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At Dundas West Animal Hospital, we offer several different ultrasound services in-house that are performed by some of our own veterinarians who have completed extensive training. 

What is an ultrasound?

Ultrasonography uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body and can also detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses as well as confirm or monitor pregnancy. Ultrasound has no known side effects and is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure. We may recommend this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (X-rays) and other diagnostic methods. Ultrasound-guided needle techniques also allow for sampling or removal of body fluids as well as cells from various organs or tumors which can often provide a more definitive diagnosis. 

What are the different types of ultrasound?

  • Point of care ultrasound or FAST ultrasound of the chest and or abdomen is often performed on critical or emergency patients to help make immediate medical care decisions. 
  • Full abdominal ultrasound is used to aid in the diagnosis of a number of medical conditions and includes the assessment of the liver, gallbladder, spleen, adrenal glands, kidneys, ureters and urinary bladder, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, reproductive tract, and abdominal lymph nodes. 
  • Urinary tract ultrasound is often recommended in cases of chronic urinary tract infections or blood in the urine to rule out stones, tumors or polyps.
  • Focused ultrasound of a specific organ or structure can also be performed to monitor the progression or resolution of changes. 

Is fasting necessary for an ultrasound?

We recommend that patients undergoing full abdominal ultrasounds to be fasted for 8-12 hours prior to the procedure. 

What happens during the ultrasound?

Most patients are given oral medications and or injectable sedation before the procedure to keep them as calm and comfortable as possible while they are positioned on their backs in a soft trough to allow for abdominal scanning. The hair in the area to be examined usually needs to be shaved, in order to obtain the best quality and diagnostic images. The procedure typically takes 20-60 minutes to complete depending on the patient and the extent of the procedure. Our ultrasound room is equipped with soft lighting and calming music to help relax our patients. Many of our patients fall asleep during the procedure. Results are available to your veterinarian immediately and for full abdominal scans we often have a radiology specialist report within 24-72 hours.   

To schedule a diagnostic appointment for your pet, contact us at 416-535-8387.