Much like x-ray radiography, ultrasound radiography is another method of using waves to create images of what cannot be seen with the human eye. Often, these two forms of radiography are complementary, and used together to create a more complete picture of the pet’s health. In the case of ultrasound, the waves used are sound waves. For this reason, ultrasounds are safe and non-invasive.
Ultrasounds create real time video images of the body’s internal structures. With an ultrasound, a trained radiographer can see the heart beating and the lungs breathing. Ultrasounds are commonly used to diagnose foreign body ingestion, abdominal masses, cancer, pregnancy, and heart and lung abnormalities.
An ultrasound session requires no sedation. Sometimes if the pet is long-haired, we will shave the area to reach it with the instrument. We will keep the pet patient still by petting them and talking in a soothing voice while they lie down. We will use a cool gel on the skin of the examined area and our tool will simply rub against the pet’s skin.
The resulting images will be displayed on a monitor in the exam room. The radiographer conducting the procedure will be able to use the information to make an informed diagnoses. For more complex cases, we may ask a specialist to help us read the images.
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