Animal Ultrasound is a painless, non-invasive imaging test that provides important diagnostic information. This invaluable imaging technique is beneficial for the examination of internal organs, the evaluation of heart conditions, and the identification/diagnosis of cysts and tumors. At Oceanside Animal Clinic, our veterinarian frequently uses dog ultrasound and cat ultrasound for fast and efficient diagnosis of pet emergencies and more complex health problems.
Dog Ultrasound & Cat Ultrasound: An Important Diagnostic Imaging Tool
Ultrasound creates an image by targeting a narrow beam of high-frequency sound waves to a particular area of interest. Depending on the type of tissue the sound waves encountered, the waves will be either transmitted through this tissue, absorbed by the tissue or reflected. Reflected ultrasound waves return as “echoes” back to the probe and are then converted to an image. This two-dimensional image of the internal organ is a critical tool in the diagnosis of everything from heart conditions to cysts and tumors. Since ultrasound waves cannot pass through air, in general, we do not use ultrasound for evaluating healthy lungs. Additionally, since bones stop ultrasound waves, we do not use ultrasound to diagnose conditions affecting bones, the brain or the spinal cord.
During an ultrasound examination, your pet will be placed on a comfortable examination table. Since ultrasound is completely painless, anesthesia is typically not necessary, unless a biopsy will be taken. In rare cases, a pet may be very frightened or anxious, in which case a mild sedative will be administered to help the pet remain calm. Since ultrasound waves are not transmitted through the air, before the examination a portion of the pet’s fur will be shaved. In general, ultrasound images are of better quality with shaving.
To perform the ultrasound test, our veterinarian uses a small, hand-held probe known as a transducer. The transducer can easily be moved to view different organ parts or to view an organ or injured area from a different angle. We are also able to take multiple snapshots, as well as short video clips. Observing blood flow or other active functions, such as a pet’s heartbeat, is also possible with ultrasound imaging.
Since ultrasound imaging occurs in real time, the results of your pet’s ultrasound diagnostic test will be known immediately. This is one reason ultrasound imaging is such a valuable emergency diagnostic tool. Additionally, since ultrasound imaging does not use radiation to produce an image as X-rays do, it is safe for use on pregnant animals and is completely harmless to a developing fetus.
Our veterinarian frequently uses dog ultrasound and cat ultrasound to evaluate health problems affecting the abdominal region and other soft tissues. For example, if a pet is admitted to our animal hospital due to excessive vomiting or diarrhea, we may use animal ultrasound to determine if an abdominal disorder is a cause for this problem.
To learn more about the benefits of animal ultrasound, contact our Oceanside veterinarian today!