Small Animal Ultrasound
Diagnostic ultrasound imaging is an important part of the
imaging service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Texas
A&M. Dedicated and committed radiologists perform and interpret
all ultrasound studies.
Diagnostic ultrasound is an economical and painless examination
often requiring little or no sedation for the majority of our small
animal patients. This technology is safe and does not use ionizing
radiation such as x-rays. Ultrasonography provides important
information on the structure and blood flow of the internal organs.
It is often useful in identifying both focal and systemic diseases.
It allows for targeted sampling of body cavity fluid and assists in
guiding a needle to the exact location of a lesion thus avoiding
and protecting other vital structures.
Ultrasound imaging, sometimes referred to as sonographic
imaging, involves the use of sound waves to image the organs in the
patient. Diagnostic ultrasound uses the high frequency sound waves
to make images of the body's internal organs much like a high
detail version of the sonar images used by fisherman for detecting
fish. The hair coat is focally clipped over the abdomen to improve
contact between the transducer and the patient. This is needed to
improve image quality. An ultrasound transducer is placed on the
patient's abdomen. The abdominal organs are then imaged, the images
recorded and a report on the findings is included in the medical
record. The image produced with ultrasound technology provides
unique and superior differentiation of the organs and soft tissue
structures of the body.
The Texas A&M Small Animal radiology section is equipped
with state of the art diagnostic ultrasound machines (Siemens
Sequoia and Siemens Antares). This is often a very busy service as
many of our patients with abdominal or other soft tissue disorders
benefit from the information acquired from this important
diagnostic tool. Our medical imaging service provides
compassionate, high quality, diagnostic information to our fellow
clinicians and our clients about their pets.
The Veterinary Radiologists use the ultrasound examination for a
large variety of disorders used to:
- Detect and diagnose cancer affecting abdominal and other soft
- Determine the extent of spread of disease
- Evaluate the urinary tract for cause of blood in the urine
(stones, inflammation or neoplasia)
- Determine the cause for abdominal pain
- Determine the cause for intestinal disorders (vomiting/
- Determine the organ and cause for abdominal masses
- Examine vessels for anomalies or other vascular
Videos of Ultrasound
LEFT: Ultrasound image of a fetal puppy.
RIGHT: Ultrasound image of a dog liver. Red and blue areas denote blood flow.