An ultrasound is a powerful diagnostic tool that creates a real-time image of an animal’s body. This composite reveals important information about internal processes including the circulatory, skeletal and gastrointestinal systems, helping identify disease, blockages and internal injury.
An ultrasound works by broadcasting high-frequency sound waves that reflect off your pet’s internal structures. A small probe held against the skin collects the returning signals to create an image of the internal body, most commonly used to examine abdominal organs like the stomach, kidneys, liver, spleen and gallbladder. An echocardiogram, or ultrasound of the heart, provides precise information about heart valves, blood flow, chamber size and contractions. This tool is essential when assessing overall heart health and treating cardiovascular disease. Because an ultrasound doesn’t require radiation, it is also used to monitor pregnancies and fetal health in breeding pets.
When used in conjunction with other diagnostics tools like radiographs (x-rays), ultrasonography can detect a broad range of abnormalities including cardiovascular disease, skeletal fractures, some forms of cancer, soft tissue damage, foreign bodies and organ disease. Completely painless and non-invasive, ultrasounds rank among the most precise diagnostic tools in the veterinary industry.
To learn more about ultrasonography and other diagnostic tools, please contact your Derks Animal Hospital veterinarian today.