Ultrasonography is one of the most common forms of diagnostic imaging technology used in the veterinary medicine. This non-invasive, pain-free technique involves using a device/machine that sends sound waves into a targeted area of the body. The echoes from these waves are then used to produce a moving image of the internal organs in real time.
Why Pets Need Ultrasounds
An ultrasound can be recommended for a pet by a veterinarian for a number of reasons, including:
- Fluid buildup in the abdomen
- Abnormal blood work
- Unexplained weight loss
- Urogenital problem
Ultrasound technology allows veterinarians to examine the size and texture of the internal organs to determine if surgery is needed or if a disease or other condition is present. It can also be used to perform biopsies. In many cases, the ultrasound exam follows the X-ray exam, which aids in a more accurate diagnosis.
Abdominal Pet Ultrasounds
An abdominal ultrasound exam involves examining the abdominal organs (bladder, kidneys, gallbladder, stomach, adrenal glands, etc.). These ultrasound-guided techniques are used to assist in the process or support the diagnosis of many diseases and conditions that include:
- Kidney or bladder infections
- Liver disease
- Tumors and nodules of the abdominal organs
- Cushing’s disease
- Abdominal masses
- Enlargements of various organs (such as the liver and spleen)
Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration & Needle Biopsy
In some cases, it may be advisable to aspirate (suction via a very fine gauge needle) fluid or cells from cavities or tissues within the body using ultrasound guidance to enhance targeting and safety. We can perform fine needle aspirations (FNA) to withdraw fluid (centesis) or cells from organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, lymph nodes and other areas as warranted.