Ultrasound technology uses sound waves transmitted into the body to create an image. It is a very non-invasive modality that has no side effects. Ultrasound and x-rays together form a great diagnostic tool.
While radiographs provide an overall picture of the abdomen or thorax, ultrasound allows us to look at the architecture of an organ, which can be very useful. Another advantage of ultrasound is that it is faster and more affordable than some other advanced imaging modalities, such as CT scans and MRIs. While CT scans and MRIs require deep general anesthesia, ultrasound rarely requires sedation (except in cases in which a patient is particularly anxious).
Ultrasound has many uses. For example, when a pet has a tumor, this imaging tool enables us to see which organs are involved and how invasive the tumor is. This helps us with our treatment protocol and prognosis. Also, fluid can be distinguished from soft tissue masses or foreign bodies, which is sometimes difficult to differentiate on radiographs. Ultrasound is a useful tool to determine when patients have blood in the abdomen or around the heart, a diagnosis that can be life-saving.
Ultrasound is useful to rule out potential diagnoses such as bladder stones or a bladder tumor with a persistent urinary tract infection. It can also be used for fine-needle aspirates, which are small biopsies of organs or masses, or to obtain urine from the bladder.
The bottom line is that ultrasound improves the quality of veterinary diagnosis and care. Our state-of-the-art NexGen Ultrasound equipment and diagnostic probes provide top of the line images for accurate diagnoses. Likewise, doctors and members of our staff have trained extensively in advanced ultrasound techniques to provide your pet with the best diagnostics available. This allows us to most accurately evaluate and treat your best friend.
An ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) can evaluate the function of the heart and help us to diagnose specific heart diseases so that we can treat them appropriately.
The most current recommendations are to perform an Echo as soon as a murmur or arrhythmia is detected. This establishes a baseline and determines if any treatment is needed and how often to follow up with diagnostics. Recent studies have shown that appropriate therapy, based on Echocardiography, Blood Pressure, and occasionally an ECG can extend the lives of pets with heart disease significantly (often years) longer than with no therapy.
Ultrasound can help us differentiate between fluid in the lungs and dry lungs, and is often more accurate than radiographs. It can also help identify tumors in the lungs which may be too small to show up on chest radiographs.
Echocardiography and lung ultrasound improve the quality of veterinary diagnosis and care we can provide for your pet. Our state-of-the-art NexGen Ultrasound equipment and specific cardiac probe provide top of the line images for accurate diagnoses. Dr. Luther and our ultrasound technologist, Jen Morris are both certified through the Sound Institiute and have trained extensively in advanced echocardiology techniques, including 2-D and M-Mode imaging as well as Color and Spectral Doppler to provide your pet with the best diagnostics available. Our cardiac examination includes a Board Certified Cardiology review for the most current treatment options available. This allows us to most accurately evaluate and treat your best friend.
It is imperative that heart disease is evaluated and treated at an early stage in order to prong your best friend’s quality of life.