Okay! So we know that your pet has something wrong with an organ system (liver, kidneys, bladder, intestines, etc) but x-rays and bloodwork can’t tell us exactly what – NOW WHAT?? In the past we often had to guess… not ideal. We are now thrilled to offer ultrasound which can be a huge help in determining what is wrong with our patients.
While x-ray looks at the size and shape of organs, ultrasound looks closer at the structure of the tissues. It works by emitting a sound wave through the probe, which is reflected by the tissue being scanned and bounces back at different strengths to the probe, like an echo. These waves are transferred into different shades of grey – two hundred and fifty six to be precise.
For Example – a cat’s kidney is large on x-ray and bloodwork shows that the kidneys are not filtering toxins well– but why? Ultrasound allows us to tell if they have kidney stones, kidney cysts, a kidney infection, a blocked ureter, etc. Each of these conditions require a very different treatment and ultrasound often means the difference in having to guess what the problem is and knowing what is going on so that we may use specific treatment and get better outcomes.
The list of benefits with ultrasound also include being non invasive, non painful and most pets can be ultrasounded with no drugs or with a light sedative. It is also very safe, no radiation required and images are in real time. As with digital x-ray we are also able to send ultrasound images and videos all over the world to specialist for help with rare cases!