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At Linwood Pet Hospital, you’ll find a lifetime of veterinary care and support for your beloved pet.

Diagnostic Outpatient Abdominal Ultrasound

Our Diagnostic Outpatient Abdominal Ultrasound service enables patients of Linwood Pet Hospital, as well as those from other veterinary hospitals in the area, to receive an advanced ultrasound examination.

This is considered a referral service and pets must be referred by their primary care veterinarian. Each outpatient ultrasound is performed by a veterinarian who is board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care. Following the procedure, a report with the findings will be forwarded to your family veterinarian. Results of the test will be shared with you by your primary care veterinarian.

These results, combined with other diagnostics that may be performed by your family veterinarian including a physical exam, x-rays, and blood work will help provide a better assessment of what is causing your pet’s symptoms. This information will help your pet’s veterinary team recommend the most appropriate treatment option(s).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound, also known as ultrasound imagining or sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time pictures of the inside of the body including the structure and movement of the internal organs and blood vessels. This modality is best at diagnosing abnormalities within these areas. Because ultrasound often diagnoses problems earlier than would otherwise be possible, this affords a better chance for successful treatment.

Ultrasound is medically safe, non-invasive, and does not use radiation. It can typically be performed on pets using minimal restraint or sedation. Depending on your pet’s temperament and response to the ultrasound procedure, a light, short-acting sedative may be used.

Abdominal ultrasound is used to help visualize the following:

  • Blood vessels
  • Gallbladder
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen

What is an ultrasound-guided biopsy?
Depending on your pet’s age, breed, medical history, symptoms, and suspected diagnosis, the ultrasound procedure may be used to guide a small needle to a suspicious area for a tissue sample. This is known as an ultrasound-guided biopsy.

What is a fine-needle aspirate?

This is a type of biopsy where a thin needle is inserted into tissue or body fluid that appears abnormal. It is typically done on swelling or lumps located just beneath the skin. The sample is then used to help make a diagnosis

What should I do to prepare my pet for the procedure?
Prior to your pet’s ultrasound appointment, please withhold food for 8 hours, if possible. Water may be given as usual. If your pet has a medical issue where it would not be safe to withhold food and your primary care veterinarian has advised you to feed as normal, please inform the staff upon your arrival.

What happens during an ultrasound?
During an abdominal ultrasound, your pet is placed on their side. Once in position, and while receiving love from the team, almost all pets relax and settle into the process.

As part of the procedure, the hair on your pet’s belly will need to be shaved and a gel will be applied to the skin. This allows for optimal clarity of the ultrasound image.

Occasionally, a mild sedative for your pet may be necessary in order to perform the ultrasound. This is typically the case for nervous or anxious pets who have difficulty remaining still.

How long does the examination take?
Most exams take between 30-60 minutes.