Most people’s experience of ultrasound is its antenatal use in humans. Although ultrasound can be used for pregnancy testing in animals, its main use is in clinical diagnosis. It is particularly useful for investigating heart problems, where it provides information about the internal structure and function of the heart and for the examination of the abdominal organs such as the liver, kidneys and spleen.

Our veterinary surgeon, Paul is particularly talented in this area of expertise. He is often able to identify internal abnormalities in the organs using our ultrasound machine. The knowledge in this skill has enabled our vets to identify foreign bodies, tumours and other conditions such as ileus (lack of digestive motion).

With our doppler ultrasound machine we can see the flow of blood through the heart as it beats. Ultrasound is also commonly used to look at the organs inside the abdomen. It provides complementary and essential information to radiography.

This scan of a dog's heart shows abnormal blood flow, coloured blue, regurgitating into the left atrium as the left ventricle contracts. This was caused by a leaky mitral valve.

A thrombus (blood clot) can be seen attached to the inside of an enlarged left atrium in a cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy HCM.