If you think of radiographs (x-rays) as snapshots of the inside of your pet, ultrasound is like videotape: you can see more. This technology is especially useful for seeing abdominal structures in more detail than an x-ray can. Some examples are bladder stones, abnormal kidneys, etc.
Ultrasound is newly available in veterinary practice and we are excited to be able to offer it! – What is required beforehand? You may be asked to not feed your pet for 12 hours before the ultrasound. – How is it done? Sometimes some hair may have to be shaved from your pet’s belly area, especially if the hair is thick. The ultrasound scanner is painless, and your pet only has to hold still for a short time while we scan. – Do we have the results right away? Yes and No.
The doctor doing the ultrasound scan sees everything in real-time, so we have the capability of sending the ultrasound images we capture over the internet to a board certified veterinary radiologist (a specialist with advanced training in reading ultrasound). It may take a day or two to receive the specialist’s report. – Will my pet have a sedative? Probably not, most dogs and cats are fine with ultrasound. A pet that strongly resists other normal things we do, however, may need to have a sedative in order to cooperate with the ultrasound. In addition to allowing us to ”see” into the abdomen better, ultrasound also allows us to take aspirates (samples of cells) from abdominal organs such as the liver. These samples can be sent to the laboratory for analysis, to help with the diagnosis of a suspected problem.