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Ultrasound system with real-time 2-D, M-mode, Doppler ultrasound and cardiac
computer calculation packages.
A sector scanning probe with a small transducer footprint is required to between
the rib spaces, and allow good flexibility to obtain the various imaging planes.
Ideally a choice of transducers, from 3.5 to 7.5 MHz, is necessary image the
range of sizes of dogs and cats. The choice of only one probe 5MHz) is limiting,
but two probes (e.g. 3.5MHz and 7.5 MHz, or 5MHz 7.5 MHz) are satisfactory.
A suitable table on which to lie the animal and a comfortable position which
to perform an echocardiographic examination (which may take an hour) is essential.
To obtain good images of the heart, the animal is in lateral recumbency and scanned
from its dependent side. This brings heart closer to the transducer and the weight
of the heart presses the lung to the side, reducing interference due to lung
artifact. To achieve this position it is necessary to lie the animal on a table
with an appropriate U-shaped cut-out (
A record of the echocardiographic examination can be made by video and/or by
printer or photography. A suitable video recorder should be able to scroll slowly
and freeze on an image for closer study (more expensive ultrasound systems contain