Ultrasound Services at Your Houston Veterinarian
An ultrasound is a type of digital imaging test that allows your Houston veterinarian to look inside your pet’s body without having to perform surgery. The ultrasound machine sends sound waves into your pet’s body, detects echoes that return, and then uses these echoes to created pictures of your pet’s internal organs.
The sound waves are extremely high pitched – they are so high in pitch, in fact, that humans or pets cannot hear them. The sound waves produce no harmful effects when used as for digital imaging, making it a safe and useful tool for veterinary care.
Reasons Your Pet May Need an Ultrasound Exam
There are many reasons our veterinarian at Tanglewilde Veterinary Clinic may recommend an ultrasound exam.
Ultrasound exams can help our veterinarian determine the cause of:
- Abnormal blood work
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic infections
- Change in urinary habits
- Fluid in chest or abdomen
Our veterinarian may also use ultrasound as a baseline for future examination, especially for older pets. Ultrasound is helpful for checking the progress of a previous problem. Digital imaging helps veterinarians determine how far cancer has spread.
Ultrasound is also helpful during pregnancy to ensure the health and well-being of the mother and babies. Our veterinarian may recommend ultrasound before surgery or prior to taking a tissue sample for biopsy in a laboratory.
Ultrasound allows our veterinarian to examine internal organs for their location, size, texture, shape and blood supply. Unfortunately, ultrasound does not always paint the whole picture of how well a particular organ is functioning, so our veterinarian may order additional blood work or other tests.
It is not uncommon for ultrasounds to reveal “masses” within organs but many of these masses turn out to be normal changes associated with aging. Ultrasound cannot always determine whether these masses are benign non-cancerous lumps or malignant cancerous tumors. Our veterinarian will take your pet’s medical history and current concerns into account when making a diagnosis.
What to Expect During Ultrasound
Ultrasound is non-invasive and pain-free. We will bring your pet into the ultrasound room. For the safety and comfort of your pet, we prefer that you wait outside.
Your pet lies on a comfortable padded table during the procedure. We shave a small area of your pet’s fur, as getting a clear image of your pet’s organs requires good contact between the ultrasound probe and your pet’s skin and ultrasound waves do not travel well through fur. You can expect your pet’s hair to grow back in 3 – 4 weeks.
We apply a warm, water-based gel on the examination area then move a handheld transducer wand across your pet’s skin. The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. Most pets find it so relaxing that they actually sleep.
Contact Tanglewilde Veterinary Clinic to learn more about ultrasound by calling (713) 783-4044. We are conveniently located at 2717 Rockyridge Dr. in Houston, TX. New clients receive $10 off their first visit.