An ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves to create an image of a body part.

During an ultrasound, the veterinarian uses a computer with a handheld probe. The probe is moved
across the surface of the skin over the site of interest.

The sound waves generated by the ultrasound are not harmful or painful to the cat or dog.

When Would a Dog or Cat Need an Ultrasound?

Here are a few reasons why your pet may need an ultrasound.

  • Heart Conditions
    Your veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound if your dog or cat has a heart condition.
  • Abnormal Blood or Urine Test Results
    If your veterinarian finds abnormalities in your pet’s blood or urine tests, they may recommend an abdominal ultrasound.
  • Examination of Other Soft Tissues
    An ultrasound can be performed on almost all soft tissues of the body.

Ultrasounds can be used to evaluate:

  • Thyroid glands
  • Fetal viability and development
  • Eyes
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons

Sometimes objects like cloth, paper, plant material, or thin plastic may not be seen on x-rays but can be found using ultrasound.

Ultrasound can also provide information as to whether a dog or cat with a GI foreign body needs to be immediately taken
to surgery or if he/she can be managed medically.

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