Regular visitors to the Vet Image Solutions website will no doubt be familiar with the many different ways practitioners use ultrasound. This week, however, I wanted to take a slightly different approach, and start a ‘mini-series’ that will look at the use of ultrasound in different animal species. I wanted to start off this mini-series by discussing the concept of veterinary ultrasound and what you can expect to read over the next few weeks. Although it may seem like common sense, I find that there is a slight misconception associated with the term ‘veterinary’. The veterinary species is an umbrella term for a multitude of animals, from the domestic pets such as cats and dogs to farm animals such as cows, horses, sheep and even chickens! Consequently, this mini-series is going to focus on the role ultrasound can play in the more conventional of the veterinary species before ending by looking at a somewhat more unusual member of the veterinary world.

One of the major advantages of veterinary ultrasound that links all of the veterinary species together is the ability of one ultrasound machine to be used on a variety of animals. As an example, the SonoScape A6v ultrasound machine is able to scan a variety of animals including cats, dogs, horses, cows and sheep. Consequently, the SonoScape A6v perfectly highlights how ultrasound imaging can be considered a useful tool across the veterinary species irrespective of a difference in size and weight of the animal being examined (just make sure you choose the right probe – for more information please see previous article ‘A rather probing issue’).

Over the next few weeks I am going to discuss three different conditions that affect three different animal species and the importance of veterinary ultrasound. The first article looks at Polycystic Kidney Disease in the cat, whilst the second discusses Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, an affliction of our canine friends. Both of these conditions may not exclusively affect the specific animal being discussed, but rather may be more commonly diagnosed in these animals relative to others. The last article in this mini-series takes a slightly different approach, and discusses the use of ultrasonography in diagnosing ovarian tumour in chickens.

This series aims to clearly and simply explain a number of illnesses and diseases that can affect the veterinary species, and how ultrasound imaging can be considered a very useful and practical application in helping to detect/diagnose these conditions. The mini-series kicks off next time by looking at the incidence of Polycystic Kidney Disease in cats with the help of veterinary ultrasound…you won’t want to miss it!