Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sorta Bad News

Today I had the opportunity to take an ultrasound training class run by a veterinary radiologist. I was fortunate enough to meet a veterinarian who has been very generous to me over the past year. She invited me to this private class even though I no longer work for her. I had done some relief work for her last year.

So we had a bunch of dogs and cats. Most of them had problems of some sort. It was a very educational experience. Even though I've played with the ultrasound machine at my current job, I didn't have any "formal" training. Today I definitely picked up some tips/tricks in technique and positioning that I believe will help me going forward. Of course, the biggest help is simply numbers and experience - the more patients you do, the better you get!

I had my own dog, Eggroll, 8yrs old there as a small sized dog model. He's been doing ok but a few years back he was a sick little boy. He was vomiting and not eating. After running blood work and x-rays and finding nothing abnormal, we did an abdominal ultrasound on him. He was diagnosed with pyelonephritis, a kidney infection that often causes dogs or cats to be very sick but can be difficult to diagnose. He was treated with antibiotics and has been health since then. 

I was curious what his kidney's looked like now. Well, as it turns out, that infection likely altered the architecture of his kidneys (and thus the function too). The kidneys have two layers - a cortex (outer layer) and medulla (inner layer). These are very distinct on ultrasound in a healthy dog or cat. In my dog, they are not as distinct. 

Normal dog kidney on ultrasound

It's nothing to "freak out" about but it does mean I need to be vigilant with biannual blood work on him and be in tune to any subtle changes that could indicate decreased renal function.

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