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Ultrasound and X-ray Services for Pets

Ultrasounds and radiographs (X-rays) are two diagnostic imaging tools used in veterinary medicine. The procedures are noninvasive and pain-free. This makes them a great alternative to surgery. At our clinic our staff is especially trained to interpret the results from radiographs and ultrasounds. To learn more about ultrasounds and X-rays at our clinic call 403.936.4571.

How does an ultrasound or X-ray work in pets?

Ultrasounds in pets work the same way they do in humans. A gel is placed on the area of interest and a wand is moved over that section. The wand is connected to a monitor and as it moves, it releases sound waves that echo and show the soft tissue or the internal structure.

Radiographs are useful to determine the size and shape of organs. A small and safe amount of radiation passes through your pet and images of the organs are taken.

Both procedures are usually done at the same time to get a better picture of the internal organs. This allows us to more accurately diagnose your pet.

What are ultrasounds and X-rays used for in pets?

  • To examine soft tissue such as tendons, thyroid glands, ligaments and fetal development
  • To detect foreign objects. Ultrasounds can locate objects such as cloth, thin plastic, paper or plants in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • To perform echocardiograms when a pet has a heart condition. An ultrasound can be used to determine if the patient needs medication.
  • To identify abnormalities on internal organs.
  • To detect illness/ injuries such as arthritis, cancer, fractures and broken bones.

    How can I prepare my pet for an ultrasound or X-ray?

    Before your pet comes in for a radiograph or ultrasound they may need to fast for 8-12 hours. However, there are cases where no fasting is needed. For example, your veterinarian may notice something during a checkup, and request a scan for further analysis. You don’t have to shave your pet’s fur as our technologists will remove the hair from the target area, if needed. If your pet is experiencing any anxiety before the procedure we may administer a sedative to keep them calm.

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