Ultrasonography is a mechanism using high frequency waves to identify different structures in the body. The high frequency waves bounce off the tissues. The scans they produce depend on the different density of the tissues of the body.
X-Rays are different to ultrasound pictures. Where as fluids can be difficult to see with x-rays they can be easily diagnosed with ultrasound. Also ultrasound is a moving picture and x-rays are static. This enables us to see hearts beating in pregnant animals.
Ultrasound can also be performed without a general anaesthetic if the patient is co-operative but it usually entails some shaving as the fur can interfere with the ultrasound pictures. We would usually use ultrasound in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures to decide what is wrong with our patients.
We would usually recommend a pregnancy ultrasound for your pet if they are 4 weeks pregnant or more. Ultrasounds cannot identify how many there will be in a litter but an x-ray at 6 weeks gestation can be more helpful if a more accurate number is required.
If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk