Three Reasons Why Your Non-Pregnant Pet Might Need An Ultrasound


Medical technology is advancing at a very rapid rate, and much of those devices eventually filter down (in a slightly altered form) to veterinarians. Pet ultrasounds have been of great help to vets of all animals but particularly cats and dogs which make up the bulk of their appointments. When you first see that your pet has been scheduled in for an ultrasound, it can be a bit confusing,  especially if you know they aren't pregnant. Here are the three most likely reasons your pet ultrasound was organised and what that means for you going forward.


If, during your regular check-up, your vet feels something odd under your pet's skin, then they may suggest ordering an ultrasound to double-check everything is okay. Ultrasounds can detect any strange growths on the inside of your pet, although only on certain organs. If they do spot something unusual, then they will use the ultrasound as a roadmap from which to guide a tiny metal arm that will go in and remove a sample for a biopsy. This sample will be definitive proof on whether the tumour is malignant or purely benign, and this will help you make your decision on how to move forward with treatment.


Pyometra is a serious bacterial infection of the uterus. Both cats and dogs can suffer from pyometra, and if not treated quickly, the disease can be fatal. The trouble is that it can be quite difficult to diagnose pyometra and rule out other conditions. One of the only real ways is with a pet ultrasound which can determine the current size of your pet's uterus. The uterus often grows much larger in size during pyometra, but if your doctor is not familiar with your pet, this fact might not be immediately obvious on just a physical examination. In this case, an ultrasound might just save your cat or dog's life.

Kidney Stones

Just like humans, pets can develop kidney stones and gallstones, and they can be similarly painful if left to their own devices. The trouble is your pet will struggle to communicate this pain to you and may simply seem more aggressive than usual. Vets, however, will notice this behaviour and usually call for a pet ultrasound to determine if there are unnatural growths in the kidney or gall bladder. The ultrasound will also help provide an exact location of the stones, which is important in deciding how to treat them. If your pet is displaying signs of agony, tiredness and a withdrawal from regular habits as well as a reduction in food intake, they might have kidney stones and you should get them checked.


22 May 2020

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