Our goal is to be as informed as possible every time. That’s why we may recommend ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound imaging is often used as an alternative to, or accompanying a diagnostic procedure to radiography. These results help us gain a further understanding of your pet’s health.
Ultrasound is used to create images of soft tissue structures, such as the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, as well as other organs and parts of the body. It works by sending high-frequency sound waves into your body using a probe and a special gel. Based on where the waves bounce back, (and based on where they don’t) images are created from the data we have aggregated.
Ultrasound scanners consist of a computer console, a video display screen and an attached transducer. The transducer is a small hand-held device that resembles a microphone. Some exams may use different transducers (with different capabilities) during a single exam.
At Parkville Animal Hospital, we utilize ultrasound technology to analyze medical concerns such as masses, internal abnormalities, cancer, and pregnancy, which are similar conditions that may require an ultrasound in a human.
An ultrasound procedure is very safe, gentle, and short. Usually, the subject is placed in a lying position, and a special gel-like substance is applied to the probe. In some cases, shaving of the pet’s fur is required.
Additionally, the ultrasound device is relatively small and quiet (compared to digital radiography, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography devices, which are slower, louder, and larger), so an ultrasound is even less likely to cause unnecessary fear or stress from pets than digital radiography.
Since an ultrasound procedure is a noninvasive and generally non stressful procedure, anesthetics and painkillers are usually not needed. Our technicians are trained to deal with stress, but in particularly aggressive cases, mild sedatives may be administered with your permission.
Follow-up exams may be needed. If so, we will explain why. Sometimes a follow-up exam is done because a potential abnormality needs further evaluation with additional views or a special imaging technique. A follow-up exam may also be done to see if there has been any change in an abnormality over time. Follow-up exams are sometimes the best way to see if treatment is working or if an abnormality is stable or has changed.