Indications List

Bladder problems
Ultrasound is the best test to identify bladder stones or bladder wall tumors. The location of a mass is very important in deciding whether or not surgery could be effective. Cats with chronic cystitis benefit greatly from a bladder scan.
Cancers and other masses
Identifying the origin of a mass is often possible with ultrasound. Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy is a safe and non-traumatic method to obtain a tissue diagnosis. This knowledge is then used to plan effective treatment strategies. Nearly any structure 1.5cm or larger may be biopsied with this technique. Examples include abdominal lymph nodes, liver, kidney, tumors, intestinal masses, lung masses, etc.
Congenital heart disease
Many types of congenital heart disease exist. Some are trivial, while others cause a very shortened life span of only several months. The echo will identify the defect and quantify the severity of the condition.
Gall bladder disease
Biliary tract and gall bladder bacterial infections are important causes of liver disease in cats. Gall stones, sludged (thickened) bile, and pancreatitis are the most common causes. In these situations, the bile is cultured to determine the most effective antibiotic to use.
Heart failure
All animals with heart failure must have an echo performed as part of the cardiac workup to obtain an accurate diagnosis. This is critical for prescribing the most effective therapy and to maximize the quality and length of the animal's remaining life.
Heart murmurs
The appearance of a heart murmur in an adult animal indicates that abnormal flows have developed in the heart. The echocardiogram will identify the abnormality present, locate the structural abnormalities causing it, and grade the significance of the problem.
Kidney failure
A scan will define whether the kidneys are failing from obstruction (stones, masses, etc, which are treated surgically) or from a medical disease (infection, ageing changes, glomerulonephritis). A ultrasound-guided biopsy is absolutely essential to obtaining an accurate diagnosis in these nonsurgical cases. The goal is to stop any further deterioration of renal function. Reversing the damage is possible only in some situations.
Liver disease
The hallmarks of liver disease are jaundice and elevated liver enzymes. Many of these diseases are treatable in both dogs and cats. A scan and biopsy are  necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, assess prognosis, and plan therapy.
Pancreas disease
Inflammation of the pancreas is difficult to confirm. Blood tests for this are not very sensitive. An inflamed pancreas is easily visualized during a scan.  Pancreatic cancer is more difficult to diagnose. No blood tests exist for the detection of this problem in animals. Ultrasound will give the first indications that this problem is present.


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