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Ultrasound studies are most helpful to evaluate soft tissue and fluid structures. Energy in the form of sound waves is passed into the body. Reflected sound waves returning to the probe are used to create an image of the internal organs. Moving organs may be evaluated during motion, such as the beating heart, flowing blood and contracting intestines. Gastrointestinal foreign material may be identified on an ultrasound exam when it is not apparent on radiographs. While radiographs are useful to assess organ size and overall shape, an ultrasound exam allows for evaluation of the organ architecture and blood supply.

Ultrasound examinations are commonly performed on the abdomen, thorax, neck, eyes and soft tissue structures of the head, trunk and legs. In addition to assessment of organ architecture, ultrasound examination is helpful to identify free fluid within a body cavity (i.e. thorax and abdomen).

Ultrasound Guided Aspirate And Core Biopsy Including Abdominocentesis And Thoracocentesis

Following assessment of an organ and the surrounding structures, ultrasound imaging is used to guide needle placement into a selected tissue or cavity. A sample of tissue or fluid may be drawn through the needle as an aspirate to analyze the cells or other contents of the sample (cytology and microbiology). A larger needle may be used to retrieve a small piece of solid tissue for a core-biopsy to analyze the architecture of the tissue (histopathology). Ultrasound guidance is commonly used to remove fluid from the chest cavity (thoracocentesis) and abdominal cavity (abdominocentesis).

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Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology

Sometimes we are unable to determine from a physical examination what may be troubling your pet. This can be frustrating to you and uncomfortable for your pet. When this happens, VCA Animal Referral and Emergency Center of Arizona uses state-of-the-art noninvasive imaging practices to help diagnose many pet illnesses and injuries. Our specialists work with off site radiologists to correlate diagnostic imaging findings with other examinations and tests to help in the diagnosis of many disease conditions. We are committed to providing optimal care to our patients using state of the art veterinary diagnostic imaging. We can provide outpatient imaging services for veterinarians through our emergency department.

Our specialists work with board certified radiologists available through telemedicine. A board-certified radiologist reads all radiographs taken.

CT scans allow visualizations of internal organs and soft tissues that are often not detectable with routine X-rays. X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of your pet's body from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. CT gives tremendous insight and accuracy into the diagnosis of nasal and pulmonary disease, as well as helping us to plan surgery.

X-rays and CT scans help our veterinarians evaluate:

  • Musculo-skeletal system for bone and muscle disorders
  • Tooth, jaw, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems
  • Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Gastrointestinal and digestive system problems
  • Reproductive organs
  • Urinary elimination systems

Our Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography-Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Computed Tomography (CT scanning)
Digital Radiography
Fluoroscopy

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