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Diagnostic Ultrasounds

An ultrasound is a highly useful tool when evaluating heart conditions, internal organs, cysts and tumors. Why would my pet need an ultrasound?

Why would my pet need an ultrasound?

A veterinary ultrasound is an invaluable resource for evaluating heart conditions. It can detect alterations in abdominal organs and assist in the recognition of any cysts and tumors that may be present. Many times, x-rays will be utilized in combination with an ultrasound as they reveal the size, dimension, and position of the organ. With the ability for real-time monitoring, ultrasounds are also utilized for pregnancy diagnosis and development monitoring.

When would my pet get an ultrasound test?

An ultrasound is excellent at evaluating your pet's internal organs. An ultrasound is usually recommended when our doctors find abnormalities on bloodwork or x-rays, or to monitor a disease process.

How does ultrasound testing work?

Ultrasound equipment directs a narrow beam of high frequency sound waves into the area of interest. The sound waves either transmit through, reflect, or absorb in the tissues that they encounter. Any ultrasound waves that are reflected will return as echoes and convert into an image that is displayed on the monitor, giving a 2-dimensional image of the tissues under examination. With the ability to obtain real time information, outcomes can often be determined immediately.

The exam is completely painless. Light sedation may be used to help the patient lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Your pet may need to be shaved in the area of interest, as veterinary ultrasound images are of better quality if they have complete contact with the skin.

Ultrasounds at Diamond Veterinary Hospital

Ultrasounds use high-frequency soundwaves to capture images of your pet’s soft tissues. These images can be viewed in real-time on a computer monitor, though we can print still images as well. Because ultrasounds do not use radiation to produce images, they are safe for use on delicate tissues and with pregnant pets.

Ultrasounds are best used for:

  • Examining the heart

  • Inspecting lumps or masses

  • Monitoring pregnancy

  • Diagnosing possible organ damage

Because ultrasounds cannot penetrate bones or other dense tissues, if we suspect that your pet is experiencing an issue with their bones or muscles, we will order an x-ray.

As an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited practice, Diamond Veterinary Hospital offers both digital x-rays and ultrasounds, which help your veterinarian in Everett to “see” beyond your pet’s fur. The main difference between these two types of radiology is what these methods take images of: x-rays can image the solid or dense parts of your pet’s body, while ultrasounds can image the soft tissues. Importantly, both of these methods are pain-free and non-invasive.