Comprehensive Abdominal Study – Animals are to be fasted 12 hours prior to the exam. Water should always be made available. Voiding 2 hours prior to the scan is recommended and then not allowed again until after the ultrasound is completed. Hair will be clipped from the ventral abdomen. Sedation is sometimes required. Imaging includes the urinary bladder (uterus, ovaries, prostate if present), kidneys, spleen, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, adrenal glands, aorta, stomach, pylorus, small intestine and colon. Lymph nodes and peritoneal fluid are imaged if seen. Study may include some video loops and colour Doppler, if necessary.
Comprehensive Echocardiogram Study – Animals are to be clipped at the ventral thorax. Scanning of the heart is done in both left and right lateral recumbency from under the animal on an echo table. Sedation is sometimes required. 2D, M-mode and Doppler are all used in this study comprised of stills and multiple video loops. Chamber sizes, wall thickness, flow velocities are all assessed and measured. Valves are studied and interrogated for the presence of regurgitation. A search for tumors, pleural and pericardial effusion is completed. Fractional shortening and ratios of LA:AO are calculated and all information is used to determine cardiac structure and function by a cardiologist where recommendations for medications and future anesthesia protocols can be made.
Chest Study – Animals are clipped at the ventral thorax. This ultrasound is often ordered when a mass has been seen on chest xrays. For best results, xrays should be submitted with the chest ultrasound for reporting by a radiologist.
Pregnancy Study – Ultrasound can be used as a method of pregnancy detection. Embryos can be seen at day 25 (after LH surge) in dogs and day 18 in cats. Pregnancy may be ruled out 33 days post last breed for dogs and 20 days post last breed for cats. Scanning may also be done throughout a known pregnancy for viability confirmation, stage of gestation and estimate of fetal number. Please note that it is not to be relied upon for an exact litter count (xray is still the gold standard for litter number).
Thyroid Study – Animals are scanned in dorsal recumbency with the hair clipped. Thyroid glands are measured with attention to size, contour, presence of focal lesions and/or diffuse heterogenicity. Colour doppler is also used.
Lump Study – Fur is clipped in the region of the lump. Meaurements are taken and colour flow is applied. Tissue type (ie. fatty vs. dense and or calicific) and vascularity are assessed.Testicular Study – Fur is clipped and measurements are taken of each testicle. Vascularity and the presence of masses and/or other abnormalities are completed.