The first step in providing veterinary care to a pet is obtaining a thorough assessment of their health. Sometimes, this assessment needs to look deeper than a basic physical examination. When this is the case, our veterinarians turn to a variety of diagnostic tools, including veterinary ultrasounds, to determine a pet’s exact physical condition and to diagnose a variety of health concerns.
What Is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound (sonogram) is a powerful diagnostic imaging tool used in both veterinary and mainstream medicine. Like an x-ray (radiograph), ultrasound enables us to look inside your pet to examine and evaluate internal structures. Unlike an x-ray, which produces a static image, ultrasound machines produce real-time, moving images that actually allow our veterinarians to observe various aspects of your pet’s body as they function.
How Does an Ultrasound Work?
An ultrasound machine emits high-frequency sound waves. These waves travel into your pet’s body, hit internal structures, and bounce back. The machine then translates these reflected sound waves into a two-dimensional image.
When Does a Pet Need an Ultrasound?
Veterinarians use ultrasound in a variety of medical situations. Since they can reveal in detail your pet’s internal structures such as joints, organs, and more, they’re incredibly useful for assessing just about every part of your pet’s body and diagnosing a variety of conditions.
Ultrasound is often recommended for diagnosing sick pets with various symptoms, assessing organ and joint function, observing the circulatory system, monitoring pregnancy, evaluating tumors, assisting with foreign object removal surgery, and more.
What to Expect During Your Pet's Ultrasound Appointment
Ultrasounds are non-invasive and pain-free. As a result, most pets don’t require any sedation for their appointments.
When your pet first arrives, we’ll need to shave or trim a small area of fur at the targeted imaging location. This allows the ultrasound’s wand to make clean contact with your pet’s skin and produce a clear image.
We’ll then apply a special gel to your pet’s skin and move the ultrasound wand to collect data and record images of your pet’s internal structures and function. Once we’ve had a chance to look over your pet’s ultrasound, our veterinarian will discuss the findings with you. We can then work on determining an appropriate treatment plan.
Ultrasound Appointments at White Haven Veterinary Hospital
White Haven Veterinary Hospital is partnered with a traveling service that provides diagnostic services like ultrasound and echocardiograms to our patients. If your pet needs an ultrasound exam, we’ll gather all of your pet’s information and contact you about scheduling an ultrasound appointment. To learn more about your pet’s test results or to schedule an ultrasound exam, we welcome you to contact our office today.