Routine Visits and 24/7 Emergency Service

SmartVets Animal Hospital

511 Cameron Road, Tauranga, (Between 10th &11th Ave)

Ultrasound

All hours phone: 07-5715003 

What is an ultrasound scan?
An ultrasound scan is a non-invasive imaging procedure that allows examining shape, size, texture, development and structure of soft or fluid filled organs inside your pet’s body such as the stomach, heart, liver, kidneys or urinary bladder. However, air filled organs such as the lungs and mineralised structures such as the bones cannot be examined using ultrasound scan. Terms such as sonogram, diagnostic sonography and ultrasonography are used synonymously with ultrasound scan. Since ultrasound scan is performed in real time, results of the examination are immediately available. A typical ultrasound examination will take 30-45 minutes.

How does an ultrasound scanner work?
During an ultrasound scan very high frequency sound waves are sent into the patient’s body using a probe. The probe is pressed against the skin to direct the sound waves into the body. As the sound waves reflect after hitting the internal organs, tissues or fluids, the probe also picks up the reflected waves. These reflected waves are then measured by a computer and used to create a real-time image of the organs under investigation. To obtain various views the probe can be angled to obtain various views and moved along the skin surface by the operator (ultrasonographer).

Why does my pet need an ultrasound examination?
An ultrasound examination may be requested by your vet for many situations. Some examples are:

  • Pregnancy evaluation
  • Pre-surgical examination
  • Chronic infections
  • Diagnosis of cysts and tumours
  • Uro-genital problems
  • Fluids in chest or abdomen
  • Evaluating cardiac function
  • Unexplained weight loss

Is ultrasound safe? How do I prepare my pets for ultrasound examination?
Ultrasound as a diagnostic technique is completely painless and harmless to your pets. Although anaesthesia is not usually required for most ultrasound examinations, anxious patients may be sedated while the scan is being performed. Additionally, ultrasound waves are not transmitted through air and therefore, to ensure good contact between the ultrasound probe and your pet’s skin, fur needs to be shaved form the area being scanned in most animals.  

How much does ultrasound scan cost?
The cost of an ultrasound scan varies and is determined by several factors including the type of ultrasound examination that is performed (reproductive, extremities, chest or abdominal) as well as the veterinarian involved and the equipment utilized.