This imaging procedure uses a powerful  magnetic field, radiofrequency pulses and a computer to look inside the body, producing highly  detailed images of organs, soft tissue, bone and other internal body structures. MRI doesn’t use  ionizing radiation (x-rays). Pets must be sedated to undergo an MRI scan because they must  remain absolutely still to ensure image quality.

Computer Tomography (CT):

CT is an x-ray technique that produces images of the body’s  internal structures in cross-sectional “slices” instead of two-dimensional images like traditional  x-rays. A CT scan is often performed to evaluate bone tumors and fractures, tumor margins,  internal injuries, conditions of the head and neck, and to guide surgery and radiation therapy,  and detect and monitor cancer and heart disease. As with MRI, pets must be sedated for this  exam because they must remain absolutely still. 


Fluoroscopy is often referred to as a “moving x-ray.” It enables doctors to see  inside the body while the organs are in motion (such as a beating heart). They can view  anatomy in real-time to detect various conditions, including those of the throat, lung, heart and  stomach. Fluoroscopy is commonly recommended as a diagnostic tool when a pet experiences  difficulty breathing or swallowing.


Ultrasound uses sound waves that are “beamed” into the body and bounce back  into a special device to form an image. Ultrasound is often used to examine abdominal organs,  blood vessels, the heart, animals in the womb (in utero), and muscles and ligaments. It can help  diagnose many conditions, including small tumors and vascular (blood flow) issues. 

  • We also offer a mobile ultrasound service to the region’s referring veterinarians, bringing this important diagnostic imaging modality to their facilities on request. Learn more

Digital x-ray (radiography):

Digital x-ray is the most common type of diagnostic imaging. It’s  frequently used for examining the chest; a chest x-ray provides detailed imaging of the heart,  lungs and surrounding areas. We perform radiographs of the chest when a pet presents with fever, cough, heart murmur, recent trauma, and rapid or difficult breathing.

Laboratory Services:

In addition, Guardian Veterinary Specialists has added an onsite diagnostic  laboratory so that we can perform faster, more accurate lab tests including blood work, urine  and fecal analysis, biopsies and more. We’ve partnered with the respected Bloodhound  Laboratories to ensure rigorous quality control and results that we—and you—can depend on.

Our Locations

Guardian Veterinary Specialists
24/7 Emergency and Specialty Care
Guardian Veterinary Emergency Orange County
Night, Weekend & Holiday Emergency Care
Mon6:00 PM. – 7:00 AM
Tue6:00 PM. – 7:00 AM
Wed6:00 PM. – 7:00 AM
Thu6:00 PM. – 7:00 AM
Fri6:00 PM – Monday 7:00 AM
Sat24 hours
Sun24 hours
Holiday24 hours
Armory Dog & Cat Hospital

Routine Health Care & Emergency Services

Mon9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Tue9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Wed9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thu9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Fri9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Sat9:30 AM – 5:00 PM