Veterinarians must depend on their training, experience, and new technologies that allow them to “see” inside the animal’s body. This is because animals can’t provide information about where it hurts or how they feel. Digital ultrasound is one of these technologies. It is used to diagnose a variety of conditions. At Quartz Hill Veterinary Clinic in Quartz Hill, CA, we offer digital ultrasound technology to help diagnose pet health problems.
Understanding Digital Ultrasound
Digital ultrasound uses sound waves, which bounce off internal structures of the body. The wave patterns send digital information to a computer, which then creates an image of what the waves have detected. The veterinarian carefully inspects the image, to detect any variation from what would normally be found. Digital ultrasound is non-invasive and causes no side effects, which makes it a valuable tool for diagnosing health issues in animals.
Conditions Digital Ultrasound Can Detect
Digital ultrasound can be used to check on growing puppies and kittens in the womb and detect problems as the birth progresses. It is also used to detect changes in the size and shape of internal organs that may be related to an animal’s illness. A digital ultrasound image can help locate a foreign object inside an animal’s gastrointestinal tract. It can find tumors that are hidden in soft tissues. It can detect unusual collections of blood or fluid in the abdomen, chest, or heart. Digital ultrasound can also find bladder stones or other irregularities in the genitourinary tract. It is also used for guiding instruments when taking biopsies of tissue.
How Digital Ultrasound Is Performed on Animals
Sedation may or may not be required to do a digital ultrasound, depending on the activity level of the animal and the location that is being tested. The animal is placed on an exam table and a hand-held device is passed over the surface of the body in the area that is being tested. An image is then sent to a computer, where it appears on the monitor. By carefully examining this image, the veterinarian can determine unusual changes in internal organs and parts of the body.