This imaging technique makes use of sound waves; these are completely harmless and therefore safe for both people and animals. The sound waves are transmitted by the transducer, reflected by the different tissues and received to create an image. Sound waves are incapable of travelling through bone, air and gas. This is why ultrasound is unsuitable for imaging lungs or bony structures. To prevent air obstructing the images of the gastro-intestinal tract we will ask you to starve your animal for 12 hours before an ultrasound examination of the abdomen.
To evaluate the heart muscle, function and abnormal blood flow a heart echo is extremely valuable. We use the ultrasound images to view and measure the different compartments of the heart. Before performing a heart echo the left and right chest will be clipped. The animal is placed on its side and to improve contact special gel is placed on the skin. The exam is not painful and well tolerated by most animals. Blood pressure measurements and ECG are an integral part of the heart echo examination.
Ultrasound examination is a great imaging modality to examine the bladder, kidneys, liver, spleen, intestines, uterus and prostate. It gives us the means to evaluate not only the size of the organ but also its position and structure. Additionally to localizing the organs we can also sample fluid (urine from the bladder) or tissue (biopsy) for further examination.
For an abdominal ultrasound examination the animal is placed on its back, its belly is clipped and gel is placed on the skin.
To confirm pregnancy in your bitch we can either perform an ultrasound examination or take an X-ray. An ultrasound scan can be performed from 28 days pregnancy. It is not possible to determine the amount of puppies with ultrasound.
Blood tests are inconclusive to determine pregnancy in dogs and cats. Abdominal palpation is possible between day 24 and 32 of pregnancy but this is very unreliable.
Although we cannot image air filled structures with ultrasound, we can evaluate the lungs surface. We will be able to identify abnormal tissue where the lung should be (tumors), infected lungs (pneumonia), masses or fluid in the chest. Fluid can be removed and tissue can be sampled through ultrasound-guided biopsies.
For a thoracic ultrasound examination the animal is placed on its chest or side. Both chests are clipped and gel is placed on the skin.