Abdominal ultrasound gives us information about the structure of organs. Very small organs such as adrenal glands can, most of the time, be assessed thoroughly on ultrasound. These features make ultrasound an important imaging option to help obtain a diagnosis for numerous health conditions, like intestinal obstructions, kidney disease, bladder stones or cancers.
Ultrasound also gives us the option to, in 'real time' locate an organ and a needle can be inserted to take a biopsy of that organ. With a biopsy we remove a few cells or a strip of tissue that a pathologist can look at under a microscope to help us get a definitive diagnosis of a condition.
Usually, we will have your pet come in a few hours before their procedure so they can settle in and we can give them some anti-anxiety medication. Just before the ultrasound their belly will be shaved, and they will be positioned on their back in a comfortable pillow-like trough so the vet can obtain images and video sequences of the abdomen. Often these images will be electronically forwarded to a radiologist for a second opinion. Usually we receive a report from the radiologist within 24 hours!