Ultrasonography, or ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique often used in conjunction with radiography. Ultrasonography allows imaging and visualization of the body’s organs and deeper structures. It can be very useful in the evaluation of the heart, kidneys, liver and gallbladder, and urinary bladder. It is often used to confirm and monitor pregnancy in dogs can cats.
An ultrasound may be performed while the animal is awake, although occasionally mild sedation is required in order for the patient to be relaxed. A transducer (a small hand held tool) is moved across the skin surface of the body, emitting sounds waves which are directed into the body. The sound waves bounce off the various organs at different wavelengths depending on the density of the tissues and the amount of fluid present within them. The waves are reflected back through the transducer to produce an image on a viewing monitor.
Ultrasonography is a painless procedure with no known side effects and we commonly use it at our hospital as a very useful, non-invasive diagnostic tool.