by Dr David Hare, Cape Hawke Veterinary Hospital, Forster, NSW
A lot of veterinary practices buy second-hand ultrasound machines from maternity wards. The problem with that is the transducer—the head—is too large for animal work. To get a clear ultrasound image with an animal, the ultrasound needs a micro-convex head. This Mindray unit is designed for veterinary work and gives great results.
What’s good about it
It’s reasonably priced, portable, has the micro-convex head and a range from 5 megahertz to 9.5 megahertz. The megahertz range is very important as the frequency needs to be higher for use with animals. Most human ultrasounds are only 3 to 5 megahertz. When the megahertz range is higher, there’s a loss in the depth of penetration. Scanning a human abdomen that contains a baby needs a lower range in order for the ultrasound to penetrate completely.
An animal abdomen is much smaller so that a higher frequency has ample penetration and creates an image with better definition. The micro-convex head and 9.5 megahertz setting achieves great results for pretty much everything in smaller animal work.
This unit is fast, creates a high-quality image and the small head is perfect for all animal work.
What’s not so good
Even though some people might see it as an advantage, there’s so much you can do with this machine that it’s a bit overwhelming. It comes with three manuals and most users seem to only scratch the surface of its capabilities. To be honest, I simply don’t have time to wade through all the manuals, so I’m just using it as a simple ultrasound unit.