Canine Pregnancy Scanning West Midlands is based in Kingswinford, close to the larger towns of Stourbridge and Dudley. Julie founded her business in 2015, after building up two years of scanning experience and undertaking her level 1 training course with VIS.
The greatest joy of pregnancy scanning is being able to deliver good news to people, and Julie particularly enjoys performing follow up scans. “The best part of the job is giving owners the good news that their bitch is pregnant, and I especially enjoy doing follow up 6 – 7 week scans where clients are amazed that they can see the the fetus resembling a puppy, see an active heartbeat and see the pups moving. However, my most memorable scans are the ones where I find something that doesn’t look normal and refer to the vet, generally where I see what I believe is a Pyometra infection, which can be fatal if not treated.” Julie has been commended by local veterinarians for referring dogs for life-saving treatment, and Julie has even once found closed pyometra in one of her own bitches. “That certainly made everything worthwhile to save my own girl’s life.”
Julie is dedicated to the service that she offers, and is concerned about the quality of newer scanning services that are emerging. “I see many people advertising on social media who have been on a short one day course and set themselves up in business the next day as a scanner and offering a range of fertility treatments.” This is not only dangerous, but can tarnish the industry as a whole: “I see many clients here who have become disillusioned with the services offered by layman scanners after being given bad advice.” This is a picture we’re seeing replicated across the country, and why it’s so important to use trained, experienced, accredited scanners.
Julie’s experience also means that she knows immediately when something is wrong and needs veterinary attention. As well as incidental findings of pyometra, “I have scanned a number of bitches after whelping to check everything has been expelled. Some are completely empty, and some have retained placentas, but my heart stops when I find retained puppies as I have to break the news to the owner. Two bitches I scanned recently had retained puppies with no heartbeat. These cases have to be referred to a vet where the bitch usually needs a c section to remove the dead pup.”
A service that goes beyond ultrasound
AUA accredited scanners are true experts in their field. In Julie’s case, she has been showing and breeding Rough Collies for over 30 years (and has been on the Committee of the Midland Collie Club and also the Club Secretary), which gives her the knowledge and experience necessary to provide other breeders with support that goes well beyond scanning. Julie is always updating her knowledge and attending further training. Most recently, Julie has attended a canine nutrition course, and will now be offering free nutrition advice for pregnant bitches with her scans.
In addition to dogs, Julie also happily scans cats and rabbits.
“A scan I will never forget is one of my very early scans, which was before I did my scanning course, the lady was sent to me via a friend of a friend and it was an accidental mating. I couldn’t see any fetal sacs, but said if she was concerned to bring her back to be rescanned in a week. She came back another twice, still no sign of pups, but I had to agree with the owner that the bitch looked very pregnant and even had milk. I started to worry I was missing something and I was mortified when I received a text some weeks later from the owner to say she had come down that morning to the bitch and three pups… She then came back with another text a few minutes later to say ‘gotcha’, April fool (it was April 1st). To say I was relieved I was correct all along was an understatement!”
You can see more on Julie’s website, caninepregnancyscanning.com , and you can visit her AUA dog ultrasound profile here: Dog scanning West Midlands.