When a pet isn’t feeling well, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause of the pet’s illness or the extent of an injury with a simple physical examination. Many ailments actually produce similar symptoms in pets, which makes further examination and diagnostic testing necessary to reach a precise diagnosis. If your pet has been acting strangely, exhibiting symptoms of illness, or has been injured, Dr. Humphrey or Dr. Upton might recommend diagnostic testing, such as an ultrasound.
What Is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound or sonogram is a type of diagnostic test, which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce a real-time image (ultrasound or sonogram) of your pet’s internal structures, such as organs and other soft tissues.
How Do Veterinarians Use Ultrasounds?
Veterinarians use ultrasounds, sometimes in conjunction with other diagnostic tests, to diagnose a pet’s medical condition, illness, or injury. Without a definitive diagnosis, finding an effective treatment is basically guesswork. Before ultrasound technology existed, the only available method for diagnosing a pet’s problem was often invasive, painful exploratory surgery.
Veterinarians use ultrasound exams to observe a patient’s internal structures, as they function. This allows a veterinarian to evaluate things like circulation, heart function, the function of other organs, and even a pet’s gait and joint mobility.
When We Might Recommend an Ultrasound for Your Pet
An ultrasound might be recommended for your pet anytime he or she displays signs or symptoms of an illness that cannot be readily diagnosed based on a physical examination. Ultrasound is also used to evaluate injuries, mobility problems, and tumors or growths. We use ultrasound to locate ingested foreign objects and in routine health screenings when indicated for monitoring a chronic condition, such as arthritis.
What to Expect During Your Pet's Ultrasound Appointment
On a case-by-case basis, we might request dietary restrictions prior to your pet’s appointment. Ultrasounds are painless, non-invasive, and typically require no sedation. We’ll prepare your pet for the ultrasound by shaving a small patch of fur above the targeted location. This allows the ultrasound wand to make unobstructed contact with your pet’s skin to produce a clear image.
In-House Ultrasound for Convenience and Quick Results
At Pacific Pet Hospital, our Chula Vista patients enjoy the convenience of in-house ultrasound services. Our advanced ultrasound capabilities allow our veterinarians to evaluate patients on-site, reach a fast diagnosis, and deliver quick treatment. To learn more about ultrasound, we welcome you to contact our office.