Ultrasonography or ultrasound as it is commonly referred to, is a diagnostic tool which allows us to reach a diagnosis by allowing us to visualize internal soft tissue structures such as organs, tendons, vessels and ligaments to look for abnormalities in size, shape or particular lesions.
Ultrasonography is based on the transmission of high frequency sound waves (beyond that of what you and I can hear). A probe (which emits the sound waves) is placed onto the skin of animals, and waves are transmitted through the animal (some are absorbed by the tissues, whilst others are reflected back to the probe), resulting in a picture to be formed based on the reflected waves.
Ultrasound is a useful diagnostic tool as we can reach conclusions about treatment plans and diagnosis in a non-invasive manner, and have a better idea of what is going on before involved surgeries such as tumour removals/resections.
Applications of ultrasound in general veterinary practice are varied – ranging from pregnancy diagnosis, visualizing the bladder to guide a need to collect samples, checking for intestinal motility and obstructions, looking for growths or changes in organs such as the liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys, checking heart function and efficiency (performing echocardiograms which look at heart valves, contractility and a Doppler function can be used to check blood flow).
All these are possible at Vet HQ. Please speak to us and we will explain all options for you if the need should arise.