What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool that allows us to look within tissues.

How is an Ultrasound different from an X-ray?

While x-rays use a radiograph machine, ultrasounds use an ultrasound machine. An x-ray provides information about various parts of the body. An ultrasound is usually used to view a specific organ or set of organs to help examine and diagnose. X-rays show the overall size and appearance of organs and body structures, but ultrasound can show us the internal structures. Often abnormalities found on x-rays will be investigated further using ultrasound. Another favorite use of the ultrasound is to detect pregnancy before it shows up on X-ray !

What animals should have an ultrasound?

Any animal where an abnormality such as an enlarged organ or mass is found on examination of x-rays can benefit from ultrasound to better assess the abnormality.  Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate viability of pregnancy and aid in collection of samples such as urine or aspiration of other body fluid.

So what is the difference between a general and an advanced abdominal ultrasound?

Advanced Abdominal Ultrasounds are a more in-depth look at an animal’s abdomen. It requires training, and will be used when other tests or procedures require a closer look at what is going on inside a pet’s abdomen. A general ultrasound will generally cover major organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, and bladder as well as check the abdomen for any free fluid.

Advanced abdominal ultrasound sounds fancy, is there someone specific I should schedule my appointment with?

Once it is decided that advanced abdominal ultrasound is necessary, an appointment should be scheduled with Dr. Periat.  Although not board certified, Dr.Periat has over a decade of experience as well as multiple ultrasound courses through Sound Academy of Veterinary Imaging in Texas. These courses range from basic to advanced ultrasound imaging, including some focus on cancer and masses. She continues to stay current on the advancement of ultrasound technology and looks forward to attending more classes and presentations soon.

 

This service is available from our friends over at Parkway Small Animal and Exotic Hospital. To learn more, visit their website.

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