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Ultrasound and Your Pet

As the premier emergency animal hospital in Austin, we are fully equipped with the latest technology, protocols, and procedures for diagnosing and treating pets. One of our most important, as well as affordable technologies, is pet ultrasound which our veterinarians use for a number of purposes. Read on to learn more about how our ultrasound imaging technology benefits our pet patients and saves their lives.

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What is Pet Ultrasound Technology?

You are probably familiar with human ultrasound technology, and for pets, the technology works much the same way. Our ultrasound equipment uses sound waves that produce detailed images of the pet’s internal organs which help us locate and diagnose internal diseases and problems. This procedure is typically done after a thorough exam, bloodwork and x-rays.  Ultrasound does not penetrate bone so it is common for the veterinarian to order both x-rays and an ultrasound to help with a diagnosis.

Why Does the Vet Use Ultrasound?

Ultrasound can be used as a tool to evaluate internal abdominal regions and organs such as the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, stomach and the intestines.  We also use this technique to aid in the identification internal masses, pregnancies, free fluid, and foreign bodies.  It is an excellent, non-invasive method that will help the veterinarian make a diagnosis and provide you with the best options for the treatment of your pet.

What Happens During the Ultrasound Procedure?

When our vet has decided to use ultrasound for an exam and diagnostic test, the pet is placed on a padded examination bed. The pet’s belly is placed face up and the veterinarian places a probe directly on the skin. The ultrasound waves emitted from the probe are either absorbed by or echoed from the internal organs. How the waves are absorbed or echoed is what forms the image of the organs which the veterinarian will use to help diagnose the pet’s condition.

Will My Pet Have an Area of Hair Shaved?

Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce a picture so to ensure the best results we will shave an area of hair.  Depending on the area of the exam and the size and shape of your pet, the size and shape of the shaved area will vary.  After shaving, a lubricant is applied to allow the probe to glide smoothly across the hair-free area.

Is the Procedure Painful for Pets?

This is a completely painless and non-invasive procedure that takes somewhere between 20 and 60 minutes to complete. If a pet becomes excessively anxious, he or she may be given a mild sedative.

When Are the Test Results Available?

Since this test is performed in-house, the results can be shared with pet owners quickly.  Our hospital will often use board certified veterinarians to perform ultrasounds and evaluate the results. 

Here at Emergency Animal Hospital, we have the experience, tools and expert staff to diagnose and treat the most serious conditions and emergencies. Ultrasound is a big part of our overall formula. Learn more about our emergency practice by giving us a call.