Ultrasound - Ark Veterinary Centre

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ULTRASOUND
Ultrasonography or ultrasound examinations are becoming increasingly available for the evaluation of
canine patients at practice level. Very high frequency sound waves are emitted by a transducer placed on
the body wall. Echoes reflected back from the structures in the body are picked up by the same transducer
and converted to various visual patterns by computer. With the great advantages made in computer
science over the last few years ultrasound machines have become more compact and transportable and so
more affordable within the veterinary market. Nevertheless their cost is still between $10,000 - $50,000
or more.
After processing by the ultrasound computer the echoes are usually displayed on a television type monitor
during the examination and may be recorded electronically as instant pictures or recorded on video tape.
The pictures can either be two dimensional (real time or B-Mode ultrasound) or show a linear pattern as
in the case of heart motion (m mode). There is no discomfort for the animal during these examinations
although areas of hair may have to be clipped and coupling jelly applied between the transducer and the
body wall.
Many of the internal organs can be scanned including liver, kidneys, bowel, spleen etc. but two areas of
increasing importance are ultrasonography for pregnancy diagnosis which can be carried out at around 30
days from mating and also cardiac examination when the actual anatomy of the heart may be evaluated to
demonstrate any abnormalities in the muscular walls or the valves of the heart and in addition, accurate
measurements of heart size can be made.
DOPPLER ULTRASOUND is a further advance. With this, determinations of blood pressure, flow and
cardiac output can be made. Since the equipment is expended, tremendous advances have been made in
the field. Specialist training is required. The technique, although becoming more common, still has to be
realistically priced.
Ark Veterinary Centre
A Lifelearn Product from:.
Arthur Webster & Associates Pty Ltd
P O Box 438, PYMBLE NSW 2073 Australia