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Ultrasound & Endoscopy

Ultrasound and Endoscopy are both becoming an important part of veterinary medicine. They help us diagnose and sometimes even treat "invisible" conditions by looking "inside" the patient in detail. Ultrasound, as the name implies, uses sound waves whereas endoscopy utilizes a flexible fiber optic scope to see inside.


With ultrasound we can examine and measure internal organs or tumors, diagnose pregnancy and take biopsies of major internal organs by using ultrasound as a guide. Thoracic ultrasounds give the doctor important information on the functioning of the heart. This is especially important for pets with suspected congenital heart problems or heart failure. Often, the major organs in the abdomen are given an ultrasound to obtain additional information that an x-ray alone can't provide. This procedure gives the doctor an active view of the organs. We commonly view the bladder, kidneys, spleen, liver, adrenal glands, stomach and pancreas on an abdominal ultrasound.

Endoscopy allows the clinician to view areas such as the trachea, stomach and colon without the use of surgery. Procedures commonly performed with the endoscope include: retrieval of swallowed objects from the stomach, stomach and large intestine examination and biopsy, as well as examination of the upper airways.

Patients benefit greatly from these methods, as there is less recovery time. For example, a patient having an exploratory surgery to search for an abdominal tumor may take days in the hospital to recover whereas patients being assessed with an ultrasound or endoscopy would likely be home with their owners the same day.


Dr. Elizabeth Shaker (Diplomat, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) and Dr. Lisa Dietrich, are both an integral part of the medical team here at Nassau Veterinary Clinic. If an ultrasound or endoscopic exam is indicated for your pet, you will both appreciate their kind touch and gentle demeanor.