Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires an ultrasound examination. An ultrasound scan is a vital tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving soft tissues, such as those found in the abdomen, or the heart.

While we do not currently have an ultrasound scanning unit available on-site, we are able to book a mobile sonographer to come to the clinic to perform an examination when required.

What is an ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. The images can be printed or recorded. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.

Ultrasound scans are most helpful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs like the lungs.

What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?

We encourage our pet owners to accompany their pets during the scan as they will often feel more at ease and relaxed while being scanned. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the day of admission, as they may need to be sedated to allow us to do the best scan possible.

Shaving of the area is undertaken before scanning, so your pet may look different when they come home. No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam; however, discomfort from pressure may be felt. Sedatives may be necessary for those animals that won’t stay still or are uncomfortable. Firstly, to perform the scan, it requires the application of a water-soluble gel over the examination area. A transducer (probe) is then placed on the skin to undertake the procedure.

Once completed, one of our veterinarians will discuss the scan with the sonographer, before discussing any findings and treatment plan with you.