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Our Winnipeg veterinarian at Southglen Veterinary Hospital has the latest in advanced technology and diagnostic equipment. The ultrasound machine in our veterinary hospital offers a noninvasive way of examining your pet’s internal organs. With this machine we can provide advanced pet care by finding problems before they progress to a stage where management is difficult, if not impossible.
Unlike x-rays that emit harmful rays, the ultrasound uses inaudible ultrasonic rays that are reflected off or absorbed by the tissues and organs in their path. These sound waves have been found to be safe. The waves that are reflected are called ‘echoes,’ which are returned to the machine and converted to images. These images allow us to see what’s going on inside your pet and are used to help us make accurate diagnoses.
Just as with human beings, ultrasound is useful for determining whether your pet is pregnant. We also use it to see if your pet has a heart condition and to evaluate its status. Ultrasound is also good for examining the abdominal cavity and organs as well as looking at cysts and tumors. On the other hand, ultrasound does not pass through air is therefore not useful for examining lungs and other organs that contain air. It is also not useful for diagnosing bone issues since the ultrasound waves are stopped and cannot pass through them.
One of the first questions owners have is whether their pet will be sedated. We use sedation only if necessary. If your pet can lie quietly for a maximum of 20 minutes, no, or minimal, sedation will be required. You may wonder why we shave your pet in the area where we administer the procedure. The reason is that we want the clearest possible images and hair only obscures them. When our technicians conduct the test, they first apply a gel to the shaved area and with gentle pressure, slide the transducer along the skin.
Although ultrasound results are immediate, before giving you a final diagnosis or result, we study the images in detail. The kinds of results you can expect from the procedure are your pet’s organ sizes, shapes, location and texture. We can also give you information about the blood supply to each organ. Ultrasound doesn’t give us good information about how an organ is actually working, so we do blood work or other testing if we suspect there is an issue with a specific organ. We sometimes find masses during an ultrasound exam, but there are many possible explanations for what it could be. By itself, ultrasound can’t diagnose whether a mass is cancerous, but we would look at other test results in combination to make that determination.
Is your pet experiencing a health problem? Contact our veterinarian in Winnipeg at (204) 452-0077 for a complete diagnostic workup.