Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves, and not radiation. Ultrasound imaging involves the use of a small probe (transducer) and ultrasound gel (or alcohol) placed directly on the, typically shaved/plucked, skin. The gel helps reduce the air that is typically trapped underneath feathers and fur that disrupt the sound waves, thus distorting the image. The high-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body and then “bounces” back to a computer which analyzes the signals to create an image. These images are captured in real-time allowing our veterinarians to evaluate the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
Ultrasound may be recommended in cases where our veterinarians need a clearer look of your pet’s internal organs that radiographs (ie, x-rays) cannot always show us and because of obtaining the image in real-time, our veterinarians can also obtain needle biopsies of any soft-tissues and fluid samples in question.