Our hospital is fully equipped with an ultrasound scanner. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires an ultrasound examination. An ultrasound scan is a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving soft tissues; such as those found in the abdomen, or the heart.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure which 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 to a probe. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. These images can be printed or recorded. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.
Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidneys, 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 where it is required immediately. If your pet is booked in for an ultrasound scan, please read our pre-operative information here.
The area on your pet to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look a little different when they come home. An ultrasound scan is painless, however, discomfort from pressure may be experienced. If your pet is uncomfortable and moving around, they may require sedation for us to achieve the best possible ultrasound images. During the scan, a water-soluble gel is applied over the shaved area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.
Once the scan has been completed, we will call you. An appointment will be organised for one of our veterinarians to show you the images and discuss a diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.