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Andover Animal Hospital

Diagnostic Ultrasound

An ultrasound is a highly useful tool when evaluating heart conditions, internal organs, cysts and tumors, and diagnosing pregnancy.

Select individuals on our staff have undergone specialized training in abdominal ultrasound scanning. Previously we needed to schedule a specialist to come in to perform the scan. What this means for you is increased flexibility in scheduling an ultrasound; often it can be done the same day. We perform the scan here, then electronically send the images to a company that uses board-certified radiologists, internal medicine specialists, and ultrasound specialists to provide interpretation.

If the case is an emergency, we can often get the results back within 4 hours and get your pet on the road to further diagnostics and treatment. We use ultrasound as one of our many diagnostic choices along with lab work and radiographs; the great thing about ultrasound is it can tell us so much, yet it is non-invasive and comfortable for your pet. Most of the time we do use some sedation so that your pet is nice and relaxed, and we can perform the scan more quickly.

Why would my pet need an ultrasound?

A veterinary ultrasound is an invaluable resource for evaluating heart conditions. It can detect alterations in abdominal organs and assist in the recognition of any cysts and tumors that may be present. Many times, x-rays will be utilized in combination with an ultrasound as they reveal the size, dimension, and position of the organ. With the ability for real-time monitoring, ultrasounds are also utilized for pregnancy diagnosis and development monitoring.

When would my pet get an ultrasound test?

An ultrasound is excellent at evaluating your pet's internal organs. An ultrasound is usually recommended when our doctors find abnormalities on bloodwork or x-rays, or to monitor a disease process.

How does ultrasound testing work?

Ultrasound equipment directs a narrow beam of high-frequency sound waves into the area of interest. The sound waves either transmit through, reflect, or absorb in the tissues that they encounter. Any ultrasound waves that are reflected will return as echoes and convert into an image that is displayed on the monitor, giving a 2-dimensional image of the tissues under examination. With the ability to obtain real-time information, outcomes can often be determined immediately.

The exam is completely painless. Light sedation may used to help the patient lie comfortably while the scan is being performed. Your pet may need to be shaved in the area of interest, as veterinary ultrasound images are of better quality if they have complete contact with the skin.