Ultrasound helps Dr. Werber and the rest of the veterinarian team look inside your pet’s body to view his internal organs, such as his liver, kidneys, and heart. Ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure, meaning we can see your dog or cat’s organs without surgery.
Your veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound if your pet has any of the following conditions:
- Abnormal laboratory results
- Vomiting or diarrhea lasting for a long time
- Weight loss without a change in his eating habits
- Chronic infections
- Change in his urinary habits
- Cancer staging
- Fluid in chest or abdomen
- To permit biopsy
If you have an older animal companion, we may suggest a baseline ultrasound test to use for comparison in future examinations. Ultrasound is also helpful for when your veterinarian is checking on the progress of a previous health problem in your pet or as a part of a health workup before surgery. Sometimes a veterinary surgeon will use ultrasound for guidance when taking a biopsy for laboratory testing.
Ultrasound tells your veterinarian a lot about an organ’s location, size, shape, texture and blood supply but it does not necessarily show the doctor how well a particular organ is working. Additionally, ultrasounds are capable of detecting masses but cannot help a veterinarian know whether the tumors are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Further testing, including blood work or surgery, may be necessary.
What Happens During Ultrasound?
Ultrasound works by sending sound waves into your pet’s body; the ultrasound machine then listens for and uses echoes to create a picture of your pet’s internal organs.
Your dog or cat lies comfortably on his side on a table for the exam; the room is usually dimly lit and quiet. Your veterinarian uses a small wand to deliver the ultrasound waves. The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes to perform. Most pets are quite relaxed during an ultrasound and some even doze off.
These sound waves are at a very high pitch, so you or your pet will not be able to hear them. Your dog or cat will suffer no pain or harmful effects resulting from her ultrasound test.
Your veterinarian may have to shave a small area of your pet’s fur prior to the test to allow good contact between the probe and your pet’s skin. You can expect this fur to grow back in three to four weeks. While the weather is not usually cold here, you may wish to consider purchasing a sweater to help keep your pet warm.
The veterinarians at Century Veterinary Group use the latest in ultrasound technology to ensure quality results and maximum comfort for your pet. Contact your Century Veterinary Group veterinarian in Hollywood and in Los Angeles for more information about ultrasound services for your cat or dog.