Diagnosing medical and surgical conditions often requires medical imaging. At Pittwater Animal Hospital we are very fortunate to have both a digital Xray suite and a very modern portable ultrasound machine.
Each has different advantages and disadvantages. Some problems can only be accurately diagnosed with using a combination of Xray and ultrasound.
Xrays are extremely useful to look at bony disorders and to see changes in the lung and heart systems. Damage to bones of the lower limb can sometimes be shown in an xray taken in the consulting period. Monitoring chest xrays can also be done in these time slots for dogs in our health heart program.
Xrays of the shoulders, elbows and hips needs very careful placement and most animals will need a full general anaesthetic to get a diagnostic series.
Chest and abdominal xrays can sometimes be taken conscious but mostly need some level of sedation.
Often xrays will be taken in a series over time especially if there is a concern that there may be an intestinal obstruction. A barium meal is sometimes given to patients with gut problems so we can outline the gut with this radio opaque liquid as it moves through the body.
The ultrasound machine uses sound waves to identify different densities of soft tissue in the body. It takes a skilled practitioner to guide the probe around the abdominal organs. We are fortunate that both Dr Jen Stewart and Dr Eamon Grattan-Smith have a special interest in ultrasound and have had further post graduate training.
Animals having an abdominal ultrasound should have an empty stomach and may need sedation for the procedure. To get a clear image the abdominal area is shaved close to the skin very high on either side of the abdomen.
If your pet is unwell this equipment can be rapidly deployed to try to diagnose the cause.
Contact us for more information.