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    Diagnostic ultrasound has proven invaluable in our efforts to better understand health issues in our animal patients. Your pet has been scheduled for either an Abdominal Ultrasound exam or an Echocardiogram (ultrasound exam of the heart). Please review this document carefully as it has important information on preparing your pet for this important diagnostic test. 

    Some things you should know about Ultrasound and Echocardiography at Redwood Veterinary Hospital:
    • At Redwood Veterinary Hospital, ultrasound studies are performed by Dr. John Huebner. Dr. Huebner has been at Redwood for over 30 years and in recent years has limited his practice activities to diagnostic ultrasound. While Dr. Huebner has extensive training and many years of experience in diagnostic ultrasound, he is not a Board-Certified Radiologist or Specialist.
    • Unfortunately, most ultrasound studies require that we clip hair over the regions we will scan. This is because hair traps air near the surface of the skin and this air, even tiny amounts significantly compromises the ultrasound image quality.
    • We apply a water-based, acoustic gel to the skin as well to further reduce air trapping and enhance image quality.
    • In some patients, light sedation may be needed to complete the ultrasound study. Your pet’s primary doctor may have discussed this with you already, and maybe even prescribed a light sedative for you to give orally before you admit your pet. For most studies, patients lay on their back or side. The room is darkened, and the patient is constantly monitored and comforted by assistants. We will sedate an animal only if it is needed. We ask that you sign the below release allowing us to mildly sedate your pet if needed.
    • Remember to not feed your pet the morning of the study. If you have to administer morning medication(s) in a food treat, please limit it to the smallest treat possible and tell the admitting nurse that you gave the medication(s) that way. You do not need to limit water intake, so please allow your pet free access to water up until you come down to the Hospital.
    • For dogs getting an abdominal ultrasound study, if possible, please walk your dog the morning of the procedure to encourage him/her to have a bowel movement before you bring him/her in for the scan. This can improve imaging quality.
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