Ultrasound Indications

There are simply too many indications for ultrasonography to list in full but here is an example of some clinical problems that I can help the referring vet to investigate and manage:

Thoracic/cardiac ultrasound

  • Heart murmurs
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Valve disease
  • Congenital cardiac disease
  • Heart failure
  • Collapse/syncope
  • Poor exercise tolerance
  • Coughing
  • Breathing problems
  • Abdominal effusion
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pericardial effusion

  • Breed screening
  • Arrhythmias
  • Pre-anaesthetic evaluation
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Mediastinal mass

  • Thoracic radiographic changes

Abdominal ultrasound

  • Weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal disease – inappetence, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shock
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Foreign body
  • Anaemia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Jaundice
  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Urinary tract disease – polydipsia, haematuria, stranguria, calculi
  • Neoplasia/cancer staging
  • Liver disease

  • Prostatic disease
  • Testicular changes
  • Pregnancy diagnosis
  • Persistent oestrus
  • Endocrinopathies – cushings, addisons, diabetes mellitus
  • Trauma
  • Haemorrhage

Why does my pet need a cardiac ultrasound?

Up to a quarter of clinically healthy cats can have findings of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy on echocardiography. A large proportion of affected cats do not have a heart murmur. The presence of a murmur is not diagnostic for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Echocardiography can give a specific diagnosis, stage the disease, assess the need for medication and give a prognosis.

Not all dogs with heart murmurs need medication. Echocardiography is very useful to help decide which dogs will benefit from medication. The recent EPIC study has shown that starting certain dogs with Stage B2 myxomatous mitral valve disease on Pimobendan will significantly delay the onset to congestive heart failure.  Some dogs with Dilated Cardiomyopathy do not show any symptoms or have a murmur. The Protect study has shown that starting certain affected dogs on Pimobendan in the occult/silent phase of disease can significantly increase their quality and quantity of life.

Ultrasound is commonly used in apparently healthy pets as a screening test. Heart disease in dogs and cats is very common.

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Sample reports

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Price list – available to referring vets

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For further information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

You can contact Gemma by phone,
@ 083 486 1722 or email