What is a Diagnostic Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a noninvasive form of diagnostic imaging, similar to an X-ray. Unlike X-ray, however, there is no radiation involved — instead sound waves bouncing off of tissues in the body form a picture of the organ. Ultrasound allows a view inside of organs such as the liver and kidneys, not just an outline of their shape as seen on an X-ray.
Why Might My Pet Need an Ultrasound?
Ultrasound can be used in diagnosing a wide variety of conditions in animals. Common reasons to have an ultrasound might include:
- Changes in Weight
- Changes in Appetite or Thirst
- Changes in Urinary Habits
- Abnormalities on Lab Tests
- Abnormal Heart Sounds
As the procedure is noninvasive, most of the time it can be done without sedation and with minimal stress to the pet.
What Kind of Conditions Can Ultrasound Detect?
As ultrasound gives us a look at the internal structure of organs, it can help in diagnosing a myriad of conditions. Some of these include:
- Kidney Disease
- Urinary Stones
- Pancreatic Disease
- Liver & Gallbladder Disease
- Hormonal Conditions such as Diabetes, Cushing’s & Addison’s Disease
- Intestinal Foreign Bodies
- Retinal Detachment
- Disorders of the Heart
- Pregnancy and Disorders of the Reproductive System
Should Diagnostic Ultrasound be Used as a Screening Tool?
As many conditions in pet animals go unnoticed due to minimal or no outward signs, ultrasound can be used as a general health screening tool in senior pets, just as screening blood values can help identify disease early to help halt its progress or initiate therapy. Call 919-662-3200 to schedule today.