Most practices nowadays are able to offer veterinary ultrasound to a degree. However, this service is very much dependent on the quality of the machine and experience of the operator. Dr Wayne Shipham has completed post graduate study in this field and has over 8 years’ experience doing advanced veterinary ultrasounds.
A number of our vets now at Drovers Vet Hospital have completed post graduate study or courses in ultrasound and can perform most ultrasound examinations. Our investment in this service goes beyond our veterinary knowledge base as we have invested in a high end Siemens X300 ultrasound unit, with both advanced cardiac (heart) and abdominal (stomach and other organs) software.
The quality of images obtained from such machines is far superior to low end machines and it goes without saying that diagnosis of problems is also improved. Take for instance the ability of an ultrasound to pick up a splinter of wood that has penetrated the intestines, or a small defect in the heart causing problems. We can also perform ultrasound guided aspirates and biopsies of most organs and structures. This is a much safer and quicker way than having to do full surgery to obtain these same samples.
Ultrasound typically require between 45 – 60 minutes to perform and we usually require patients to be admitted in the morning and discharged in the afternoon. Should you want to remain with your pet during the ultrasound, please inform the receptionist at the time of appointment and we will be more than happy to make arrangements for this. Some patients may need to be sedated for their ultrasound. Hair will also need to be clipped to allow for proper image visualisation.