Tools of the trade: Acuson Cypress ultrasound

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Acuson-Cypress_PPReview by Dr Grant Belonje, Childers Veterinary Surgery, Childers, QLD

We inherited this ultrasound from another practice and it’s been a very useful machine. It gives more detailed information than an X-ray and has a wide range of uses.

What’s good about it It’s a non-invasive way of diagnosing pregnancies in dogs. On top of that, it’s great for showing clients those pregnancies—seeing puppies and their heartbeats is definitely a big winner. It’s also very handy for checking dogs after de-sexing to make sure there is no bleeding. There are always those dogs you worry about and the ultrasound allows you to put your mind at rest. It has three different sized probes to suit a number of different situations. I used the smaller probe recently to show a client a detached retina in their dog. You don’t need to be an expert at ultrasonography to get a good understanding of what is happening. Even a new graduate could diagnose a splenic tumour or a pericardial effusion. It’s possible to freeze the screen or print images to help explain to clients exactly what they are seeing. Images can also be transferred to a USB stick and given to clients. The unit folds up into a nice little case with wheels that we can move between our clinics. We are a mixed practice and if a vet needs to visit a farm, they can easily take it with them if required.

What’s not so good One thing that will scare any practice owner is dropping one of the probes and cracking it. They are made out of a special crystal and cost a fortune to replace. The other negative is that it can’t see through gas. A pocket of gas in an abdomen causes the beam to bounce back to the machine and you can’t see anything.

Where did you get it It was given to us from another veterinary clinic that was upgrading its equipment.

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