A Deeper View: All About Ultrasound for Pets
When a health concern is unclear or can’t be diagnosed, turning to exploratory surgery has been the traditional method in veterinary medicine. After all, what better way to figure out what’s wrong with a pet than by taking a look inside?
Today, there are a variety of tools at our disposal that make diagnosing your pet easier, less stressful, and can often eliminate the need for surgery. At Parkside Animal Hospital, we’re proud to offer ultrasound technology for pets. This diagnostic tool helps us examine your pet’s internal organs painlessly, effectively, and safely.
What is Ultrasound Technology?
Ultrasound is an imaging tool based on the use of soundwaves aimed at an area of interest in the body. The waves bounce off a structure, producing an image that can be evaluated by your veterinarian. Ultrasounds are easy, painless, relatively inexpensive, and have no side effects.
The Many Uses of Ultrasound for Pets
Ultrasound for pets is typically used when a medical issue can’t be accurately diagnosed with a physical exam, blood work, or x-rays. Ultrasounds can help veterinarians evaluate a pet in the following ways:
- Abdominal evaluation – Ultrasound is a wonderful tool for evaluating the major organs in the abdominal cavity, such as the liver, kidneys, and stomach. Because it can distinguish between fluid, soft tissues, and foreign bodies, ultrasound can pick up on tumors, cysts, and other abnormalities.
- Cardiac – An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound used to evaluate the structures of the heart, including the valves and blood vessels, as well as measuring heart function.
- Biopsy – Collecting tissue samples from inside the body can be done safely and more precisely when guided by ultrasound.
- Urine collection – Ultrasound can be used to painlessly collect a sample of urine cells directly from a pet’s bladder. Not only is this an easy and effective tool for sampling, it also ensures that any bacteria, if present, doesn’t migrate from inside the bladder to the surrounding tissues.
- Pregnancy – Just like in humans, ultrasound technology is used to check on the progress and health of a pet’s pregnancy. It can help us determine due dates and the number of puppies or kittens to expect.
- Emergency – In an emergency situation, the use of ultrasound technology can have lifesaving implications, allowing us to assess your pet’s condition and plan next steps.
Although ultrasound technology can’t be used to evaluate certain parts of the body, such as the bones or lungs, it remains an invaluable tool that can save time, money, and unnecessary surgical procedures.
The (Sound)Wave of the Future
Ultrasound imaging improves the quality of veterinary diagnostics and care. We’re thrilled to be able to offer this technology to our patients. If your pet has been recommended for an ultrasound or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.