Client information & care sheet
At Blue Cross Vets Clinic, we believe in giving our clients as much information as possible. That’s why we produce regular news updates. Read on to learn about the latest updates in the world of animal health and to get regular tips about caring for your pet.
Animal Abdominal Ultrasound
An abdominal ultrasound is a non invasive quick diagnostic tool for looking at the organs including liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, reproductive organs, stomach, intestinal tract, lymph nodes etc, inside your pet’s belly. It is complimentary to an x-ray. In some cases, the ultrasound findings may result in your pet needing additional testing, meaning the ultrasound findings pointed the veterinarian in the right direction to correctly solve the pet’s problem.
Why Does my Pet Need an Ultrasound?
If your pet has been showing symptoms include diarrhea; throwing up; belly pain; abnormal urination; a mass that can be felt when pressing on the belly; or if internal injuries are suspected, such as after being hit by a car, fluid buildup in the belly. Other situations in which an ultrasound may be necessary are if lab work or x-rays show something unusual.
Abdominal ultrasounds can also be used to take samples of fluid or tissues in order to get a diagnosis of the problem. This can include guiding a needle to biopsy unusual masses or removing fluid for analysis.
As with people, ultrasounds can also be used to check for pregnancy. Pregnancy is best diagnosed after roughly 20 days from the last heat cycle. Ultrasound is not particularly useful for estimating litter or individual fetus size, so x-rays are more commonly performed.
Ultrasounds are typically done with the pet lying on a table on an empty stomach and a full bladder. Hair does not conduct sound waves well, so the pet’s belly is usually shaved beforehand. Ultrasound gel may be used to provide better conduction.
Ultrasounds are usually painless and often performed in a quiet, dark room. Most pets do not need sedation. Almost all pets can safely undergo an ultrasound, regardless of medical concerns.