Diagnostic imaging is used in veterinary medicine to take a "sneak peak" into your pet's body allowing us to diagnose a variety of conditions. From foreign body ingestion to broken bones, to heart disease and hidden tooth root abscesses, our hospital offers a broad range of diagnostic imaging services including digital x-ray, ultrasound, echocardiography (heart ultrasound) and digital dental dental x-ray
Ultrasound is a non-invasive tool to evaluate many internal structures using harmless sound waves that bounce off various organs that creates a picture. Ultrasound is used extensively in our hospital to diagnose a variety of conditions and used to collect sterile urine samples and to take biopsies in a non-invasive manor. Our team is trained in AFAST/TFAST scanning techniques which is a quick way to assess a patient with ultrasound in an emergency situation and we are very fortunate to have IVUSS certified veterinary ultrasonographer, Dr. Jacquie Pankatz as part of our team. Dr. Pankatz also runs a mobile ultrasound service where she travels with her ultrasound machine to other hospitals in our region (see South Georgian Bay Veterinary Ultrasound and MIS) Some indications for ultrasound include:
Unexplained weight loss
Chronic vomiting or diarrhea
Foreign body ingestion
Elevated liver enzymes
Distended or painful abdomen
Blood in the urine or persistent urine infection
Abnormal or laboured breathing
Knee, shoulder joint or achilles tendon disease
Eye and thyroid disease
Skin lumps and bumps
Heart disease (see echocardiogram below)
And much, much more.......
X-rays are used evaluate bones and internal organs in our patients. We often combine x-rays and ultrasound in our practice as they nicely compliment each other when we are trying to obtain a diagnosis. We have a digital x-ray system which allows as to take high quality images in just seconds. As the x-rays are taken and stored in a computer file, they are easily e-mailed and can be sent out to a board certified radiologists via telemedicine for evaluation if required
Echocardiography (heart ultrasound)
An echocardiogram is a special type of ultrasound of the heart used to assess structure, size and function and to screen for the presence of fluid in the cardiac sac and look for heart tumours. One of the most common reasons for performing this test is the presence of a heart murmur or abnormal heart sound found when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. Other common reasons include the presence of cough or episodes of collapse or fainting. As part of a complete cardiac work-up, we often combine the results of chest x-rays, ECG, blood pressure and the echocardiogram to assess the heart in our patients. We are able to work with board certified veterinary cardiologists who can evaluate out test results via telemedicine to provide a diagnosis and treatment recommendations when needed
Echocardiogram of a patient with aortic insufficiency and aortic stenosis. The colour allows us to evaluate blood flow.
Same patient showing the left parasternal apical 5-chamber view of the heart. The heart valves and chambers can be evaluated.