We use our ultrasound machine most frequently to search for problems in a companion animal’s abdomen. This machine allows us to examine the intestinal tract, stomach, bladder, kidneys, liver, and spleen in a pain-free, non-invasive manner. It is also useful in evaluating heart problems. Ultrasound is also used to detect pregnancies in cats and dogs and to monitor fetal development. It is sometimes used to diagnose tumors and cysts, too.
In the vast majority of cases, anesthesia is not required. During the exam, we will pass a wand over the affected area. The wand directs a beam of ultrasound waves over area of interest. These waves are transmitted through or are reflected or absorbed by the tissue they encounter. When ultrasound waves are reflected off a surface, they bounce back as echoes which are converted into an image.