Ultrasound Imaging (sonography) at Petaluma Veterinary Hospital

Ultrasound imaging is an accurate and reliable method to help our veterinarians evaluate and diagnose internal animal problems. This non-invasive tool allows us to diagnose internal organ problems without the need for surgery and with minimal restraint or sedation.

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body without using ionizing radiation (x-ray). Images are captured in real-time and show the structure and movement of internal organs and blood flowing through vessels.

Veterinarians often use ultrasound to guide a small needle to diseased areas of tissue for biopsy. Abdominal ultrasound imaging is performed to evaluate the:

  • kidneys
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas
  • spleen
  • blood vessels of the abdomen

Ultrasound is used to help diagnose a variety of conditions, such as:

  • abdominal pain
  • pancreatitis
  • enlarged abdominal organ
  • stones in the kidney or bladder
  • portosystemic shunts
  • needle biopsies in which needles are used to extract a sample of cells from organs for laboratory testing.