Spotlight: Kerry McDonald AUA Ultrasound Scanner


Interview: Kerry McDonald, AUA Ultrasound Scanner


For Kerry McDonald, every day is different, “Some days I’ll have ten scans back to back, others there may be just two,” but the consistent part of her job is the excitement she gets with each client; “Every scan fascinates me.”


Kerry is an AUA Level 2 scanner, a full AUA member, and has also completed training in canine fertility. She works from her purpose built clinic in Southampton, where originally she operated a dog grooming business for 8 years. As someone who suffers from anxiety, it was always a priority for her to work from home, and as she has a long lasting love for dogs, the grooming business was the natural solution. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the work exacerbating her asthma, Kerry was forced to close the business and found herself looking for a new avenue to explore. She is a keen breeder of toy poodles, and had received scans for her pregnant bitches on a number of occasions, but had never understood the process or how to read the images. Determined to create a new business opportunity, she went looking for trainers to teach her how to scan.


Like most beginners, Kerry’s first idea was to Google search, which led her to train with a company that pays a lot of money to rank highly on search engines. Given no practical training and poorly written content, Kerry described finishing the course and feeling “awful, deflated”, and still unable to say that she had the skills to be a scanner. Her next port of call was to retrain under a different instructor, this time with more of a focus on cytology and the fertility side of things. While the instruction was better, the course was still too basic, leading Kerry to seek a trainer that would help her feel confident and proficient enough to start her business. After more research, Kerry found Catherine Stowell at The Animal Ultrasound Association, and finally received the training and the confidence that she needed. Throughout all of this, she continued to find learning opportunities related to her fledgling business, taking courses on “Compassionate Handling of Difficult Dogs”, and gaining her certificate in Canine Health and First Aid. 


Kerry has tried out a number of different machines, but is most impressed with her current equipment, the Siui Apogee 1000 Lite. Her favourite stage to scan is at 40 days plus, when she can more accurately count the number of puppies and pick out features like paws and mouths. It’s such a satisfying job, that even her 15 year old granddaughter offers to help on a Saturday, and they delight in explaining the images to the customers.


“I still get excited telling my clients that their dogs are pregnant. I often have the same people and the same dogs coming back to me with every pregnancy, and I love zooming in and showing them the details on the scan.”


In fact, although Kerry mostly operates out of her home clinic, she is so focused on customer care that she is willing to travel within a 20 mile radius to help out a client in need and will never leave someone without a scanner; if she is unable to scan she will happily call up a number of other scanner friends from the AUA, believing that she’s investing in a caring, ethical community of technicians that are motivated by the welfare of the animals they see.


A key part of building her business and gaining recognition has been her presence on various social media groups, such as the Animal Ultrasound Association Facebook Group. Scanners from all over the country share images, ask questions and generally support each other, and Kerry is well known and liked for her expertise and approachable personality. It’s because of her informal yet professional attitude that she has gained so much repeat custom and built so many friendships with clients and other scanners alike.


When it comes to advice for anyone considering a career in canine ultrasound, her emphasis is all on training and research; take the time to find a trainer that really explains and is willing to go at your pace, invest in equipment that is intuitive to use and gives clear, precise images and engage on social media to build an industry presence. However, if you’re looking for a scanner to confirm canine pregnancy in Southampton, look no further than contacting Kerry herself at K9 Fertility Southampton Services, 07841065045, or emailing



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