An ultrasound machine creates images that allow various organs in the body to be examined. The machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these reflected waves and uses them to create a picture. Unlike with an x-ray or CT scan, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with this test. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the skin over the area being examined to help with the transmission of the sound waves. A handheld probe called a transducer is moved over the area being examined.
The test is performed in our ultrasound department at Valley Veterinary Hospital by our doctors. An abnormal ultrasound can mean many things. Some abnormalities are very minor and do not pose significant risks. Other abnormalities are signs of very serious conditions that will require further evaluation by our board certified veterinary specialist.
- It is used to examine organs in the abdomen including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys. The blood vessels that lead to some of these organs can also be looked at with ultrasound.
Transthoracic echocardiogram (heart ultrasound):
An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plainx-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.
TTE is the type of echocardiogram.
- An instrument called a transducer that releases high-frequency sound waves is placed on your pet's ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart. Other images will be taken underneath and slightly to the left of the nipple and in the upper abdomen.
- The transducer picks up the echoes of sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart.
- Pictures can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional, depending on the part of the heart being evaluated and the type of machine.
- A Doppler echocardiogram uses a probe to record the motion of blood through the heart.
An echocardiogram allows us to see the heart beating, and to see the heart valves and other structures of the heart. This test is done to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart in a noninvasive way.