Ultrasound is a way to image the dog or cat with sound waves so you can see detailed images of every organ, the abdomen, and you can see the heart and all of its chambers. You can see things moving through the GI tract. You can see each individual layer of the GI tract. It's a really detailed image of everything in the abdomen and the heart. Ultrasounds are very safe, but there's no downtime for the pet. We usually get them to fast for 10 to 12 hours so that they have an empty stomach, and then we shave their abdomen. Then we lay them on their back and put ultrasound gel or alcohol. As soon as we're done, we wipe it off, and they're good to go. There's no pain or discomfort. Some of them even fall asleep while they're lying there. They really do well. Some pets require sedation, but that's pretty rare. We usually use light sedation, so by that evening, they're feeling fine, and they can go back to eating dinner and everything, but there's really no downtime. The biggest benefit is diagnosis. Now that we have advanced ultrasound in practice, we can cut down on a lot more of the exploratory surgeries and things like that. It's really important that we have it here. It's like a huge benefit that we have something like that in the hospital that we can use, and we don't have to go in and do surgery. It feels like cheating. You can see right into the abdomen and see exactly what's going on. It's really helpful.
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