Ultrasound is a safe, non-invasive tool allowing visualization of tissues not otherwise possible. It is safer and more economical than contrast radiography and shows more detail than x-rays. It can help confirm a diagnosis. Guided by the image of the ultrasound, a veterinarian can obtain a small tissue sample (biopsy) by making a small incision and inserting a needle and withdrawing fluid to be sent for analysis.
Ultrasound is more useful in seeing inside of the organs and detecting soft tissue pathology such as tumors, liver and gall bladder disease, kidney disease, cancer and other degenerative disease of the organs. There are certain kinds of kidney and urinary bladder stones that do not show up with x-rays that are very evident with ultrasound. As is commonly known, ultrasound is a very accurate diagnostic tool in determining pregnancy at as early as 18-21 days post conception. Later in the pregnancy, it can be used to monitor the viability of fetuses prior to parturition.