The health and well-being of your pet is our highest concern, and we at the Stuebner Airline and Champions Veterinary Hospital are proud to offer ultrasound service in the Spring, TX. This means that same day access to ultrasound diagnostics is available, in most cases.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is ultrasound?
Ultrasound is a painless method for imaging the body using very high pitched sound frequencies (higher than the human ear can hear). Ultrasound is commonly used in both veterinary and human medicine for a wide variety of problems, including diseases of the liver, kidneys, bladder, stomach, intestines, adrenal glands, pancreas, spleen, reproductive tract, blood vessels, heart (often referred to as ?echocardiography?), thorax, eye, and muscles/tendons. Ultrasound is less useful for imaging structures like bone or air-filled structures like the lung.
Is ultrasound safe?
Yes, ultrasound is very safe. The main benefit of ultrasound is that it can provide useful information about the body without invasive surgery, injection of dyes, or ionizing radiation. In fact, you may be most familiar with ultrasound due to its common use in imaging of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
What happens during an ultrasound?
During an abdominal ultrasound, the patient is usually placed on their back in a soft, padded trough. Although some pets are initially slightly anxious, almost all pets relax and remain calm once they realize that nothing painful is happening. For pets that cannot, or will not, lie still on their backs, in some cases the examination can be performed with the patient laying on their side. The hair on the underside of the belly will be shaved and a lotion will be applied to the skin. The images are obtained by placing the transducer (a smooth, handheld object, similar in size and shape to a small TV remote control) on the patient's skin and slowly moving the transducer around on the skin. Many patients go to sleep during the procedure!
For a heart ultrasound (echocardiogram), the patient lies on their side on a padded table. The table has a small hole so that the transducer can be placed under the pet and in contact with the skin. A small patch of hair will need to be shaved in the 'underarm' area.
How long does the examination take?
Most exams take between 30-60 minutes. Due to the nature of our business with emergency and critical patients, sometimes a more critical case may take priority and your pet's exam may need to be postponed. This is similar to the triage that occurs in human hospitals.
Can I be present during the examination?
Unfortunately, we are unable to allow owners to be present in the ultrasound room.
Can you tell me the results of the examination?
We will be happy to schedule a consultation with one of our veterinarians to discuss the ultrasound findings at your request. Often your veterinarian will request such a consultation after discussing the results with our doctors. Since accurate interpretation requires time, expertise, and thought, as well as a physical examination of your pet, additional fees will be assessed. We will be happy to discuss this with you at any time.
What should I do to prepare for the ultrasound procedure?
Please do not feed your pet for 8-12 hours prior to the examination. Water is permitted. It is very important that your pet have an empty stomach in order to allow proper imaging of the area near the stomach. There are some diseases/situations where food should NOT be withheld; contact your veterinarian to determine if your pet is healthy enough for fasting.
Please do not let your pet urinate for the 3 hours prior to your appointment. A full urinary bladder is essential.
Can I wait for the exam to be completed? Can I drop the pet off and come back later?
Either option is ok. If you choose to drop the pet off with us, please leave a phone number where you can be contacted.