Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of a body part or internal organs to evaluate the anatomical structure. Ultrasound examinations require advanced equipment and trained personnel to perform the study and interpret the images. At VCA NWVS, ultrasound examinations are performed by board certified veterinary radiologists. To obtain the best results, the radiologists at VCA NWVS use sophisticated ultrasound machines similar to those found in many human hospitals. Ultrasound can be used to evaluate organs within the abdomen or chest, and can be used to diagnose diseases like cancer, infection, gastrointestinal obstruction, liver shunts or other liver disease, adrenal disease, urinary obstruction, pleural effusion, peritoneal effusion, etc., just to name a few. Oftentimes, ultrasound is used to guide a fine needle or a biopsy instrument into an abnormality in either the abdomen or thorax to help obtain a definitive diagnosis. Most of the time, veterinary patients do not need to be sedated for the ultrasound examination. Occasionally though, in some of our more rambunctious, energetic or nervous patients, some light sedation might be recommended to help achieve the best quality images, improving how specific the radiologist can be about your pet’s particular condition. Ultrasounds can be arranged at NWVS through a referral from your primary care veterinarian, or through a request by one of our specialists or emergency doctors at VCA NWVS. Our radiologists also offer mobile ultrasound services to your local primary care veterinarian’s clinic.