What is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a non-invasive and non-painful technology that will allow us to see internal organs within your pet, such as the liver, kidney, bladder, heart, and many other organs. The ultrasound machine sends high frequency sound waves through a transducer into the body and then listens for echoes; the echoes are then used to form a picture of the organs.

How different is an ultrasound from an x-ray?

The ultrasound is different from an x-ray because there is no radiation exposure to your pet.  We will be able to study the structure of the organs instead of seeing an outline. This technology makes it easier to study the organs and locate possible tumors or small abnormalities that may not be visible on an x-ray.

Why would my pet possibly need an ultrasound?

There are several reasons to perform this non-invasive option which may include and are not limited to symptoms of: vomiting, coughing, abnormal blood work or x-rays, enlarged spleens or liver during physical exams, straining to urinate, or general wellness scans. We may be looking for any sort of tumors, cysts, heart conditions, or to identify abdominal problems, and even to confirm your pet's pregnancy.

What can I expect when my pet receives an ultrasound?

We will ask that your pet have fasted for 12 hours prior to their ultrasound, meaning no food or water during those 12 hours. On the day of your pet’s appointment, we will need them here most of the day to allow enough time for the ultrasound and the two to eight hours it will take to process the results, which includes Dr. Elliott reviewing the results.

Your pet will most likely have hair shaved at the ultrasound location. Shaving the hair allows for a clearer ultrasound image because hair has the ability to block the ultrasound waves, and we want to be able to be as precise and accurate as possible.

A water-based gel is applied to the area and the transducer is gently moved across your pet's skin. 

During the ultrasound, your pet will be lying on their side or back. This may be uncomfortable or an unknown position to some dogs or cats; so a technician may use light restraint on your pet to keep them from wiggling. For some pets, they enjoy the extra attention and ear rubs they receive during the scan, some even settle in for a nice nap. In some cases it is necessary to use sedation to complete the ultrasound.

What sort of certification did the technicians and Doctor Elliott receive?

Dr. Elliott and her team have been trained and certified through the comprehensive Oncura Partners Ultrasound platform. They have been expertly trained as Oncura staff of Ultra sonographers and board certified specialists. The staff continues to go through hours of extensive training, including on-site and remote sessions, in order to better care for your pet.