Ultrasounds are a form of radiology that use sound waves to create an image of the internal structures of the body. Ultrasounds are useful for visualizing soft tissues or fluid-filled structures. If you have ever seen a picture of a fetus taken before birth, then you were looking at an ultrasound that captured an image of the fluid-filled structure that was the womb of the mother.
In the past few decades, ultrasounds have revolutionized both human medicine and veterinary medicine because of their ease, accuracy, and safety. In the past, for a doctor to see the organs or soft tissues of a patient, their only option was to perform surgery. Thanks to radiology, such as ultrasounds and x-rays, countless lives can be saved and painful surgeries avoided.
Ultrasounds are completely safe and noninvasive. A veterinary ultrasound technician will prepare a patient for an ultrasound simply by rubbing a cooling gel on the area of interest for the procedure and sometimes shaving excess fur if needed. Once our McKinney veterinarian is set up, they can produce a real-time video of the internal structures on an in-room screen for viewing.
Some common uses for veterinary ultrasounds include diagnosing pregnancy, abdominal issues, cardiac abnormalities, foreign body ingestion, intestinal disorders, cancer, and abdominal masses.