At Hillside Animal Hospital, we’re passionate about providing the best care possible to you and your pet. To us, that means more than a quick examination and a one-size-fits-all approach to pet care. It means investing in the latest technologies, creating a health plan tailored to your cat or dog’s specific needs, and offering the least invasive treatment options available to reduce recovery time and minimize pain. One of the many ways we do this is using ultrasound.

Ultrasound for pets is one of the safest and most accurate ways to examine an animal. As non-invasive as they come, an ultrasound examination is a type of diagnostic procedure that allows internal body structures to be seen without having to surgically open your dog or cat. Ultrasound works by using sound waves to register and transmit live images, which are essentially reflections of the ultrasonic waves. In layman’s term, ultrasound is a way to painlessly penetrate below your pet’s surface to see what’s going on inside.

Ultrasonography is used to diagnose several medical issues. Some of the most common health conditions detected by ultrasound are:

  • Heart conditions
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Abdominal problems
  • Pregnancy

Ultrasound is favored in our animal hospital because it is painless, causes no distress to animals, and provides fast results. The best part is your pet won’t have to undergo general anesthesia, and most likely won’t require sedation at all. In fact, they will probably be relaxed as our medical team is trained to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

While ultrasounds are as routine to veterinarians as brushing one’s teeth, we know that for pet owners, ultrasound exams may be unfamiliar territory. To help get you better acquainted with this non-invasive and extremely effective diagnostic tool, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Read on to discover answers to the most commonly asked questions about cat and dog ultrasounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my cat or dog need to be shaved in preparation for the ultrasound?

Maybe.  If your pet’s fur is long in the area where the probe will be making contact with the body, will need to be shaved or clipped in order for the ultrasound device to make full contact with the skin, and thus, give an accurate picture of your pet’s internal health. But, no need to shave the fur yourself! We are experts with a pair of clippers and will be more than willing to do that for you on the day of the exam.             

2. Is an ultrasound the same as an x-ray?

Short answer: No. X-rays and ultrasounds are two completely different diagnostic tools.  While both are non-invasive procedures that provide an internal view of the body, x-rays are good for looking at changes in organs and dense objects while ultrasounds are better for getting a complete picture of the overall internal structure of the body. Additionally, x-rays use radiation whereas ultrasounds do not. However, they are often used together to give a better understanding of the issues affecting your pet.

3. How long do results from an ultrasound take?

Since ultrasounds transmit live images of the body’s current internal state, results are known almost immediately. However, additional testing may be needed to confirm a diagnosis.

Don’t see your question on here? Feel free to contact our office at 480-391-7297 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about ultrasounds or anything else!