Petworks Veterinary Services

Ultrasound Imaging

You are probably familiar with the use of ultrasound in prenatal exams in humans. Ultrasound is now becoming increasingly available in the field of veterinary medicine.

Veterinarians are using ultrasound in varied ways. It will show as an image on a screen just like in humans to assess a fetus in utero. Ultrasound can be used on any species. Here ultrasound is commonly used on cats and dogs. Ultrasound is sensitive to organs which cannot be seen on an x-ray.

MRIs and CT scans are still commonly used in veterinary medicine. But these days ultrasound is the preferred imaging tool in most cases. It gives an instant image. It is also non-invasive, radiation free and more cost effective. The technique is painless unless biopsies are being taken. If a biopsy is indicated your pet will be sedated to help them relax and prevent complications. Occasionally, if a pet is frightened a sedative may also be necessary. All these components are making ultrasound more prevalent in veterinary practices.

Veterinarians are using ultrasound in varied ways. It was first used by veterinarians to monitor pregnancies. The ultrasound technique then became useful in examining many conditions. For example, it can help evaluate many internal organs in the abdomen, assess the heart, and other soft tissue regions. However, there are certain organs that ultrasound waves will not pass through such as bone.

Dr. Callicott has had specialized training in interpreting images. Petworks Veterinary Hospital utilizes an ultrasound unit to offer prompt and improved health care for your furry kiddos.

When Will I Know the Results of the Ultrasound?

Generally, the results are known immediately. In some cases, the results may be sent to a radiologist for further assessment. Then the results may take a few days.


Why Does my Pet need an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound may be indicated when the doctor is assessing your companion and feels a large or painful abdomen as well as changes in routine bloodwork. The ultrasound will often times confirm a mass and determine the severity of it. Ultrasound can be utilized when an object has been swallowed and is lodged inside them. The ultrasound can often verify the diagnosis early and allow quick surgical removal. Ultrasound can recognize a vast number of conditions. Ultrasound can also be of assistance if a biopsy needs to be taken from an organ. Ultrasound has become a very important part of keeping our pets healthy.


What do I need to do to Prepare my Pet for an Ultrasound?

Your companion’s doctor will let you know any special instructions. For example, you may need to withhold food before an ultrasound of the abdomen.

The area where the procedure is located will likely be shaved. This is to ensure clear images. There are no side effects from ultrasound.

What is an Echocardiogram, and when would this kind of Ultrasound be Needed?

An echocardiogram means it is an ultrasound of the heart. This lets the doctor know if the heart is functioning properly. The ultrasound is painless, but there are a lot of measurements and calculations taken. Dr. Callicott will refer you and your pet to a specialist for this. The specialist will generally come to Petworks Veterinary Hospital rather than you going to another location. The echocardiogram will help determine the function of the heart and decide the best course of treatment.

It is safe to say that the use of ultrasound in veterinary care has transformed the health care of our furry friends. It provides instant images for faster treatment. It is more affordable than other diagnostic procedures such as CT scans and MRIs. This is due to getting better images quickly, it is non-invasive, pain-free, less intense, radiation free and is able to assess the soft tissue of internal organs. Ultrasound has provided veterinarians with a new diagnostic application.

Petworks Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer this diagnostic tool to provide the best care for your furry companions.

Please call Petworks to schedule an ultrasound for your pet!

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