Ultrasonography, or ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (X-rays) and is usually used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes, including examination of the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder and bladder. It can also be used to determine pregnancy and to monitor an ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumors or abscesses.
A small, hand-held tool called a transducer is applied to the surface of the body. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin’s surface and create a more accurate visual image. Sound waves are then emitted from the transducer and directed into the body, where they bounce off organs to different degrees, depending on the density of the tissues and the amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are reflected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.