Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body.

At Byron Animal Clinic, we may use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician. Our doctors are trained in P.O.C.U.S. – Point Of Care UltraSound. This is a skill used to answer specific clinical questions and NOT to thoroughly scan the body.

The ultrasonographer may or may not shave the fur from the area being scanned. He/she them applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and create a more accurate visual image.

The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.

Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized.

Byron Animal Clinic veterinarians cans use P.O.C.U.S. to help diagnose your pet in some cases. In many cases, this in clinic test will confirm the need for referral for more advanced imaging. A Board-Certified Veterinary Radiologist is a true expert at Ultrasound who has trained for many years specifically to do ultrasounds. They use more advanced equipment and are more skilled and experienced to do thorough scans that provided much more detail and insight. Luckily we have board certified veterinary radiologist in London with whom we work closely and refer to often. A P.O.C.U.S. scan may also trigger a referral to an internal medicine specialist who may wish to use advanced imaging such as CT, MRI, FLUOROSCOPY or ENDOSCOPY.

If you have any questions about our P.O.C.U.S. ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to call (519) 472-3770.