Glastonbury CT Vet

Ultrasound for Farm Animal Patients

CT Animal Ultrasounds

Our doctors may recommend an ultrasound for your animal to get a better evaluation of the extent of an injury or illness, or the stage of a pregnancy. Often, we get questions about why this is better than a radiograph ("x-ray" picture), or how it works.

Ultrasound, as the name suggests, uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image, based on how much the material being examined changes the sound as it passes through. Unlike radiology, which is great for looking at bones and air-filled structures, ultrasound is most useful in looking at "soft tissue", which includes most of the internal organs (liver, kidneys, etc) and tendons and ligaments, as well as differentiating between fluid and solid tissue. Bone and air obscure ultrasound images, so its use is limited in the chest by air in the lungs, and in some part of the body where bone closely overlies other tissues, such as the skull or pelvis.

Ultrasound lets us measure the size of soft tissue structures and identify isolated or focal lesions that may occur with some infections or cancers. In addition, because ultrasound lets us examine structures in "real time", it can be used to guide some types of tissue biopsy and fluid collection for laboratory evaluation.

One other major use of ultrasound is examining the heart. With echocardiography, we can observe the motion of the chambers and valves of the heart, and determine whether blood is moving normally through the heart. The doctors may recommend this test if they here a heart murmur.

We have a portable ultrasound machine that can be taken on the road with us and another ultrasound machine that stays at the clinic. The two machines we have allow us to perform superficial soft tissue evaluations including tendon and ligament ultrasounds as well as some abdominal work.