List of Services

Sedation and/or anesthesia of the patient is the responsibility of the referring veterinarian. The staff of HKVUS will be happy to discuss options and also provide any local anesthesia that is required.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Bladder, prostate, reproductive tract, intra-abdominal lymph nodes, kidneys, adrenals, spleen, stomach, pancreas, small & large intestine, liver, gallbladder & biliary tract, great vessels and mesenteric & serosal surfaces are evaluated.

If warranted, ultrasound guided aspirates and/or biopsies can be performed subsequent to the initial scan. Please ensure that patients are fasted(NPO) for at least twelve hours prior to the scan with the exception of obligate drinkers. Gastrointestinal contents such as gas and ingesta can make the ultrasound exam very challenging and ultimately affect the diagnostic capabilities.

Micro-convex, linear and convex probes are used alone or in combination in an effort to visualize all intra-abdominal structures. Even the largest patients can be scanned efficiently and with a high degree of sensitivity.

Ultrasound examination for porto-systemic shunts is available.


Foremost, echocardiography allows us to determine very quickly whether your patient’s clinical signs are attributable to cardiac disease. This will allow you to advance the treatment of your patient in a timely fashion and reduce unnecessary costs and therapies.

Once the problem has been determined to be cardiac in origin we can then evaluate or confirm the presence of:

  • Valve structure & motion (prolapse)
  • Chamber sizes
  • Systolic function (myocardial contractility)
  • Diastolic function
  • Wall thicknesses
  • Arrhythmia(s)
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Congenital defects
  • Pericardial space
  • Heart base tumours

This information is collected through the use of two-dimensional and M-mode imaging and colour-flow, pulsed wave and continuous wave Doppler. We are happy to discuss the echocardiographic findings with you but also recognize the importance of veterinary cardiologists in the management of your patients. When appropriate we will recommend a second opinion by our cardiologist and assist in getting all the necessary information to them. Systemic blood pressure will be measured as part of the echocardiographic examination.

Thoracic Ultrasound

Every attempt will be made to evaluate the non-cardiac thoracic structures as well as the heart. Linear and micro-convex probes are used to provide as much detail as possible regarding the sternal lymph nodes, lung masses or consolidated lung tissue, parietal pleural masses, mediastinal masses and the pleural space. Please note that only lung lesions within the equatorial regions of the lung lobes are amenable to scanning.

Thoracocentesis and/or ultrasound guided FNA or biopsy of thoracic masses can be performed subsequent to the initial scan. Please schedule these patients for the morning so that they can be observed over the day should they have an aspirate or biopsy procedure.

Thyro-Parathyroid Complex and Cervical Ultrasound

Ultrasound of this complex is extremely helpful for those patients with unexplained hypercalcemia or a palpable cervical mass. In addition, by using a high frequency linear probe we are able to obtain detailed images of the salivary glands, the esophagus, great vessels, cervical musculature and the regional lymph nodes. Ethanol ablation of parathyroid adenomas is available upon request.

Pregnancy Ultrasound

Ultrasound is very sensitive for the diagnosis of pregnancy. Although pregnancy can be diagnosed as early as 17-19 days in dogs and 11-14 days in cats we recommend scanning at 21-25 days. Fetal viability is assessed by heart rate and fetal movement. Please note that we will always estimate fetal numbers +/- two fetuses.


Ultrasound of the musculoskeletal system is challenging and requires a very high frequency linear transducer. Using a probe with 18mHz capabilities allows us to see the internal architecture of masses or swelling which are the most common reason for performing the ultrasound. In addition we are able to detect lesions of the tendons and ligaments, distension of tendon sheaths and in some instances foreign bodies that are not visible on radiographs.

Interventional and Diagnostic Procedures

The following procedures can be performed at the time of the ultrasound or at a later date if desired:

  • Pericardiocentesis (*)
  • Thoracocentesis
  • Abdominocentesis
  • Gall bladder aspirate for culture
  • Cystocentesis
  • Pyelocentesis for culture
  • Ultrasound guided tru-cut biopsies

(*) We will be sure to discuss the risks associated with this procedure and the alternatives available.

Although not a prerequisite, a coagulation profile may be performed at the discretion of the primary clinician prior to needle aspiration procedures. Our mobile PT/aPTT testing unit is available on request for immediate on-site evaluation of coagulation times.

All supplies necessary for needle aspiration procedures will be provided and are included in the procedure fee. If aspiration for culture is requested, clinics should prepare their own culture tubes as appropriate [in the case of biliary culture, both aerobic and anaerobic medium are commended].

A coagulation profile and direct blood smear evaluation for platelets are required prior to any biopsies. We would ask that clients be informed of this requirement and that they sign the appropriate consent form. Ideally biopsies are performed in the morning to that you can evaluate your patient over the duration of the day. Twelve hour fasting (NPO) is also very important.