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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Pet Ultrasounds? 

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing parts of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body. Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (x-ray). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels. Ultrasound imaging can be performed using minimal restraint or sedation.

What do Animal Abdominal Ultrasounds Evaluate?

Abdominal ultrasound imaging is performed to evaluate the:

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal Tract (Stomach, Small Intestine, Cecum, and Large Intestine)
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Urinary Bladder

What do Ultrasounds Help Diagnose?

Ultrasound is used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Enlarged Abdominal Organs
  • Stones in the Kidney or Bladder
  • Masses in the Liver
  • Masses in the Spleen
  • Masses in the Bladder

Sometimes, when smaller parts of the body such as the heart or adrenal glands require an ultrasound, our doctors will refer you to a specialty practice for an ultrasound with a board certified veterinary radiologist.

Will My Dog Need an Anesthetic?

Anesthesia is not needed for most ultrasound examinations unless a biopsy is taken. The technique is totally painless, and most dogs will lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Occasionally, if the dog is very frightened or fractious, a sedative may be necessary.

Is It Necessary to Shave My Pet’s Fur?

In most cases, the fur must be shaved to perform an ultrasound examination in Mandeville. Since ultrasound waves are not transmitted through air, it is imperative that the hand-held probe makes complete contact with the skin. In some cases, such as pregnancy diagnosis, it may be possible to get adequate images by moistening the hair with rubbing alcohol and applying a copious amount of water-soluble ultrasound gel. But don’t worry, this is something we will take care of for you.

When Will I Know the Results of the Examination?

Since an ultrasound study is performed in real time, the results of what is seen are usually known immediately. In some cases, the ultrasound images may be sent to a veterinary radiologist for further consultation. When this occurs, the final report may not be available for a few days.

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