Diagnostic Imaging

Veterinary Diagnostics & Imaging for Thorough Diagnosis & Treatment

Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is dedicated in offering a multitude of diagnostic imaging techniques and equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of our patients.

Included among the many imaging and diagnostic services we offer the following:

Digital Radiography

Digital radiography is state-of-the-art technology that provides a quicker and clearer x-ray image. Similar to a digital photo, a digital radiograph can be manipulated after it is taken allowing our doctors to view the image in ways that are not possible with film technology. These radiographs can be viewed on the Internet from any computer. The doctors at OVRS are able to send images via the Internet to the board-certified radiologists at Eagle Eye Radiologists in Cardiff, California allowing rapid image interpretation.


Ultrasound allows visualization of body organs by the use of safe and non-invasive sound waves and thus rarely requires the use of sedation or anesthesia. Abdominal ultrasounds are often performed to evaluate the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, urinary bladder, stomach, small intestines, pancreas, colon, peritoneum, spleen, lymph nodes and the prostate or uterus. In many cases, ultrasound imaging and/or ultrasound guided biopsies may preclude the need for major surgery. If an ultrasound guided biopsy is necessary, sedation and/or anesthesia may be required.


Echocardiography allows visualization of the heart to evaluate the heart’s function in detail. Several sets of measurements can be made which aid in the determination of type and severity of a pet’s heart dysfunction. This information aids veterinarians in prescribing medication that can alleviate signs and symptoms of heart disease. It can also be used as a monitoring technique. Generally, no sedation or anesthesia is required for this advanced imaging of the heart. Echocardiograms at OVRS are performed by board-certified veterinary cardiologists. Echocardiograms are often performed due to suspected heart disease, fluid around the heart or in the chest, evaluation of heart murmurs, or suspected chest or heart tumors.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed tomography (CT) scan is a special radiographic procedure that uses a computer to produce detailed cross-sectional images or “slices” of parts of the body. A CT scan allows visualization into parts of the body that are hard to evaluate with traditional radiographic imaging methods. CT scans are sometimes performed with contrast agents to better accentuate abnormalities. A CT scan is indicated for diseases of the brain, sinuses, inner ear, orbit, intervertebral discs, bones, joints, spine, and soft tissues. CT makes it possible to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more accurately than with other imaging tools. If a tumor is found, the CT scan can pinpoint its size and location. This information is necessary for the oncologist and/or surgeon to formulate a treatment plan. A biopsy of a tumor can be obtained using the CT scan to guide the needle, which also helps in the diagnosis and treatment.

CT scans are performed with a helical CT scanner. The helical CT offers many advantages over traditional CT scanners, including a higher degree of lesion detection, 3D reconstruction, better lesion characterization, and more rapid acquisition of images, which decreases anesthesia time.

Anesthesia is required for veterinary patients undergoing CT imaging to prevent movement and obtain the most accurate diagnostic images. The length of anesthesia time is relatively short, and patients are well monitored during the procedure using equipment that measures heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels.

Our Diagnostic Expertise

  • Bronchoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Computed axial tomography (CT scan)
  • Cystoscopy
  • Digital radiography (X-ray)
  • Endoscopic biopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • Gastric and esophageal foreign body retrieval
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Otoscopy
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement
  • Proctoscopy
  • Retroflex pharyngoscopy
  • Rhinoscopy
  • Special radiography:
    • Angiography
    • Arthrography
    • Contrast radiography
    • Cystography
    • Fistulography
    • Myelography
  • Ultrasound Services:
    • Abdominal
    • Ocular
    • Thoracic
    • Color-flow doppler
    • Cardiac
    • Contrast studies
  • Upper gastrointestional tract
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Tour Our Diagnostic Imaging Department

Meet Our Veterinarians

Dr. David Hager, MD, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology


Dr. Hager is a board-certified veterinary radiologist, and has a unique background in medical and radiology training in that he is both a veterinarian and a physician. He received his veterinary degree in 1980 from Purdue University, completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship at Louisiana State University and then underwent a three-year veterinary radiology residency at the University of California, Davis, that culminated in board-certification as a veterinary radiologist in 1984.

Jim Hoskinson DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Radiology


Dr. Hoskinson graduated suma cum laude from Washington State University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1986. He pursued his residency training in radiology at the University of Tennessee and was board-certified in 1990. He joined the faculty at University of California, Davis as an instructor in diagnostic imaging and in 1991 he became assistant professor in radiology at Kansas State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where he remained for 14 years. Dr. Hoskinson provides a consulting service to industry and institutional practices.