Our Birkdale and Formby Surgeries have an Ultrasound Machine that can be used to scan your animals on site.
An ultrasound examination, also known as ultrasonography, is a non-invasive imaging technique that allows internal body structures to be seen by recording echoes or reflections of ultrasonic waves. Unlike x-rays, which are potentially dangerous, ultrasound waves are considered to be safe.
Ultrasound equipment directs a narrow beam of high frequency sound waves into the area of interest.
The sound waves may be transmitted through, reflected or absorbed by the tissues that they encounter.
The ultrasound waves that are reflected will return as “echoes” to the probe, and are converted into an image that is displayed on the monitor, giving a 2-dimensional “picture” of the tissues under examination.
Ultrasound examinations are of little value in examining organs that contain air. Ultrasound waves will not pass through air and therefore it cannot be used to examine normal lungs. Bone also stops ultrasound waves, so the brain and spinal cord are unable to be seen with an ultrasound study, and obviously, bones cannot be examined.
Whether it is for diagnosing pregnancy (from 5 weeks), scanning a bladder, liver, kidneys: your vet with inform you if this is the right decision for your pet undergoing treatment.
Please speak to your vet today if you would like to discuss this option for your animal.
Anesthesia is not usually needed for most ultrasound examinations, unless biopsies are to be taken. The technique is totally painless and most dogs/cats will lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Occasionally, if the animal is very frightened or fractious, a sedative may be necessary.
In most cases, the fur must be shaved to perform an ultrasound examination. Since ultrasound waves are not transmitted through air, it is imperative that the hand-held probe makes complete contact with the skin. In some cases, such as pregnancy diagnosis, it may be possible to get adequate images by moistening the hair with rubbing alcohol and applying a copious amount of water-soluble ultrasound gel.