Ultrasounds are a form of radiology that use sound waves to create a real-time video image of the animal's bodily systems such as the heart and lungs, or other soft tissues. Ultrasounds are non-invasive, completely safe, and require no anesthesia. Ultrasounds can diagnose conditions such as pregnancy, abdominal diseases, abnormalities of the heart and lungs, cancer, and more. While the hospital does not stock an ultrasound machine, Willowrun Veterinary Hospital is willing and able to provide it weekly from a traveling specialist for those clients who would benefit from this service.
This technology is relatively new but has proven tremendously useful in both the medical and veterinary fields. Diagnostic mysteries that previously would have required a surgery to unravel can be answered in a matter of minutes by a trained radiologist using an ultrasound system.
During the procedure, the veterinary technician pets or talks soothingly to the animal to help them keep still. If the pet patient has long fur, we will shave the area that we need to view. Then, a cooling gel will be applied to the area so our instrument can move smoothly across the skin.
The ultrasound video will be displayed on a screen in the exam room during the session. If the condition is complex, we may ask a specialist to help us diagnose or better understand the images portrayed by the ultrasound machine.