Services Provided

Ultrasound examinations are non-invasive, safe and can give a great amount of information in a huge range of cases, especially for examining the abdomen and heart. VetArtis offers ultrasound examinations of dogs and cats:

  • Abdomens
  • Non-cardiac thoracic
  • Echocardiology to a high level. I have been shadowing specialists at The Ralph and Cambridge Vet School, attending advanced practical and theory courses, and I’m about to start a Certificate in Cardiology. I am happy to scan – staging of mitral valve disease, diagnosis of cause of acquired murmurs, diagnosis of cause and severity of congenital heart conditions, suspected clinical DCM (but not sub-clinical), investigation into dyspnoea, and pericardial fluid investigation and draining. I love feline cardiology so if you have any cats you are concerned about their hearts (murmur, arrhythmia or gallop rhythm present) then I would be delighted to scan them.
  • Ocular ultrasound.
  • Pregnancy confirmation from 28 days.
  • FAST scans in urgent care settings.

I have a folding echocardiography table which is suitable for dogs up to very large and modified for cats. The ultrasound machine has an ECG function for gross monitoring and timing of measurements – if you require an ECG service then please ask.

I also offers ultrasound-guided sampling – cystocentesis, fluid aspirates, FNA and core-biopsies, prostatic washes, neoplasia staging, cholecystocentesis (sampling the gall bladder). Equipment is carried to perform these so you don’t need to stock expensive infrequently used kit such as core biopsy needles. Sampling is a very useful complementary diagnostic test for telling what the disease process is that has caused the observed changes – is it inflammatory, infection or neoplasia?

I provide practical CPD on ultrasonography – abdominal, hearts, AFAST and TFAST. Read more on the ‘CPD and Training’ page. I am happy to provide CPD on many medicine topics (such as pancreatitis, Cushings and chronic enteropathies) and related subjects such as responsible anti-microbial use (a core part of the Practice Standards Scheme). I also love feline cardiology so if you’d like a talk on this then please let me know – I’ll be purring! VetArtis is about the art of veterinary, not just the pure clinical. If you would be interested in a well-being crafting session then these can be organised for daytimes or evenings. Please contact me to discuss ideas.

In which cases is ultrasonography useful?

Every medicine case needs an ultrasound examination at some point! Not only is it extremely useful as a diagnostic tool, especially if you know something is not right but are not sure what, it also allows collection of targeted samples to aid the definitive diagnosis and treatment plan.

  • Unexplained weight loss, inappetence or cachexia.
  • Suspected neoplasia e.g. abnormality on abdominal palpation, peritoneal or pleural fluid.
  • Neoplasia staging.
  • Pyrexia of unknown origin work-ups.
  • Immune-mediated disease work-ups.
  • Work-up of hypercalcaemia.
  • Renal disease – pyelonephritis, polycystic kidneys, nephrolithiasis, renal lymphoma, big-kidney-little-kidney syndrome.
  • Urinary disease – investigation of incontinence, recurrent UTIs and uroliths.
  • Gastrointestinal disease – from acute obstructions and intussusception to inflammatory conditions (‘chronic enteropathies’) and lymphoma, and of course pancreatitis.
  • Liver and bile tree disease – acute or chronic, cholangitis/cholangiohepititis, choleliths.
  • Reproductive disease – prostatic disease including prostatic washes.

Remember that ultrasound is not always able to give a definitive diagnosis and this is especially true if there is a mass as the image alone does not reveal the tissue type or disease process. This is why it is important to plan if samples are needing to be taken – these can be done at the time of the initially booked scan or a repeat visit can be organised to obtain the samples. The latter may be recommended if, for example, clotting times cannot be obtained in-house prior to a core needle biopsy procedure.

Non-cardiac thoracic ultrasound is incredibly useful to assess pleural fluid and possible causes, presence of diaphragmatic rupture or peritoneopericardical hernia, lung lobe torsions and pulmonary infiltrates and consolidation (inflammatory, infectious or neoplastic). Ocular ultrasound is very useful to check intraocular structures if there is corneal opacity, lens opacity or anterior chamber opacity, and examining the retrobulbar space. I have a high frequency probe that obtains good definition on intra-ocular structures.