What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound produces sound energy which transmitted into the body then creates an image, which is viewed on an ultrasound screen. It’s a non-invasive way to help determine ailments and yes, ultrasound for animals uses the same technology as that used for people!
How Can Ultrasound Help My Animal?
It can be used to help diagnose ailments and injury. This could be:
- Ligament or muscular injuries
- Cause of swellings
- Organ diseases
- Cause of ill-health - for instance if it's suspected your animal has swallowed something s/he shouldn't have.
Ultrasound can also occasionally be used to help treat some animal ailments too.
Benefits of Using Veterinary Ultrasound?
Ultrasound can be used alongside x-rays and other diagnostic techniques, and can also be used to monitor recovery from injury and assist your veterinary surgeon when carrying out other procedures such as biopsies.
When Should it NOT be used?
It is generally very safe - occasionally some animals will need light sedation to ensure they stand still while having the ultrasound taken. It's important that the ultrasound equipment is suitable for the job, (there are many different types of ultrasound machine). Perhaps more importantly the veterinary professional carrying out the procedure is trained and knowledgeable in using ultrasound. Animals may need to have their fur clipped to allow the ultrasound imaging to take place with minimal interference.
Can Ultrasound Be Used with all Animals?
Yes it can be used with many species of animals!
Do All Veterinary Surgeon's Use Ultrasound?
Many veterinary surgeons now have ultrasound in their practices. However, some do not - particularly smaller ones… So if this is the case at your own veterinary surgery then they will refer you to another veterinary centre who have the equipment, which is a common for many procedures.
Is There Research Evidencing Effectiveness of Ultrasound?
Yes there is an increasing amount of research into the use of ultrasound in veterinary practice, find a selection at our Holistic Animal Care Research page