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At Premier Vet Care, we recommend to perform preventive ultrasounds once a year starting at age 1 on both dogs and cats.
An ultrasound scan, also referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic sonography, and ultrasonography, is a device that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of some part of the inside of the body. Sound waves, rather than radiation, are safe. Dr. Josh frequently uses utrasonography to check on puppies and kittens while still in the womb. Dr. Josh also uses ultrasonography as a preventive measure to catch a disease in its early stages (when it's curable or treatable) as opposed to catching it late when it could be fatal. At Premier Vet Care, Dr. Josh recommends yearly ultrasounds.
Ultrasound scans are used to detect problems in the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, or anything else in the abdomen. Dr. Josh commonly uses the ultrasound in combination with a fine-needle-aspirate to determine if an abdominal growth is cancerous or not. And if it is cancerous, and the tumor is detected early enough, Dr. Josh can go in and surgically remove it before it spreads.
The word "ultrasound", in physics, refers to all sound with a frequency humans cannot hear. In diagnostic sonography, the ultrasound is usually between 2 and 18 MHz. Higher frequencies provide better quality images, but are more readily absorbed by the skin and other tissue, so they cannot penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Lower frequencies can penetrate deeper, but the image quality is inferior.
What is the difference between an Ultrasound Scan and a Sonogram?
How does Ultrasonography work?
Although ultrasound travels through soft tissue and fluids, it bounces back off denser surfaces. Ultrasound waves will travel through blood, for example in the heart chamber, but much of it will echo (bounce back) when hitting a heart valve.
If there are no solid gallstones in the gallbladder, ultrasound will travel straight through, but when there are stones, ultrasound will bounce back from them. This is the same for bladder and kidney stones.
The denser the object the ultrasound hits, the more of it bounces back.
The bouncing back, or echo, is what gives the ultrasound image its features - varying shades of gray reflect different densities.
What to do before bringing your animal in for an ultrasound?
1) Feed your pet within 2 hours before coming in.
2) Don't let your pet urinate for at least 2 hours before coming in.
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