Most everyone has seen those cute pictures that pregnant mothers show off of their babies before they are born. Those pictures were made by gently bouncing sound waves off the baby. A machine then records those waves and turns them into a picture of a baby sucking it’s thumb or waving at it’s new, excited, expectant parents.
Ultrasound examinations (also known as sonograms) are now a regular part of diagnosing many conditions in veterinary medicine. Closer examination of the heart (also known as an echocardiogram), the liver, spleen, kidneys and urinary bladder are routine exams that can be done with ultrasound.
One of the most important qualities of an ultrasound exam is the ability to image organs and parts of the body with no harmful side effects to the patient. Ultrasound also allows for the imaging of moving parts such as the heart beating and blood flowing through arteries. These qualities allow ultrasound to image parts of the body with more detail than was previously available through x-rays alone. We routinely use ultrasound exams to further diagnose problems that were initially found through thorough physical examinations, x-rays, and laboratory tests. In addition, your veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound exam as an aid in getting biopsies of organs or fluid from the bladder. Visualizing the organs with the help of the ultrasound probe makes these procedures easier, less invasive and safer for your pet.
Each year ultrasound technology becomes more sophisticated allowing us the ability to use that technology to further help our patients. Please ask your veterinarian if an ultrasound examination would be helpful in the diagnosis of your pet’s medical condition.
Brought to you by, Jay H. Margolis, DVM, MS Centreville Square Animal Hospital Chantilly Animal Hospital