Ultrasonography, also known as ultrasound, uses sound waves to help examine internal organs. For example, ultrasonography can evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and bladder; to detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses; and confirm or monitor an ongoing pregnancy.
We may use this imaging technique with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. However, the interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician.
The technician applies gel to the body’s surface and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and creates a more accurate visual image.
The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures needing to be evaluated. The waves create varying degrees of echo depending on the tissue’s density and the amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.
Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized. However, the hair in the area to be examined usually needs to be shaved so the ultrasonographer can obtain the best result.
Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure.