We are excited to announce that Anacapa Animal Hospital recently upgraded our ultrasound capability with a new advanced digital ultrasound unit. Nothing makes us happier than working towards improving patient care. We continually reinvest in the best diagnostic equipment to ensure we are offering your pets the best veterinary care available.
The level of detail our new machine provides can enable us to make an earlier diagnosis of problems including bladder stones, kidney disease, intestinal disease, heart disease, adrenal disease, liver disease and abdominal masses. Early detection gives us a better chance of being able to treat or manage problems and comfortably prolong or save the life of your pet.
Ultrasound, like x-ray, is considered a non-invasive diagnostic tool. When conducting an ultrasound study, smooth probes that are gently run over the skin to send harmless extremely high frequency sound waves into the body. These waves cannot be heard or felt. As the waves bounce back to the probe they are processed by the ultrasound computer to create a live video on the screen with no pain or discomfort involved for the pet. All that is required is for the area that we are examining to be shaved and ultrasound gel applied. Almost all pets are content while the procedure is performed and do not require sedation.
The most common use of ultrasound in our practice is the evaluation of the abdomen and chest. In the chest, utilizing ultrasound we may find tumors that an x-ray cannot identify but an ultrasound can. Heart murmurs in pets can be evaluated quickly and painlessly thanks to ultrasound. Using doppler technology, we can look at each beat of the heart, measure the volume of blood that the heart is pumping and follow the progression of the condition and the response to medication. Heart valve disease, a common source of heart murmurs in dogs, can be evaluated and treatment can be determined based on the information from ultrasound. In cat’s the thickness of the heart is measured to rule-out early cardiomyopathy.
In the abdomen, ultrasound studies can identify benign and malignant growths on your pet’s liver, kidneys, spleen or anywhere in the abdomen. Allowing for early detection of abnormalities like cancer. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the prognosis. The high level of detail in our new equipment makes it easier to identify tumors and abnormalities in the adrenal glands, which are very small and can otherwise be difficult to visualize.
In addition to ultrasound studies, we utilize our ultrasound machine to obtain ultrasound-guided a biopsies. This allows us to take needle samples of suspicious areas for a minimally invasive biopsy and quick diagnosis of changes in your pet. Ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder may show stones, which also affect many dogs and cats. Pets can also have intestinal disorders, and the new high definition ultrasound can help to diagnose them by providing greater detail and more accurately measure the thicknesses of the layers of the intestinal wall. The list goes on, and we are constantly finding new ways to use ultrasound to improve our diagnostic abilities.
We are so thankful to have this level of equipment and veterinarians who have advanced training, which allows us to be leaders using this diagnostic tool.