Ultrasound & Digital X-rays


At Premier Vet Care, we recommend to perform preventive ultrasounds once a year starting at age 1 on both dogs and cats.

An ultrasound scan, also referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic sonography, and ultrasonography, is a device that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of some part of the inside of the body. Sound waves, rather than radiation, are safe. Dr. Josh frequently uses utrasonography to check on puppies and kittens while still in the womb. Dr. Josh also uses ultrasonography as a preventive measure to catch a disease in its early stages (when it's curable or treatable) as opposed to catching it late when it could be fatal. At Premier Vet Care, Dr. Josh recommends yearly ultrasounds. Ultrasound scans are used to detect problems in the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, or anything else in the abdomen. Dr. Josh commonly uses the ultrasound in combination with a fine-needle-aspirate to determine if an abdominal growth is cancerous or not. And if it is cancerous, and the tumor is detected early enough, Dr. Josh can go in and surgically remove it before it spreads. 

pet ultrasound

The word "ultrasound", in physics, refers to all sound with a frequency humans cannot hear. In diagnostic sonography, the ultrasound is usually between 2 and 18 MHz. Higher frequencies provide better quality images, but are more readily absorbed by the skin and other tissue, so they cannot penetrate as deeply as lower frequencies. Lower frequencies can penetrate deeper, but the image quality is inferior.

What is the difference between an Ultrasound Scan and a Sonogram?

  • An ultrasound scan is the procedure, the event

  • A sonogram is the image produced when an ultrasound scan is performed

How does Ultrasonography work?

Although ultrasound travels through soft tissue and fluids, it bounces back off denser surfaces. Ultrasound waves will travel through blood, for example in the heart chamber, but much of it will echo (bounce back) when hitting a heart valve.

If there are no solid gallstones in
 the gallbladder, ultrasound will travel straight through, but when there are stones, ultrasound will bounce back from them. This is the same for bladder and kidney stones.

The denser the object the ultrasound hits, the more of it bounces back.

The bouncing back, or echo, is what gives the ultrasound image its features - varying shades of gray reflect different densities.

What to do before bringing your animal in for an ultrasound? 

1) Feed your pet within 2 hours before coming in.

2) Don't let your pet urinate for at least 2 hours before coming in.

Dog with Ultrasound machine

Digital X-Rays

"I recommend yearly X-rays of the heart and bones so that we can effectively prevent heart disease and arthritis." -Dr. Josh Cope

At Premier Vet Care Animal Clinic, we are very pleased to have a state-of-the-art digital X-ray processing unit!  Digital X-rays provide a host of benefits for a veterinary practice and its patients.  They are much faster, far safer, easier to share, and provide superior results in comparison to traditional film X-rays.

A lot of time is saved by digital radiography since we bypass the chemical processing step that is necessary when taking X-rays on film. One of the greatest benefits of digital X-rays is the increased safety it provides for patients and staff members alike. Less radiation is used to produce a digital X-ray image than is used in producing an X-ray image on film. Less exposure to radiation translates to a safer experience for our patients and a less hazardous work environment for our staff. Since digital X-rays allow us to skip the chemical processing step that is a necessary part of developing X-rays on film, there is a huge reduction in chemical usage and hazardous material waste.  This means that digital X-rays are not only safer for our patients and our staff, but also for our natural environment as well.


Sharing X-rays is important when seeking specialist consultations. Digital X-ray files make this a snap, providing critical  information more quickly in emergency cases.

Digital X-ray gives us an image quality far superior to traditional film. The diagnostic power of digital X-ray allows us to discover disease sooner and identify problems with greater accuracy. With digital X-ray, we now have the ability to apply special image processing techniques that can enhance the overall display of the image. This means that Dr. Josh can review X-ray images with our clients and show and explain their findings with greater ease. 

We are proud to be able to offer digital X-ray services to our clients! So, next time your canine or feline companion needs to have an X-ray done, rest assured that we offer nothing but the best!

Benefits of Digital Radiography in Small Dogs & Cats:Digital X-ray with spoon in stomach

  • -Diagnosing and medicating a collapsing trachea at an earlier age.
    -Diagnosing and medicating congenital heart deformities at an earlier age.
    -Diagnosing fractures and luxations.
    -Staging Heartworm Disease.
    Evaluating metastatic cancer. 
    -Diagnosing pneumonia.

    -Diagnosing and treating bladder or kidney stones.
    -Evaluating the severity of arthritis later in life. 

           Normal Heart                                          Heart Failure
Normal HeartHeart Failure

Benefits of Digital Radiography in Large Dogs:

-Diagnosing congenital hip dyplasia. Dr. Josh recommends X-raying all large breed dogs at 2 years of age even if clinical signs are not evident yet. If hip dysplasia is evident at 2 years, you can start joint supplementation so that the disease can be slowed down and your large dog can walk better later in life.Fracture
-Diagnosing gastric dilatation volvulus "when the stomach flips". This is life threatening and requires emergency surgery. In order to prevent this from happening, Dr. Josh recommends a gastropexy "stomach tacking" when all large breed dogs are spayed or neutered.
-Diagnosing fracture and luxations.
-Staging Heartworm Disease.
-Evaluating metastatic cancer.
-Diagnosing pneumonia.
-Diagnosing and treating bladder and kidney stones. 
-Evaluating the severity of arthritis later in life. 

Good HipsHip Dysplasia

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