what is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound, is a form of non-invasive imaging that allows internal body structures to be seen using ultrasonic waves. Much like x-rays, animals do not necessarily need to be sedated to use it. Unlike x-rays, ultrasonic waves are not a health risk, they are even safe enough to be used in pregnant moms!
What is it used for?
Ultrasounds are used to evaluate/diagnose a variety of health conditions:
- heart conditions
- urinary stones
- GI disease/obstruction
Ultrasounds are fantastic tools to diagnose and monitor pregnancies in animals, just like in people. We can get a firm diagnosis of pregnancy 35 days after conception.
The only drawback, we cannot count puppies on an ultrasound! We do have to take an x-ray for that!
Bladder stones are extremely common in our pets. They best way to diagnose them is using an ultrasound. As you can see to the right, bladder stones are usually quite visible on ultrasound, even the ones that don’t show up on x-ray!
The abdomen commonly needs further investigation for eating issues, health decline, cancer, trauma, etcetera.
To the left, you will see those areas of black. Those are areas of fluid. Free fluid like this is not normal in the abdomen. This is an example of a great time to use ultrasound because this could be cancerous fluid, blood from a car wreck, etc