An ultrasound scan is a non-invasive imaging modality. This means apart from having to lie still after having the hair clipped it does not hurt your pet in any way.
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 Dr Eamon Grattan-Smith has a special interest in ultrasound and has had further post-graduate training. Dr Tanian Naude also has an interest in ultrasound.
Animals scheduled for an abdominal ultrasound
- should have an empty stomach
- may need sedation for the procedure
- are shaved close to the skin very high on either side of the abdomen
The ultrasound machine has also become a very useful tool in emergency situations. Animals presented after trauma can have a fast-scan to look for fluid building up in their abdomen or chest, changes in lung fields and presence or absence of a urinary bladder.