When ill or injured, our pets can’t tell us what’s wrong, making it nearly impossible for a veterinarian to achieve an accurate diagnosis without diagnostic testing.
Sometimes, the best way to reach a diagnosis or determine the extent of an injury is for a veterinarian to look inside the pet’s body with an ultrasound.
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound (also called a sonogram) is a diagnostic imaging tool used in both human and veterinary medicine. Ultrasound machines emit high-pitched sound waves (so high-pitched that not even your pets can hear them).
Aimed at specific structures, the waves bounce off the different tissues and structures, feeding information into the ultrasound machine to produce an image.
Ultrasound Vs. X-Ray
An ultrasound creates a moving, real-time image of a patient’s internal structures, like a movie. X-rays, on the other hand, use short bursts of radiation to take still pictures (called radiographs) of internal structures.
Both are useful diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine.
How Do Veterinarians Use Ultrasound Tests?
Ultrasound offers a safe, non-invasive, and pain-free solution for diagnosing patients, often eliminating the need for exploratory surgery.
Ultrasound Vs. X-Ray
Veterinarians use this form of diagnostic imaging to screen pets for early signs of disease, to observe their organs in action, to evaluate the circulatory system,, to evaluate injuries, and to diagnose a range of health concerns and diseases, including:
- Gastrointestinal concerns
- Ingested objects
- Organ function and abnormalities
- Tumors, growths, and cancer
- Cardiovascular concerns
- Trauma (e.g. hit by car)
- Internal bleeding
- Congenital conditions
We might recommend an ultrasound if a pet has been injured or has the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Lack of bowel movements or difficulty/inability to urinate
- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Heart murmur
- Abnormal laboratory values
What To Expect During A Pet’s Ultrasound Appointment
Ultrasound procedures can be quick and painless.
In fact, the ultrasound wand produces a slight warming effect that tends to relax patients. Prior to your pet’s ultrasound, we might shave a patch of fur above the targeted imaging location.
A thin layer of special gel will be applied to your pet, and the ultrasound will then be taken by moving the ultrasound wand over your pet’s skin.
In some cases we may administer sedation to reduce stress for your pet and allow for optimal imaging.
Complete In-House Diagnostics With State-Of-The-Art Veterinary Technology
Insight Veterinary Wellness Center provides patients the ease, convenience, and exceptional care that can only be afforded by a complete suite of in-house diagnostic tools. In addition to ultrasound, our veterinarians have access to radiology, endoscopy, and a full in-house laboratory. With every diagnostic tool available, our veterinarians are able to diagnose pets injured and administer safe, effective treatments right away.
To learn more about veterinary ultrasound and our full diagnostic capabilities, we welcome you to contact Insight Veterinary Wellness Center.