Cat and Dog Ultrasound in Laguna Niguel, CA
Ultrasound technology, also known as ultrasonography, is one of the most useful diagnostic tools used by doctors for managing pregnancies and diagnosing health conditions in humans. There’s a pretty good chance you’ve had one done yourself. Veterinarians also use ultrasound scans when treating pets. It’s a safe, painless, and non-invasive method of diagnosing many different types of injuries and disorders. Ultrasound allows vets to get accurate and highly detailed visual images of internal organs and structures in real-time without using potentially dangerous x-rays or having to perform surgery. The Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center is equipped with a state-of-the-art ultrasound device along with a vet in Laguna Niguel on staff who is trained, qualified, and experienced at performing cat and dog ultrasounds.
What Is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound technology produces highly detailed images by using a special device that transmits narrow and very high-frequency sound waves. The device includes a handheld probe called a transducer that can be applied to the area of a human or pet’s body that the veterinarian wishes to examine internally. The ultrasound waves can be modulated by the operator to pass through, be reflected by, or be absorbed by the tissues and structures they encounter. When they are reflected off of a surface, the organ or structure of interest, they return as ‘echoes’ and are picked up by a receiver built into the transducer, and then transformed into a two-dimensional image with digital technology and displayed on a monitor. The image can also be saved on a computer for later viewing or sharing. This gives the veterinarian valuable information about what’s happening internally without having to use invasive methods.
What Are Cat And Dog Ultrasounds Used For?
Ultrasounds for pets are most often used by veterinarians to keep track of the progress of pregnancies, just as they are in humans. But they are very useful for diagnosing many types of medical conditions and injuries, and they are also helpful in monitoring the healing process. Some of the reasons that your vet may decide to perform an ultrasound scan on a pet include if they suspect there is an internal injury or that they have swallowed a foreign object, if they’ve had abnormal blood or urine lab test results, or if there is an indication of a heart condition. Anytime your vet suspects that something is wrong internally, they might order an ultrasound scan to be done.
The Limitations Of Ultrasound
The waves emitted by the ultrasound device can’t pass through air so they are of limited use in examining organs that contain air like the lungs and other organs. They are also blocked by bone, so the brain and spinal cord inside the vertebrae can’t be imaged.
The Ultrasound Procedure
Your vet may have you withhold food and water for 12 hours before the procedure if they are having an abdominal ultrasound, and they may need to be prevented from urinating if the bladder is being imaged. Your vet will advise you of any preparations you need to make. During the procedure, your pet will need to lie on its back in a padded bed with a technician present to keep them calm. Most pets are fine with the procedure as it is gentle and rather relaxing, but some pets may require a mild sedative to keep them quiet. Ultrasound scans usually take between 30 to 60 minutes. The transducer needs to come into direct contact with the skin, so the area to be examined will need to be shaved. Since your vet can see the results in real-time on the monitor, often they’ll be able to give you a diagnosis right away, although sometimes they might want to get the opinion of a specialist. After the ultrasound procedure is completed, your pet will be able to go home with you.
If you’d like to know more about the cat and dog ultrasound procedure, contact us at the Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center in Laguna Niguel, CA, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.