Phone: (386) 668-8371
Fax: 386-668-0774
30 S. Hwy 17-92 DeBary, FL 32713

Ultrasound; Another invaluable service we offer here at Debary Animal Clinic

WHAT IS AN ULTRASOUND?

Ultrasound is a form of imaging that allows us to look inside your pet’s body without surgery. It is a completely noninvasive technique. The ultrasound machine sends sound waves into your pet’s body, listens for the echoes, and the echoes form a picture of what’s going on inside your pet.
Ultrasounds can give us information about organs in the abdomen, the chest and heart.

WHY DOES MY PET NEED AN ULTRASOUND EXAM?

Ultrasound exams are performed for many reasons. In human medicine, most of us think about ultrasound exams during pregnancy. However, in veterinary medicine, because ultrasound is a safe, repeatable way to look inside the body, it has become a very useful tool for many other situations.
Your veterinarian may have requested an ultrasound exam of your pet for one of the following reasons:

• Abnormal bloodwork
• Vomiting or diarrhea that has lasted for a long time
• Weight loss with no change in eating habits
• Chronic infections
• Change in urinary habits
• Baseline ultrasound for future examination (geriatric patients)
• Recheck on previous problem
• Cancer staging
• Fluid in chest or abdomen
• Pregnancy
• Pre-surgical
• To permit biopsy

Ultrasound allows us to look at the size and texture of organs in a three-dimensional way. An ultrasound can show abnormalities on the surface of organs as well as changes within those organs. This information can be invaluable in the decisions your vet will make about health care.

1. To do surgery or not
2. To do biopsies
3. To do more specific blood tests
4. To get helpful information prior to surgery

Common Ultrasound Diagnoses

1. Masses in the abdomen. Say your vet palpates a growth or abnormality in the abdomen, or X-rays show a possible mass. An ultrasound can often tell you what organs are affected and if surgery is the right option.
Before general use of ultrasound, we did many more exploratory surgeries with much less information about what we were going to find. Today, an ultrasound before surgery can give your pet the best chance of survival or prevent that pet from having surgery at all.
2. Bladder and kidneys. Ultrasounds help us to look inside the bladder, the kidneys, the prostate or uterus. If your pet is having problems urinating, recurrent infections or bloodwork shows kidney problems or infection, an ultrasound can be invaluable.
Ultrasound makes the diagnosis of a bladder tumor, for example, much easier. An ultrasound can show us if your furhead has a tumor, where it is located in the bladder, and if surgery carries a fair to good prognosis.
3. Adrenal glands. You have probably heard a bunch about Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) in older dogs and how frustrating it can be to diagnose and treat. Ultrasound lets us look at the small adrenal glands, difficult to see on plain X-rays, and gives us another piece of the Cushing’s puzzle.

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