Why use a professional to get your dog scanned?
What does a pregnancy scan entail?
- Most scanners are able to scan in a variety of positions, so that your animal can stand or be held during her scan, depending on how she is most comfortable.
- Some scanners may ask if they can shave a very small patch of hair along the midlife of a particularly hairy dog, in order to obtain clearer pictures for you. Learn more about this below.
- Ultrasound gel will be applied to your dog’s belly. You can understand why, below.
- A scan can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes, and your chosen scanner can advise you on how long he or she typically spends. Scan time will also depend upon your animal – if she isn’t pregnant, the scan is likely to be quick; similarly, if she is impatient or agitated, the scanner won’t be able to spend a long time getting beautiful images.
- Many scanners can provide you with images and/or short video clips of your scan. Make sure you ask about this before booking your scan, or check out the individual you plan to use on the animalultrasoundassociation.org website (that’s right here!), where you can view some of their recent work for other clients. Not everyone cares about images, but for many, sharing the good news with friends online is half of the fun!
Do I have to have my dog shaved?
Some scanners may prefer to shave very hairy breeds, with your permission. This will be a small area along the bitch’s midline, and hence won’t be visible to others (it’s not like when you bring your pet to the vet for a spay and they shave her flank). Some people boast “no shaving” on their ads, but remember that shaving is for your benefit – whilst the person scanning your animal may be just as capable as the “no shaving” scanner, they can give you far more information about the pregnancy if they can generate clear images. Scanners are sensitive to hair, because it traps air, and air prevents ultrasound waves from reaching the body. Even the most expensive ultrasound scanner in the most prestigious tertiary hospital is subject to the same laws of physics – and hairy human men will often find themselves the recipients of a shave before a cardiac or even abdominal scan! If you only want a yes/no, and really don’t want your dog to be shaved, just let them know before you book your scan.
What is ultrasound gel?
AUA members will use made-for-purpose ultrasound gel, because they understand that it is a contact medium, and not a lubricant (a common misconception amongst untrained individuals is that the gel’s primary purpose is to allow the transducer to slide easily over the skin, and hence these people will make the mistake of thinking they can use a cream or KY Jelly!). Ultrasound gel is water-based and completely harmless. Its real job is to allow the sound waves to pass from the transducer head to your dog.
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