Thursday, December 30, 2021

Why Do Vets Use Ultrasounds For Pets?


What Is An Ultrasound? Why Do Vets Use Them?
Pets can’t tell us what they are feeling or where it hurts. It can be challenging to diagnose certain health conditions in cats and dogs. Lab work can only provide so much information and imaging may be necessary for an accurate diagnosis. X-rays are a mainstay of veterinary practices, as they are fairly inexpensive and quick. An ultrasound examination is the second most common form of imaging in a veterinary setting. This non-invasive technique can provide a 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional moving picture of your pet’s internal organs.
Why would a vet need an ultrasound? Pets with chronic digestive problems, abnormal bloodwork, or masses found during physical exams are great candidates for ultrasounds. An ultrasound can help a vet to get a much clearer picture of your pet's internal organs than with an x-ray. It is also very useful in determining changes to the organs and in detecting cysts and tumors. Ultrasound waves are completely safe. A narrow beam of high-frequency sound waves is passed from the probe through the body and creates echoes that convert to an image on the screen. The main downside is that most pets will need to be shaved in the area where the ultrasound probe is used. That is usually the pet's belly.
Many veterinary hospitals have portable ultrasound machines. The procedure is more costly than x-rays, but can provide invaluable information about what is going on inside your cat or dog. Here are just a few of the reasons why your vet may suggest an ultrasound:
• Lack of appetite
• Unexplained weight loss
• Chronic digestive problems (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation)
• Fluid in the chest and/or abdomen
• Abnormal results of blood work or x-rays
• A mass detected during a physical exam
An ultrasound is generally recommended when x-rays alone do not provide enough information. The procedure can help to provide a quicker and definitive diagnosis, which means that your cat or dog can get the right treatment sooner.

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