VCA Canada CARE Centre’s Ultrasound department employs two on-site veterinary specialists: Dr. Tim Spotswood who is Diplomate of the European Board of Diagnostic Imaging and Dr. Danny Joffe who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Practitioners.

Diagnostic ultrasound is a non-invasive test in which safe, high frequency sound waves are passed into the body using a small transducer. This same transducer receives echoes of the sound waves coming back from internal structures. A powerful computer then interprets the returning echoes producing an accurate picture of the internal anatomy. Ultrasound has been utilized in veterinary medicine since the early eighties, and advancement in technology and expertise in both acquiring and interpreting ultrasound images makes it a very valuable diagnostic test.

In cases of heart disease, ultrasound can be utilized to image the heart in real time to help determine the cause, the severity, and in many cases to help guide therapy for the cardiac problem. It is also very valuable to non-invasively image internal structures of the abdomen to help diagnose and treat disease of the abdominal organs, often replacing exploratory surgery. Ultrasound is used to evaluate tendons and muscles and other smaller structures such as the thyroid gland and lymph nodes. Ultrasound also allows precise targeting and guided sampling of lesion by needle aspiration or core needle biopsy. Further research continues to expand the ways in which this safe and non-invasive diagnostic tool can be utilized to help maximize care for pets. 

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