At Burvale Heights Veterinary Hospital we have a high quality ultrasound scanner to assist in evaluating your pets internal structures. Ultrasound scanning allows higher detailed visualisation of internal abdominal organs and the heart than we can see on x-rays, which is necessary to diagnose certain conditions.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.
Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft tissue or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs, like the lungs.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?
Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have an ultrasound scan done, unless it is an emergency and we’ll do it immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they may require a light sedation, and material in the stomach can interfere with us obtaining good quality images of other abdominal organs.
The area to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look different when they come home. No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam, however, slight discomfort from pressure may be experienced. Light sedation may be necessary to keep the animal relaxed and still during the scan. Similar to human ultrasounds, a water-soluble gel is applied over the clipped area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.
Once the scan has been done we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.