Ultrasound offers a non-invasive, non-painful method for diagnosing many diseases. An ultrasound is different than an x-ray in that sound, rather than radiation, is used to create the image. This enables us to not only see the structure we are looking at, but to also see inside. Unlike conventional x-rays which can cause harm if used excessively, evidence shows that ultrasound is completely safe from these side-effects, and can be performed on the pet while they are fully awake. Ultrasound is an invaluable tool in assisting in the diagnosis of various diseases including heart disease, kidney and bladder disease, liver problems, and diseases of other major organs. We can also look inside the bladder for stones and growths.
Very often ultrasound is used in conjunction with x-rays in making the correct diagnosis. Ultrasound also allows the doctor to achieve a depth of detail that is not possible with x-rays. Organs that are difficult to see clearly on film radiographs can easily be seen with ultrasound. Internal abnormalities such as masses, cysts, and abscesses can not only be seen, but can also be identified and measured. Ultrasound evaluation of your pet after a severe injury can provide information almost instantly to determine if emergency life-saving surgery is required. This technology can also look inside the beating heart, helping assist us in diagnosing and monitoring heart conditions. Finally, ultrasounds can aid in diagnosing pregnancy earlier than radiology and more cost effectively than blood tests, and we can monitor the growth and number of puppies and kittens.