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Small Animal Ultrasounds

What is an Ultrasound Exam and Why Has Your Veterinarian Requested It For Your Pet?

An ultrasound (sometimes referred to as a sonogram) is a non-invasive process of using sound waves to capture live images inside the patient’s body.  This procedure is very useful for evaluating your pet’s internal organs and can help to detect any possible abnormalities.  Ultrasound is most commonly used to evaluate the abdominal organs and the heart (also called an echocardiogram).  Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate other areas such as the thyroid glands, parts of the chest, or ligaments and tendons.  Notably, ultrasound does not penetrate through air so some organs that contain gas/air (like the lungs and sometimes intestines) can only be evaluated to a limited extent with this technology.

What Should I Expect?

The procedure typically takes about an hour and can be performed while you wait.  Because your pet will typically need to lie on their back on a specially designed cushion, a mild sedative is administered which will allow your pet to relax and be comfortable during the exam.  The ultrasound probe must come in direct contact with the patient’s skin in order to acquire images, which means the hair will need to be clipped away from the imaged region.  Once the exam has been complete, a reversal of the sedative can be administered.  Our radiologists will then review the images that they acquire and send a report of their findings to your veterinarian.  This information will help your veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan for your pet.

How Do I Prepare My Pet for the Ultrasound Exam?

Prior to the ultrasound exam, our team will review the information provided by your veterinarian.  This often includes a detailed history and lab work, which enables our radiologists to get a more complete picture of your pet’s condition.

We ask that you do not feed your pet after midnight the day of the exam; however, it is always important to make sure that fresh water remain available.  If you pet is diabetic or has any low blood sugar issues, please contact our office to inquire about special instructions prior to the exam.

What Sets Us Apart?

At Animal Imaging, our passion is providing the best care and information to you and your veterinarian.  We are proud to have a dedicated team of board-certified veterinary radiologists available for your pet.  Our radiologists have undergone advanced training and completed the requirements to become certified as a specialist in veterinary radiology and have the expertise required for veterinary imaging and interpretation.  To find out more about how a veterinary radiologist can help your pet, please visit https://acvr.org/pet-owners/.

Patient comfort and safety is paramount at Animal Imaging.  That is why we are also proud to have a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist on our team.  Dr. Carrie Davis treats each patient as a unique individual and strives to provide a sedation plan to allow the best experience and outcome possible for your furry family.

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