What is Ultrasound for Pets?

An ultrasound examination is a non-invasive method that uses soundwaves and computer analysis to  help our veterinarians view the inside of your pet’s body. It helps your veterinarian see whether internal organs and other structures appear normal and to track changes in the size, shape, and density of tissues.  It provides real-time information and not just a snapshot in time, which can be critical when making a diagnosis.  Ultrasound is often recommended to enhance a diagnosis, enabling the development of a treatment plan that provides the best outcome for the pet and the owner. 

When is Ultrasound Recommended by Our Veterinarians?

Ultrasound is not ideal for diagnosing every illness or condition because it cannot "see through" air-filled lungs or bones. Pet ultrasound does, however, help veterinarians evaluate:

  • Pregnancy (confirm pregnancy and check for heartbeats)
  • Abnormal liver values
  • Concerns about kidney pain or function
  • Causes of bloody urine
  • The prostate on a male dog
  • Free fluid in the abdomen or chest 
  • Signs of inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal cancer
  • Masses in the abdomen
  • Masses that we know are there but need to know more about

In addition, the ultrasound unit may be used to guide a needle biopsy of a mass or organ to help obtain a diagnosis.