Ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive diagnostic procedure, which, unlike X-rays, does not result in your pet’s exposure to radiation. An ultrasound machine uses sound waves to penetrate the internal organs and creates a real-time image that is displayed on a monitor. The procedure involves using a hand-held probe on the skin above the area being studied.

An ultrasound of the heart, or echocardiogram, is the most useful test for evaluating a heart murmur in a pet. With ultrasound, a veterinarian can look inside the heart, in the chambers, and visualize the valves. This non-surgical test can rule out or confirm a diagnosis and aid in determining the amount of leakage and the severity of an abnormality. In addition, comparing echocardiograms of a pet over time can help our veterinarians see the impact cardiac medications are having on the pet.

Some of the common reasons to ultrasound a heart are:

          * Heart murmur
          * Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
          * Labored breathing
          * Birth defects

Abdominal ultrasound simplifies the diagnosis of internal disease by providing veterinarians with a clear view inside the patient’s stomach, liver, kidneys, and other internal organs. Our state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment can be a tremendous help when obtaining a biopsy or aspirate of an organ so the diagnosis can be made with minimal invasiveness and much less stress on your pet.

Some of the common reasons to ultrasound the abdomen are:

          * Liver disease
          * Kidney disease
          * Pregnancy
          * Urinary bladder disease
          * Screening for cancer

While many of our veterinarians at Encina Veterinary Hospital of Walnut Creek are skilled in the use of the ultrasound equipment, Dr. Roger Johnson and Dr. Peter Nurre have received advanced training. In order to schedule an ultrasound, please call our office in Walnut Creek (Contra Costa County) 925-937-5000 for a consultation appointment.