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Ultrasound, Radiology, Diagnostics, & Endoscopy

What is an Ultrasound?

Ultrasonography (i.e., ultrasound) is a diagnostic technique that images the body’s inner structure and is usually used in conjunction with radiography (X-rays) and other diagnostic measures. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including examination of an animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder and bladder, or to determine and monitor a pregnancy. An ultrasound can also detect potentially harmful fluid, cysts, tumors and abscesses.

Ultrasound Specifics

This procedure is noninvasive and painless. It is performed by applying a transducer, a small handheld tool, to the part of the body from which an ultrasound image is needed. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface in order to create a more accurate visual image. Sound waves are emitted from the transducer into the body, where they bounce off various organs. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are projected onto a viewing monitor. This process does not involve radiation.

For your convenience, our ultrasound technology is digital, so images and results can be sent electronically to board-certified radiologists for same-day consultations, as needed.

Digital Radiology (X-Ray)

What is Digital Radiology?

Radiographs (i.e., X-rays) allow our doctors to see tissues, organs and bones beneath your pet’s skin. Digital radiographs are diagnostic tests that may be recommended for numerous reasons. Abdominal radiographs are used to examine pets with symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal wounds and trauma. They are also helpful if a pet is suspected of having swallowed a foreign object. Our doctors may also recommend radiographs if a blood screening reveals a potential problem with an internal organ, such as the liver or kidneys. Chest radiographs are usually recommended for pets having difficulty breathing or those suspected of having heart or lung disease. Radiographs of the bones and joints are used to evaluate lameness or spinal pain.

Benefits of Digital Radiology

Because Sunset Animal Hospital utilizes digital radiography, we are able to produce higher quality diagnostic images in a shorter amount of time than traditional machines. The digital machine eliminates the need to use an X-ray processor to develop the film. Instead, the images are displayed to our technicians on a computer monitor within seconds. If needed, digital radiographs may be sent via the Internet to specialists for further evaluation, or they may also be copied to a CD for clients to view on their personal computers. Digital radiology also dramatically decreases radiation exposure to your pet.

Diagnostic Laboratory

Our hospital is equipped with the most advanced in-house laboratory available. Some of the services we are able to provide onsite include but are not limited to:

  • Bloodwork (e.g., Chemistries, CBC, Electrolytes)
  • Urinalysis
  • Cytology
  • Fecal Analyses

If needed, we also have daily access to a larger lab and lab specialists, such as pathologists. In any case, there is no better laboratory service than what is offered at Sunset Animal Hospital. Rest assured, we are equipped and trained to quickly diagnose your pet’s ailment so that effective treatment can begin sooner.


An endoscope is a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera located at the end. High-powered fiber-optic technology allows for direct visual examination of your pet’s gastrointestinal system and respiratory passages. Endoscopy may also be used to collect small biopsy samples from the lining of the throat, nose, lungs, stomach, intestine or colon. In some cases, a foreign object may be removed using the endoscope, thereby eliminating the need for an invasive surgery.