Our veterinary hospital uses precise diagnostic equipment for preventative care and early detection of illness and disease.
Ultrasounds use inaudible sound waves to view the inside of a pet’s body. The speed at which the waves bounce back is influenced by the density of the tissues they pass through. As the waves bounce back, they are detected and converted into a image. The image is real-time, meaning it also registers motion such as blood flow and heartbeats.
Ultrasounds allow Timpanogos Animal Hospital’s veterinarians to view the internal structures of pets’ bodies in a completely pain-free, noninvasive way. Using ultrasounds, we can view problems like tumors, intestinal foreign bodies, thickening of bowels or stomach walls and bladder stones. Ultrasounds also allow us to guide needles or biopsy instruments so we can collect tissue samples laparoscopically.
We also use ultrasounds to evaluate the heart and how well it is functioning. These ultrasounds are called echocardiograms. They can detect defects in the heart or valves, check how well the muscle is contracting, verify thickness of the heart’s walls and check turbulent blood flow (murmurs).
Even though ultrasounds are pain-free and don’t have any known side-effects, many patients will need to be lightly sedated to keep them calm for the duration of the ultrasound. Full abdominal ultrasounds generally take around 30 to 45 minutes. The area must also be shaved to allow for uninterrupted contact between the machine and the patient.
There are limitations to what ultrasounds can detect. For example, ultrasounds aren’t great at depicting bones and other dense materials or air-filled organs like the lungs. Because of this, Timpanogos Animal Hospital often suggests radiographs (X-rays) in conjunction with ultrasounds so we can get the most complete picture of a pet’s body.
To learn more about ultrasonography and other diagnostic imaging tools available at our Pleasant Grove veterinary hospital, please contact your Timpanogos Animal Hospital veterinarian today.