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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 removing 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, we use state-of-the-art noninvasive radiology to help diagnose many pet illnesses and injuries. The specialists we work with, called radiologists, correlate medical image 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 also provide outpatient imaging services for veterinarians.

The radiologists at our hospital have completed a residency program and are board certified, just like our other specialists. A board-certified radiologist reads all radiographs taken at no extra charge to you.

VCA California Veterinary Specialists provide our radiologists with the most advanced tools in the field that allow us to acquire high quality digital radiographic images, (including specific orthopedic radiographs for surgical planning, and contrast urinary and gastrointestinal imaging), and perform thoracic and abdominal ultrasounds, fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT), and MRI scans.

Our hospital, with its digital subtraction capable fluoroscopy suite, is one of the few veterinary hospitals in the world equipped for vascular and other advanced interventional radiology (IR) procedures.

Our expertise combined with advancements in technology enable us to perform optimally, and the information provided by our radiologists is often integral for ideal patient management. At CVS, we pride ourselves on providing truly compassionate care, and imaging is no different. We keep our ultrasound rooms dark and quiet and provide gentle calm handling during the ultrasound exams to minimize patient anxiety.

What Is A Veterinary Radiologist? 

A board certified specialist in veterinary radiology is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in all aspects of radiology, such as radiographs (x-rays), ultrasonography, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and biopsy techniques. A veterinary radiologist is trained to make optimal use of sophisticated, high tech equipment that can aid in the diagnosis and proper treatment of many serious diseases.Specialists in veterinary radiology typically work in support of general practitioner veterinarians and other specialists. The signs of disease on a veterinary x-ray or ultrasound are often very subtle. It can take significant expertise to read these subtle signs. However, they are less likely to be missed or misinterpreted if an expert in veterinary radiology is consulted.

Why Does My Pet Need To Be Referred to A Veterinary Radiologist? 

Some general practices have board certified veterinary radiologists on staff within their own hospitals. In other cases, general practitioners will consult with or refer patients to veterinary radiologists at referral practices. While many general practitioners routinely take radiographs or offer ultrasonography in their own practices, board certified radiologists are frequently needed for additional consultation. Thanks to the magic of telemedicine, veterinary radiologists can also review images and offer consultation remotely to any practice via the internet. When a pet needs a CT scan, an MRI, or radiation treatment, these types of sophisticated medical services typically can be obtained at veterinary imaging referral centers or university sites staffed by boarded specialists. Due to the expense of the equipment and the specialized training required, these types of services are generally available only at such referral facilities. While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, there is sometimes a need for the attention of a specialist to either take over the pet's treatment or work in tandem with the doctor as veterinary radiologists typically do. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.

Our Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Computed Tomography CT Scanning
Digital Radiography
Flouroscopy

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