Ultrasound is a useful tool in veterinary medicine. It can be used to perform ultrasound scans of various different organ systems in the body and is similar to the procedure used in women's pregnancy scans. As well as pregnancy diagnosis in animals it can be used to assess and diagnose conditions in the abdomen (e.g. kidneys, bladder, spleen & liver), chest and heart. We also use ultrasound to guide biopsy and sample collection (e.g prostate, bladder, fluid build ups).
We use ultrasound as a first line diagnostic tool as it is non-invasive and doesn't hurt. The fur over the relevant part of the body needs to be shaved to allow contact with the ultrasound probe and gel is used to aid this. The pet will be held in place, often on their side by a nurse for the scan. As the scan sometimes take up to one hour to complete some pets will be given a light sedative to stay still for that long. The ultrasound machine can be used to take pictures or short videos which are stored for future reference.