You may think ultrasounds are solely performed on humans but in recent times, ultrasonography has become increasingly available in veterinary practices. And this is not without reason. Similarly, the way this diagnostic tool is utilised to investigate the internal parts of the human body, it is just as valuable when your furry friend is feeling unwell. The great thing about pet ultrasounds is that they do not cause any discomfort to your animal. However, the hair on the ultrasound site will have to be shaved so that the probe has clean and direct contact with the skin. Additionally, general anaesthesia is administered to your pet to make sure that they stay still throughout the process. So why would the vet prescribe a pet ultrasound?
To check the condition of the internal organs and tissue
If your pet is unwell and there are minimal or few outward symptoms, the problem may lie within their internal organs. Ultrasound is ideal for diagnosing issues with the adrenal glands, spleen, kidneys and more since these are easily imaged. The vet will check to see if some of the organs are filled with fluid, as this could be indicative of a life-threatening illness. In addition to checking for fluid, the vet can also investigate the condition of the intestinal walls and the stomach walls. While the ultrasound cannot image the contents inside these organs, the vet can decipher if these walls look normal or if further investigative measures need to be taken. If the vet thinks that the problem lies within your pet's chest, they may recommend an x-ray in addition to a pet ultrasound, as performing these tests in tandem helps give the doctor a clearer idea of what could be going on.
To examine the cause of abdominal swelling
If you have taken your pet to the vet due to suspicious abdominal swelling, an ultrasound would be vital in diagnosing the potential underlying cause. Your animal may present with this symptom due to several reasons. Pancreatitis is one of the most common illnesses that causes abdominal swelling and is usually accompanied by acute pain. If not treated early, it could be fatal for your pet so it is essential that you have the ultrasound performed as soon as possible. The vet can then determine how severe the pancreatitis is and decide the best course of treatment. Another condition that causes abdominal swelling in animals is bladder stones. These stones can cause a urinary obstruction which is not only extremely painful for your animal but can be life-threatening if not treated in time.
Reach out to a professional for more information about a pet ultrasound.