Diagnostic Imaging: Outpatient Ultrasound
The Veterinary Teaching Hospital's team of dedicated radiologists offers state-of-the-art outpatient ultrasound imaging services for private practice veterinarians who, as a referring practitioner, remain responsible for the patient's primary care, including management of the patient up to and following the ultrasound procedure. This outpatient service is available only upon referral from a practicing veterinarian.
Available ultrasound exams
- An abdominal exam includes a complete systematic evaluation of the abdominal organs.
- A thoracic exam is useful to identify mediastinal or pleural disease, especially if the animal has pleural effusion. Evaluation of lung disease is limited to patients with severe pulmonary infiltrate.
- A pregnancy exam is an abbreviated lower-cost exam limited to the female genital track. It is useful to diagnosis early pregnancy and assess fetal viability, but is not an accurate method to determine the number of fetii in late pregnancy.
- A partial exam is a recheck of a previously completed ultrasound exam, or a limited exam of a single body system (e.g., urinary, hepatobiliary, GI, etc.).
- Invasive procedures, such as biopsies, will not be performed as an outpatient procedure. Because of their higher risk, these procedures require a referral through one of our established services.
- Echocardiography is not offered as an outpatient service. Echocardiograms are available by referral to our Cardiology Service, which offers full-service cardiac evaluations.
Instructions for referring veterinarians
- The primary care veterinarian should complete the Ultrasound Request Form and submit it to our Radiology Department by fax to 540-231-9238 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once the form has been reviewed and processed, the client will receive a phone call from our hospital staff to arrange the appointment.
- The animal will be required to be up to date on rabies vaccination. The date of the last rabies vaccination will be requested on the imaging ordering form.
- Please provide any previous imaging studies to the radiologist to facilitate a complete imaging diagnosis.
- To ensure the animal's state of health and to provide useful information to our specialists, recent blood work — depending on the specific area of interest — is required for outpatient ultrasound.
|Area of interest||Required blood work|
Because the presence of food in a patient's stomach makes it difficult for the ultrasound to evaluate the cranial abdomen, the animal should not eat for 12 hours prior to the procedure. Please instruct owners to not feed their animal after 8 p.m. the night before the exam; the animal can have free access to fresh water.
- Scheduling and appointment duration: Ultrasound appointments are generally available every day, typically starting at 9:30 a.m. The veterinarian ordering the procedure must have recently examined the patient and must indicate on the ordering form that the patient is sufficiently stable to stay in a holding facility for up to 8 hours. The Veterinary Teaching Hospital will provide appointments for less-stable patients, but not through the outpatient service. A typical ultrasound exam takes about 45-60 minutes.
- Clipping of hair: To ensure the best possible results, we will clip the patient over the area of interest. For most abdominal exams, the clipped area will extend from the last few ribs to the brim of the pelvis and about one-third of the way up the side towards the back. Depending on the specific areas being examined and the patient's body shape, a larger area may need to be clipped.
- Prior to discharge, the radiologist will call the referring veterinarian to discuss findings.
- Upon the patient's discharge, the client will be emailed a link to the ultrasound and will receive verbal discharge information.
- Within 24-48 hours of the exam, a CD with images will be mailed and the imaging report will be faxed to the referring veterinarian.
- Within 24-48 hours of the exam, an email will be sent to the referring veterinarian, which will include a link to the ultrasound images and a written report.
Instructions for pet owners
The purpose of our Outpatient Ultrasound Service is to provide your primary care veterinarian access to ultrasound exams. This service is only available through your veterinarian.
- Your veterinarian will remain responsible for the management of your pet up to and following the exam.
- Your veterinarian will be responsible for ordering the exam, and all results will be sent directly to him or her.
- Your veterinarian will be responsible for discussing these results with you and making recommendations for further diagnostic procedures or treatment options.
- Your pet should not eat for 12 hours prior to the procedure; do not give your animal any food after 8 p.m. the night before the exam. The presence of food in the stomach interferes with ultrasound exams of the abdomen.
- You should continue to provide your pet with free access to fresh water.
- If your pet is on any medications, ask your primary care veterinarian for instructions.
- After checking in with the Small Animal Hospital's reception staff, you will be greeted by a member of our radiology team, and your pet will be taken to our ultrasound suite.
- A typical ultrasound exam lasts approximately 45-60 minutes.
- The radiologist will call your primary care veterinarian after the exam to discuss findings.
- When the exam is complete, your pet will be returned to you, and you will be emailed a link to access the ultrasound images.
- A written radiology report will be sent directly to your veterinarian within 24-48 hours. Your veterinarian will discuss the findings of the exam with you and will make recommendations for further diagnostic procedures or treatment options.
- To ensure the best possible results, we will clip your pet's hair over the area of interest.
- For most abdominal exams, the clipped area will extend from the last few ribs to the brim of the pelvis, and about one-third of the way up the side towards the back. Depending on the specific areas being examined and your pet's body shape, a larger area may need to be clipped.
Fees and payments
Ultrasound procedural fee
- Abdominal exam: $260
- Thoracic, pregnancy, or partial exam: $185
Outpatient professional fee
- This fee is $75.
- The professional fee includes the physical exam, image interpretation, and reports.
Payment-in-full is required at the time of discharge. The following forms of payment are accepted:
- In-person: Cash, personal check, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
- Online payments: eCheck, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
- By phone: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
(Refund requests will be reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis.)
Please call the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Business Office at 540-231-6027 if you have questions.