Point of care Ultrasound (P.O.C.U.S.) is a very specific type of ultrasound diagnosis. It is used by regular veterinarians to attempt to solve specific diagnostic questions with fast, but targeted scans. It uses ultrasound technology – sound waves – to create images using a small, hand held probe. It takes less time to do, costs less, but has the advantage of providing diagnostic answers on the spot. Sometimes those answers are sufficient to make treatment decisions but, in some cases, the P.O.C.U.S. scan is simply one step in the diagnostic process and results in the need for more complex tests (including a full diagnostic ultrasound).
P.O.C.U.S. is NOT a full diagnostic ultrasound. A full diagnostic ultrasound uses more complex equipment and is performed (ideally) by a Board Certified Veterinary Radiologist or (in some cases) by a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist. These specialists have years of educational training and experience specifically using ultrasonography. They do complete scans that often take 45 minutes or more and provide detailed answers on anatomy and physiology. This is a referral procedure that costs $600 (or more). Thankfully, we have options in London that we can refer our patients to – for this valuable service. However, this service is rarely available the same day and must be booked.
If you are interested in learning more about P.O.C.U.S. or wish to book an appointment for a scan today, please call (519) 472-3770.