We may recommend an ultrasound examination for your pet if we need a clear view of your pet’s organs. An ultrasound exam is a safe, non-invasive, diagnostic test that allows our veterinarians to look inside your pet’s body without having to perform surgery. Your pet usually does not need to be under anesthesia for the ultrasound exam.
The ultrasound machine sends sound-waves into the body and then listens for the echoes to produce images of your pet’s internal organs. We use ultrasound testing to confirm or rule out a diagnosis and we may use ultrasound to obtain a biopsy or aspirate of an organ or mass so that diagnosis can be made with minimal invasiveness and less stress on your pet.
There are different types of ultrasounds we may use to diagnose your pet's condition:
Cardiac ultrasound, or echocardiogram. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. Cardiac ultrasound produces images of the heart as it is beating, giving your veterinarian a detailed view of the heart valves, the chambers and the heart muscles. This test is useful in diagnosing a heart murmur, irregular heartbeats or other cardiac conditions your pet may be experiencing.
Abdominal ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound is useful for examining the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys as well as detecting reproductive abnormalities. We are able to examine the organs for location, size, shape, texture and blood supply. We may use ultrasound to diagnose liver or kidney disease, or cancer screening.
We may also use an ultrasound if your pet is experiencing pregnancy issues or reproduction problems.
Most ultrasound exams take between 15 – 30 minutes, and we typically give you the results at the time of the ultrasound exam.