Ultrasound for animals

Ultrasound

Ultrasounds allow veterinarians to see what’s going on inside your pet’s body. They provide a clear view of organs and tissues to help vets diagnose internal issues.

What Is a Pet Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging technique that can be used on pets. To perform an ultrasound on your pet, the vet moves a small, hand-held probe gently across your pet’s skin to capture images of the inside of their body.

The probe directs a narrow beam of high-frequency sound waves to the area of interest. These sound waves bounce off of internal structures and reflect back to the probe. They’re then converted to a two-dimensional image displayed on a monitor.

When Are Pet Ultrasounds Recommended?

Ultrasounds produce real-time images of what’s happening inside your pet’s body. They provide detailed views of many of the body’s organs, including the kidneys, stomach, spleen, liver and gallbladder, making them one of the best diagnostic tests available.

When used with other diagnostic tools, an ultrasound can help vets identify internal problems like blockages, soft tissue damage and tumors. Vets can also use ultrasounds to monitor pregnancies and fetal health.

We typically recommend ultrasounds when we need more information to explain abdominal abnormalities observed in lab test results, X-rays or physical exams.

Is An Ultrasound Safe for My Pet?

An ultrasound is a safe, pain-free procedure for your pet. Unlike X-rays, ultrasounds do not use radiation. Ultrasounds are also typically quick procedures that usually take about 20 to 40 minutes to complete.

How Can I Prepare My Pet for an Ultrasound?

We advise owners to withhold food from their pets for at least 12 hours before the ultrasound so we can capture more precise images. Water is typically allowed at all times.

Once you arrive for the ultrasound appointment, the veterinary staff will likely shave your pet’s fur in the area where they’ll be placing the probe. Shaving the fur allows for closer contact with the skin, which can help produce clearer images.

We may sedate your pet to ensure they are still for the procedure. We will also sedate your pet if we need to perform a biopsy or aspiration.

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