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  • Ultrasound-Guided Aspirates


    It isn’t only humans that can develop unusual lumps and bumps on or inside their body. Although there may be some clues in the size, texture or overall appearance of the lump, often it is impossible for even an experienced vet to determine what type it is just by looking at it. To do further investigation, your vet may recommend that your pet has something known as an ultrasound-guided aspirate.


    What Is An Ultrasound?


    An ultrasound is a very common form of diagnostic testing in humans and pets alike and is used to assessing what is happening inside the body. The process involves using a special probe that is placed onto the area of your pet’s body that is giving cause for concern. In this case, this will be the area where the lump/bump is located.


    The ultrasound itself uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. These images, called sonograms, are made by bouncing off of dense surfaces such as organs and tumors. For example, ultrasound waves will travel straight through a gallbladder if there are no gallstones, but if gallstones are present then it will bounce back from them. This echo creates varying shades of grey depending on the density of the object that has deflected the sound waves.


    The process to take an ultrasound-guided fine needles aspirate is fairly painless and often carried out without the need for anesthesia or sedation. Your pet will be able to go home immediately afterward and will have no lasting effects from the process.


    Collection of Samples Through Ultrasound


    Cytology specimens can be collected during an ultrasound examination. These samples are known as ultrasound-guided fine need aspirates and this is because the ultrasound image is what is used to locate the site to be sampled. By using the ultrasound image in this way, your veterinarian can ensure total precision and accuracy when taking the cytology specimen.


    What Happens With The Specimen?


    The specimen that is collected during an ultrasound-guided aspirate is then sent off to a laboratory for testing to determine what it is. This will enable us to make an accurate diagnosis and make a recommendation for treatment for your pet based upon the findings.




    If you have further questions about ultrasound-guided aspirates, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our emergency animal care team here at the Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego in San Diego, CA by calling 858-842-5600.