Ultrasonography, or ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging technique and is often usually used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.
Ultrasound can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder and bladder. It can also be used to confirm pregnancy and to monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect abnormal fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses in body cavities.
A ‘transducer’ (a small hand held tool) is applied to the surface of the body. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface and create a more accurate visual image. The fur will need to be clipped to allow a good quality image to be obtained. Sound waves are emitted from the transducer and directed into the body where they are bounced off the various organs to different degrees depending on the density of the tissues and amount of fluid present. The sound waves are then fed back through the transducer and are reflected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.
If we feel that ultrasound is an appropriate procedure for your pet, we can refer you to a clinic that provides this service. Alternatively, in some cases, we can arrange for a specialist to come here to perform an ultrasound.