Using Ultrasounds in the Veterinary Practice

We all love our pets. In fact, for most pet owners, our furry friends are part of the family. We take them on trips, by them toys, treats and presents, we even have clothing for them. So, it should not come as a shock that in the medical world there are often similarities in how ailments are approached. Just as we need x-rays, shots and meds, we all know that these are needed for our pets, too.  But did you know that some of the same equipment can be used, too? Specifically, the use of an ultrasound machine.

Unlike we humans who can tell our physician of any specific pains or uncomfortableness, our four-legged friends can only do so through their actions. But, with the use of ultrasound, your vet can pinpoint what is bother your pet with ease. While in the past, methods such as CT scans and MRIs were used, the ultrasound is able to give a better picture and is non-invasive, pain-free and less intense. However, it should be noted that in some cases, it may be necessary to use some light sedation to help the pet lie still.

Even better, the ultrasound machine does not need to remain in the vet’s office to be used. With so many advancements in technology, the ultrasound can now be brought to a person’s home so the pet can be examined in the comfort of their own surroundings.

Ways Ultrasounds are Used for Pets

1.     While a radiograph can be used, they are unable to really evaluate the abdomen clearly so that a diagnosis can be made. The ultrasound is perfect for determining problems with the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, spleen, urinary bladder, pancreas, lymph nodes and blood vessels.

2.     If a pet ingests something that they should not have, the ultrasound can be helpful locating where and what it is, making it easier to determine a course of action.

3.     Ultrasounds can be used to determine cases of hemoabdomen pericardial effusion, which affect the heart and the abdomen. Being able to diagnose these more quickly means faster treatment that can potentially save the patient.

4.     With an ultrasound of the heart, it is possible to evaluate function and diagnose specific heart diseases, determine if the blood is flowing properly and whether the heart valves are working correctly.

5.     Can help pinpoint where to use fine-needle aspirates – small biopsies of organs or masses, or to obtain urine from the bladder.

6.     Ultrasound is also helpful in determining what isn’t wrong. The use of ultrasound can rule out problems such as bladder stones or a UTI.

Ultrasound is not just for the traditional medical office. If your veterinary practice is considering adding an ultrasound machine, then contact one of our ultrasound pros today. They will be happy to answer your questions and concerns. We look forward to working with you.