An abdominal ultrasound exam is a non-invasive technique that allows internal body structures to be seen by recording echoes or reflections of ultrasonic waves. It is indicated to evaluate dogs with abdominal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, straining to urinate or urinating blood. It can also be helpful in cases of reproductive abnormalities, unexplained fever, loss of appetite or weight loss. As with people, the abdominal ultrasound can also be used to detect early pregnancy and determine viability of the fetus later in the pregnancy. Our veterinarians have gone through extensive training to be able to provide you with in-house ultrasonography!
What does an abdominal ultrasound reveal?
- An abdominal ultrasound helps in the evaluation of abdominal organs including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, intestines, kidneys, bladder, uterus and prostate gland. Our veterinarians are able to detect changes in the shape, size, tissue density, internal structure, and position of organs. The exam also can identify most abdominal masses, abdominal fluid, and abnormal lymph nodes.
- Additionally, if any abnormal tissue or fluid seen, we are able to sample it with a needle or biopsy instrument using the guidance of the ultrasound machine.
What does the appointment look like?
- As most pets will need to be sedated for a full abdominal ultrasound, a 10 hour fast is required.
- Once at the clinic, an IV catheter will be placed (this is how the sedation is administered), and the fur on the abdomen clipped.
- The pet is placed on a padded table and held so the abdominal surface is exposed to the examiner. A special conducting gel is applied onto the shaved surface. Shaving your pet’s belly allows good contact between the skin and the ultrasound probe.
- The veterinarian places the probe on the skin of the abdomen and moves it across the surface while storing images of organs on the ultrasound machine.
- The exam will take about 30-60 minutes, but pets will stay with us a little longer as we wait for the sedation to wear off.
Call us today at 403-237-PETS to book an appointment or if you have any questions!
Please note that if you're not our client, your veterinarian must send us a referral.