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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

We offer a variety of imaging, including radiography (x-ray), ultrasonography, and CT. These imaging techniques are completely painless for your pet and are noninvasive. Many patients do not require anesthesia, while others may require a light sedative to promote relaxation. This is usually determined not only by your pet’s demeanor but also the desired outcome of the imaging.

Many things can be learned about your pet’s health in a very short amount of time using imaging technology. Information gained can be priceless in understanding your pet’s health and potential conditions.

Types of Ultrasound:


The most commonly performed canine ultrasound includes abdominal ultrasound and cardiac ultrasound.

Abdominal ultrasound is used to diagnose gastrointestinal tract tumors, organ enlargement, and pregnancy. During the ultrasound, the veterinarian will detect any changes present in the spleen, intestines, kidneys and surrounding organs. Since tumors may be hidden due to shadows visible in x-rays, an ultrasound is a preferred diagnostic test. However, if the diagnosis isn't confirmed through abdominal ultrasounds, the vet will conduct other tests to distinguish health concerns present. Frequently our emergency veterinarians will use ultrasound to assist in diagnosing medical emergencies.

An echocardiogram is performed in the same manner as abdominal ultrasounds. This procedure helps the veterinarian diagnose heart abnormalities that could lead to congestive heart failure or cardiac arrest. The only difference is that the ultrasound is performed over the chest surface, between the ribs. Echocardiograms should be performed and read by licensed and trained specialists. Dr. Barry is highly trained in the use of this tool. The procedure takes a little over half an hour. Although echocardiograms are performed at the chest area, they aren't used to detect lung abnormalities. They're used to obtain images of the heart to measure dimensions and check blood flow. Pets genetically predisposed to heart diseases and dogs that exhibit symptoms of heart murmur require an echocardiogram test to rule out heart conditions. Apart from ultrasounds, the veterinarian will perform other diagnostic tests to confirm illnesses.

Our Diagnostic Imaging Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Computed Tomography CT Scanning
Diagnostic Imaging/Radiology Overview
Digital Radiography

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