Our veterinary team has both ultrasound and X-ray technologies in-house to support our diagnostic testing. Whether we use them in conjunction or separately, both technologies are safe and pet-friendly, ensuring we provide accurate diagnoses. If you’re interested in learning more about our diagnostic imaging tools, please contact us at 416-928-6761.
What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure that incorporates sound waves to examine internal organs and structures of the body. It can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, and liver (among other internal organs) to detect excess fluid, cysts, tumours, or abscesses, and confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy. We sometimes use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis.
How are images generated?
The ultrasound technician applies gel to the surface of your dog/cat and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and creates a more accurate visual image. The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves that create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and the amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.
How are X-rays different from ultrasounds?
X-rays use a small amount of radiation that is safe for our staff and your dog/cat. To create a sharp, concise image, they need to remain motionless while the X-ray is administered. In some cases, we may need to sedate a dog/cat pet or use short-acting general anesthesia to advance the process. An X-ray provides valuable information about their skeletal structure, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). We routinely use digital radiography to help identify the cause of medical issues, or to rule out potential problems. Interpretation of X-rays is done by experienced team members who are trained in the latest radiological education.