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Ultrasound Examination in Dogs

If you've received information indicating that your dog requires an ultrasound, you may be curious about the procedure and how it can help your pet. Our vets in Douglasville provide a comprehensive understanding of performing ultrasound scans for dogs.

How does a vet ultrasound examination on dogs work?

Dogs, including puppies, may experience various medical issues such as cysts, tumors, or accidentally ingesting harmful substances. In such cases, a veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound to diagnose the problem and suggest appropriate treatment accurately. Ultrasound, a type of imaging technology that uses sound waves to create an image of a specific body part, is non-invasive and can diagnose or evaluate problems in an animal's internal organs or check on pregnancy.

Reasons Your Pet May Need an Ultrasound 

Ultrasound is a medical diagnostic tool that helps veterinarians examine your dog's internal organs at Douglasville to detect obstructions, tumors, or other issues.

At Douglasville Veterinary Hospital, we have an in-house veterinary diagnostic laboratory where dogs are examined using ultrasounds. Our veterinarians use ultrasounds and other diagnostic tools to diagnose your pet's medical issues accurately, ensuring they receive the most effective treatment possible.

Ultrasound is beneficial in differentiating foreign bodies or fluid from soft tissue masses, which may be difficult or impossible with a digital X-ray. The ultrasound generates sound waves that are not harmful or painful to your pet.

Conditions That May Require an Ultrasound 

Below are some typical ailments that often necessitate veterinary ultrasounds.

Abnormal Blood or Urine Test Results 

If abnormalities are found in your pet's blood or urine tests, an abdominal ultrasound may be recommended to clearly show your dog's internal organs' health.

Heart Conditions 

If your dog has been diagnosed with a heart condition, a heart ultrasound or echocardiogram may be necessary to evaluate the general condition of your pet's heart and check for abnormalities.

Examination of Soft Tissues 

Almost all soft tissues can be examined using ultrasound technology. Some of the most common areas that ultrasounds are used to check include:

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

If abnormal tissue is detected during an ultrasound, your veterinarian may also use this imaging technology to collect tissue samples from the affected area. 

Ultrasound-Assisted Tissue Collection

Samples are typically collected using these methods:

  • Tru-Cut biopsies
  • Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration

If your veterinarian plans to collect tissue using ultrasound, your pet will probably need to be sedated. Ultrasound-guided biopsies are a less invasive alternative to surgical biopsies.

Types of Ultrasounds

Your vet may perform these two types of ultrasounds or refer you to a veterinary specialist to have them completed:

  • Emergency Ultrasound - In an emergency, a veterinarian may perform an ultrasound to identify severe internal bleeding or pneumothorax quickly.
  • Echocardiogram— Ultrasounds that examine the heart and surrounding structures are called cardiac ultrasounds. They are used to assess heart functionality and identify any malfunctions.

How To Prepare Your Canine for an Ultrasound

Different areas of the body require different preparations for ultrasounds. Consult with your veterinarian to learn how to prepare your pet. For abdominal ultrasounds, it may be necessary to withhold food and water for 8 to 12 hours.

Additionally, the urinary bladder should be full, so your dog should not urinate for around three to six hours before the ultrasound, if possible. To prepare for the exam, veterinarians will likely shave the area to be examined to produce clear images.

Getting Your Dog's Ultrasound Results

Our veterinarians can perform ultrasounds for pets in real-time, providing almost immediate results. In some cases, ultrasound images are sent to a veterinary radiologist for further consultation, requiring a few days for the final result.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Your veterinarian at Douglasville Veterinary Hospital can advise whether your pet needs an ultrasound. Please contact our Douglasville veterinarians to book an appointment for an exam.

New Patients Welcome

Douglasville Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Douglasville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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Contact (770) 942-9974