An ultrasound scan, or sonogram, is a diagnostic imaging technique that allows us to see internal organs in greater detail than X-rays. The ultrasound machine utilizes high frequency sound waves to create images of tissues, so the technique is safe, non-invasive and painless for pets.
Our doctors have trained extensively in the use of ultrasound, allowing us to diagnose conditions in our hospital without the need for referral to a specialist. We can evaluate the abdominal organs (liver, spleen, gall bladder, stomach, intestines, kidneys, lymph nodes, adrenal glands, reproductive organs and urinary bladder) for a variety of medical conditions and can also diagnose pregnancy/assess fetal health. Ultrasound is also used to evaluate the chest and perform echocardiograms to diagnose heart conditions.
We can also perform advanced ultrasound-guided diagnostics as needed, including thoracocentesis/abdominocentesis (draining fluid from chest or abdomen), tissue aspirates for cytology, and percutaneous biopsy. Providing these services in our hospital allows for more rapid diagnoses and treatments in pets suffering from life-threatening conditions.
Courtenay Animal Hospital offers advanced digital X-ray technology. This technology is superior to traditional film X-ray for several reasons:
- Images are produced on the computer screen instantly, allowing quick assessment & resulting in shorter restraint time for your pet, as well as less radiation exposure.
- Digital X-rays provide more detailed images than traditional film X-rays, allowing for diagnosis of problems that we might not see on traditional X-ray film. Additionally, the images can be manipulated (e.g. enhance contrast, magnify areas of interest, compare side-by-side with previous images) to provide better information than traditional films allow.
- Digital images can be sent via email to other hospitals for consultation and to board-certified radiologists for interpretation in unusual cases.
We also offer advanced radiology techniques when needed, such as barium contrast series for gastrointestinal conditions, intravenous pyelogram to assess kidneys and ureter, and contrast cystogram to assess the urinary bladder. Performing techniques such as these in our hospital rather than referring to specialists allows rapid diagnosis and treatment of problems as they arise.