Just like a doctor may need to see what is going on inside your body, there are times a veterinarian may need to see the insides of your pet. A pet ultrasound is a great way to do this, as it allows a veterinarian to look at your pet’s fluid-filled organs, such as the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and bladder. An ultrasound is simply a diagnostic test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of certain organs.
Why Does My Pet Need An Ultrasound?
There are times a veterinarian is unable to determine a diagnosis with just a physical exam. If your pet is having certain symptoms, a veterinarian might recommend doing an ultrasound. Some common symptoms that may warrant a pet ultrasound include:
- Chronic diarrhea or vomiting
- Chronic infections
- Weight loss that can’t be explained
- Straining to urinate
- Loss of appetite
- Abnormal blood work
- Possibility of pregnancy
One major advantage of having your pet undergo this procedure is that it can reduce the chances your pet will have to go through invasive exploratory surgery.
How Do I Prepare For My Pet’s Ultrasound?
If you have ever had an ultrasound done on yourself, you most likely did not experience any pain during the procedure. It is the same for your pet, but because your pet won’t fully comprehend what is happening, Fluffy or Fido may experience some anxiety. If your pet is nervous and not able to lie completely still, sedating your pet may be necessary. If your pet is experiencing pain where the transducer needs to be placed for the procedure, sedation may be required in this instance as well.
Fluid-filled organs are usually better seen on an empty stomach which means your veterinarian may tell you to abstain from feeding your pet at a specified time the night before the procedure. It may suffice to have your pet fast from food for only a couple of hours prior to the appointment. Your pet will still be able to drink water.
Some veterinarians also like for pets to have a full bladder, which can also be a way to see the organs better. This is especially true if your pet is getting an ultrasound of the bladder or the kidneys. If it’s possible, you may want to try to prevent your pet from urinating before the procedure.
The last step of preparation before your pet gets an ultrasound is getting shaved where the ultrasound is being performed. Fur can block ultrasound waves, which is why the shaving is necessary. Shaving your pet’s fur is usually done by the veterinary technician prior to the procedure.
What Happens After The Ultrasound?
Once the procedure has been completed, and your pet is not required to stay at the animal hospital, you may take your pet home. Your pet will not experience any negative side effects. The veterinarian will have to gather all of your pet’s medical information, along with the ultrasound results, before a final diagnosis is made. They will then make you aware of any further testing that may be necessary.
If you have any further questions about pet ultrasounds, feel free to contact Coral Ridge Animal Hospital!