Basic Tenets of Performing Ultrasound in Veterinary Medicine

September 1, 2018

As a veteran of veterinary ultrasounds, Mark Howes, DVM, DACVR, radiologist at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, shares some of his tips for veterinarians learning to master ultrasound techniques.

As a veteran of veterinary ultrasounds, Mark Howes, DVM, DACVR, radiologist at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, shares some of his tips for veterinarians learning to master ultrasound techniques.

What seems to me a simple process of holding your hand still, and looking at an image it's very common that the hand tends to wander away from, for instance, if you're looking at the kidney

it kind of tends to drift off of the kidney. So, holding your hand still is a skill and it is very, very important when you're kind of looking at a specific organ. Another skill that needs to be learned, is just the actual interaction of the hand-eye coordination. It's very challenging to

move that probe exactly where you want it to go, and if you have to spend a lot of time thinking about where which direction to move it's a challenge. So, moving the probe and just hand-eye coordination is something that comes with time.

The last tip that I would discuss with somebody about learning ultrasound, is the ability to rotate the probe 90 degrees without moving the actual the actual image. For instance, if you're looking at a long view of the aorta, then it extends the entire the field. If you rotate 90 degrees it ends up being a very small circle and that going from long axis to short axis is a very challenging event for the new beginner. So, it's a skill that, as you're confirming whether or not this is a lymph node or some other organ, turning back 90 degrees is a is a tremendous skill.