Ultrasound technology is safe, painless and very useful when it comes to veterinary care. True, this technology is widely used to create images during human pregnancy. However it is also used in animal medicine in order to view the organs, which can help prevent the need for exploratory surgery. To do this, a veterinarian will press the ultrasound probe against the skin, which in turn sends high frequency waves that target certain body parts such as the kidney or liver. Images are made when the transducer collects sound waves that bounce back. So how does this help keep your pet safe? Here are 3 ways:
Diagnosing Gastointestinal Problems
Sadly a lot of pets frequently experience problems like constipation, diarrhea, vomiting and so forth. Has the been true for you? If so, an ultrasound can be crucial in pinpointing the problem. Sometimes it is a change in the pet's diet that can cause issues. When that's the case, an ultrasound of the pets abdomen can reveal issues such as inflammation, commonly known as gastroenteritis. Another common problem is when a pet swallows a non-food object. It's pretty common for household items such as paper clips, marbles and other items to be eaten. Even more of a threat is parasites, yet an ultrasound can even detect them!
Do you suspect that your pet is pregnant? Are you a pet breeder? In either case, an Ultrasound will be an effective way to prepare for the situation at hand. The imaging method used in ultrasounds is very advanced for detecting pregnancy. The Ultrasound technology will be able to determine how far along your pet is and whether or not the fetuses are viable. Pregnancy in cats and dogs can often be detected within 2 weeks of breeding. Keep in mind though that there is still a small chance of error, where false negatives may occur. This may happen if feces or gas produces shadows that block the fetus. False positives may also occur, however most of the time the ultrasound technology is so advanced that it is nearly always reliable.
It's important for humans to get physical exams, and the same can be said for your pets! During such an exam, your vet may find unexplained masses or growths on your pet. While an ultrasound may not be able to distinguish if the mass is cancerous or not, it can still help guide the biopsy that will be needed.
These are but a few of the practical applications for ultrasound technology. If you need more information then please be sure to visit your local veterinarian and keep your pet safe this winter!