Ultrasonography is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (X-rays) and is often used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostics. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes including examination of the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder and other internal organs. It can also be used to determine pregnancy and to monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses.
A ‘transducer’ (a small hand held tool) is applied to the surface of the body where an ultrasound image is desired. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface and create a more accurate visual image.
Sound waves are emitted from the transducer and directed into the body where they are bounced off the various organs to different degrees depending on the density of the tissues and the amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are relfected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.