Canine Pregnancy Scanning: New Year, New Skill?
As the New Year dawns, it’s common for people to get in touch about 2019 training courses for animal ultrasound scanning. Given that January is typically a time for making new commitments and investing in one’s self, this is hardly surprising. Ultrasound scanning to detect pregnancy in dogs is becoming increasingly mainstream, and whilst many people do appreciate the time and study that goes into it, one unfortunate byproduct of its increasing popularisation is the impression that it’s something that can be mastered after a single day’s training and a relatively low financial investment in a handheld scanner.
If you want to build a long-lasting, reputable business with a loyal client base, learning to scan is going to take considerably more time investment than that (and probably a higher financial investment, too). High quality training is a great start, but the majority of work happens after the course is finished – through hours of purposeful practice. Claire Pascoe at Animal Excellence built a successful scanning business in Tameside (Greater Manchester) in an astonishingly short period of time, but this is testament to her almost obsessive reading and practicing – not to the ease at which her success can be replicated. You can read her story here.
Having said this, learning to scan can be extremely rewarding. If you are the type of person that enjoys a challenge, then pregnancy scanning with ultrasound is definitely going to offer you that! If you breed your own animals, then it will not only offer you significant cost savings over time, but having a machine on hand and the proficiency to use it could one day save your animal’s life. Natina Martin (NaDal Toy Poodles) attended a training course hosted by PetTech Solutions in Canada in February 2018. After running so many training courses, it’s become easy to spot who the scanning ‘naturals’ are going to be, because you can see the excitement and focus in their eyes as they start to ‘get it.’ It’s as if something about the magic of ultrasound scanning just resonates with them. Natina was definitely one of these students, and since that day, she has invested countless hours in scanning her animals and sharing her images in our Facebook group.
Natina can’t offer a commercial scanning service in her province in Canada, but her investment paid dividends last week when she discovered pyometra in her own bitch. Scanning 3 days post-whelp, she noticed uterus beside the bladder, filled with an echogenic cloudy substance. She actually used ‘Facebook live’ to share the scan with the Animal Ultrasound Association group, where the consensus was pyometra, as she had feared. Natina rushed her pet to the vet for an emergency spay, saving her dog’s life and bringing her safely home to her three puppies. If she had not had her scanner on hand (and the proficiency to use it), and waited another day, the outcome may not have been a happy one, such was the seriousness of the infection.
Screenshots of Natina’s live scan (shared with permission):
If you are looking to get started with scanning, here are some useful starting points:
- Upcoming training course run by Vet Image Solutions on the 28th of February
- The new ultrasound for canine pregnancy scanning book
- The Animal Ultrasound Association Facebook page, where we regularly share useful articles
- Our free blog
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