Ultrasound imaging, or sonography, is a method of obtaining images from inside the pet through the use of high-frequency sound waves. The reflected sound wave echoes are recorded and displayed as a visual image. No x-rays are involved in ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound is an excellent tool which can identify fine lesions involving structures of the abdomen and chest. Ultrasound is also great in characterizing cardiac disease. In some instances, tissue samples may be obtained from abnormal organs with the guidance of ultrasound.
Getting your Pet Ready for an Ultrasound
Upon recommendation from your veterinarian, call our office and make an appointment for an ultrasound with Dr. Giroux. Please be sure to alert our receptionist if your veterinarian feels your pet’s condition is urgent. We will then gladly contact your veterinarian to ensure any necessary records are forwarded prior to the date of your appointment. Be prepared to bring any radiographs performed prior to the study with you for our radiologist to review, or confirm with your veterinarian that this information has been provided prior to your arrival.
On the day of your appointment, your pet should be fasted (off food) after 6pm the night before the procedure. If your pet is diabetic, please call for instructions, as these pets should not be fasted. Pets should not be allowed to void urine at least 3-4 hours prior to the ultrasound study. This is especially important when the urinary system (urinary bladder and kidneys) is the specific organ of suspected disease. You will not be allowed in the procedure room when the study is performed. Please be aware, your pet’s fur will be shaved in the area of the study prior to the ultrasound. No special procedures will be performed or sedation utilized without your consent. Dr. Giroux will meet with you after the ultrasound to discuss his findings. Dr. Giroux will also report back to your veterinarian, who will then contact you directly about the results of the test.
If your pet will require immediate care such as diagnostic testing, hospitalization, or surgery, you will be directed to meet with one of our general practice or emergency service veterinarians. These doctors can admit your pet and arrange for medical support pending the ultrasound examination and, if necessary, a consult with one our board-certified surgeons.