As a veterinarian, you know that an ultrasound can help detect a wide variety of pet health concerns. A pet’s ultrasound can reveal detailed information regarding a dog or cat’s condition and help guide a professional to a proper diagnosis. However, explaining to a pet owner that their furry friend could use an ultrasound might incite alarm.
Help your clients feel more at ease when their pet needs an ultrasound by offering them a full explanation of the procedure or a printed guide to what they can expect. This blog includes a list of the most common inquiries they’ll have, so you can answer their questions before they even have to ask!
What Is an Ultrasound and How Is it Used?
Unlike an x-ray, an ultrasound machine doesn’t use radiation. Instead, it transmits ultrasound waves. These waves penetrate and scan the pet’s organs. These waves are sent back through a small probe placed upon the pet’s skin. The reflected sound waves then form an image displayed on the screen.
An ultrasound also showcases organs in further detail. For example, when using an x-ray, only the size and shape of a patient’s organs are shown. With an ultrasound, a doctor or veterinarian can view the internal structure of a patient’s organs.
What Diseases or Conditions Can Ultrasound Detect?
With a pet’s ultrasound showing the internal structures of organs, various diseases and conditions can be detected. In particular, ultrasounds such as echocardiograms are used to detect heart diseases.
By monitoring the thickness of an animal’s heart walls and chamber size, a veterinarian can determine if the heart is appropriately functioning. Other diseases or conditions an ultrasound may detect are:
- Cysts and tumors
- Abnormal or infected tissues
- Early kidney disease
- Inflammatory conditions
- Liver cancer
How Should an Owner Prepare Their Pet?
Recommended steps for pet preparation differ depending upon the type of ultrasound. An echocardiogram requires no particular actions. However, abdominal organ examinations may require that owners refrain from feeding their pets 12 hours beforehand.
Urinary bladder exams work best when the bladder is full of urine. Therefore, advise owners of the following tips to manage their pets before such an exam.
- Cat: hide or cover litter boxes to deter them from relieving themselves.
- Small dog: carry the pet into the office so that they don’t sniff a shrub or tree to utilize.
- Large dog: present something exciting to distract them from urinating.
Typically, pets are shaved prior to an ultrasound. Most pets easily keep still, but some do need sedation. Alternatively, permitting the owner to remain in the room can help relax the pet. Bringing their favorite toy or small treats can also ease the animal’s anxiety.
Cost-Effective and Accessible Ultrasound Training
At Choice Medical Systems, we offer both online and on-site ultrasound training sessions for veterinarians. Our courses range across various learning levels. A board-certified veterinary radiologist teaches each course.