Ultrasound

Ultrasound UnitDid you know, in addition to Radiographs, In-House Laboratory and other diagnostic equipment, Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital has Ultrasound capabilities?

Ultrasound is a non-invasive means of gathering more information about the body in order to obtain a diagnosis or aid in formulating a treatment plan.

X-rays show air, gas, fluid, soft tissue, bone and metal. They also help to determine shape, size, and position of the internal organs and bones of the body.

Ultrasound looks at the internal structure of the organs based upon differences in tissue density. Small changes in density can show changes such as discrete nodules (tumors) or abscesses, thickening of intestine or bladder walls, kidney or bladder stones, pregnancy, foreign bodies, and free fluid in the abdomen. It can also be used to measure masses and certain internal organs such as the kidneys.

While a clinical diagnosis cannot always be made via ultrasound, it can be used to diagnose specific conditions such as pregnancy, bladder or kidney stones, pyometra (uterine infection), and some forms of heart disease. For heart patients, an ultrasound gives information on how well the heart is contracting, valve function, and heart wall thickness.

Ultrasounds are sensitive but often non-specific for the diagnosis of tissue abnormalities. It is always recommended that an ultrasound be performed together with an x-ray to get a complete picture.

An ultrasound alone cannot obtain a microscopic diagnosis. Ultrasound guided fine needle aspirates and biopsies are often used to make a specific diagnosis. See a short Introduction to Ultrasound video below.