Dog owners who look to breed in the UK, often wonder – How much is an Ultrasound for a dog UK? This veterinary procedure is common and is widely useful for pets as well. It’s a safe non-invasive imaging technique and a diagnostic tool that is useful in examining the pet’s organs. In addition, the technique is also known as sonography.
As a dog owner, you have your concerns regarding such procedures. And the article will help you overcome such reservations with detailed insights. But, first, let’s see how much an ultrasound costs in the UK.
How Much Is An Ultrasound For a Dog UK?
Generally, the average cost of ultrasound ranges from £30 – £100. The cost varies as per the medical institutions and the services they provide. For instance, the charges are more in top medical institutes because they have better equipment in place for the assessment. So, the cost of an ultrasound examination can easily elevate i.e. cross the £100 mark.
The process of ultrasound helps vets figure out the issues with your dog’s vessels, tissues, and different organs in normal or pregnancy conditions. Vets prefer this process for pregnant dogs because there is no use of radiation. So, a vet is able to monitor the fetus during the dog’s pregnancy without harming them. The internal issues within the dog are also visible easily.
While using this procedure a vet will use a handheld probe and look for the issues in their computer. The ultrasound scan is done by a professional vet and these vets are usually trained in ultrasonography.
The process may seem simple but, it’s not. The clinical staff will shave the areas where the vet will put the transducer. Shaving is done because the transducer has to maintain contact with the dog’s skin. This will help the vet easily scan the organs of the area and get clear imaging results.
Ultrasound examinations use-cases for dogs
The examinations done using the machine provide different results. These results are used to determine the issue and outline the treatment as per your furry friend’s main diagnosis.
Here are some of the prominent use cases for Ultrasound examinations:
In human pregnancy, doctors prefer ultrasound over X-rays. The preference remains the same while analysing the pet pregnancy. The reason is quite simple, X-rays emit radiation which can have a harmful effect on the fetus. An ultrasound examination will help see whether or not the dog is pregnant.
- Scan internal organs
Ultrasound gives real-time images of the dog’s body. So, detecting any anomaly in the internal organs gets easy. The scan can provide imaging of all the internal organs. The vets also get visuals of blood vessels, lymph nodes, and glands.
Anomalies such as tumours, ruptures, kidney stone blockages, etc. are easily identified using the imaging of the internal organs.
- Heart examination
To check whether the dog has any heart issues, vets suggest an ultrasound of the heart. This is mainly referred to as echocardiography. The scans will provide the details such as the size of the chambers, the thickness of the heart walls, and the motion of different heart structures.
- Soft tissue analysis
Ultrasound scans come in handy to analyse soft tissues in a dog’s body. So, analysis of dogs’ eyes, ligaments, tendons, and thyroid glands is easily done using different ultrasounds.
So, you can see different use cases with ultrasound, there are a few organs that are not examined as the waves cannot go through them, for example, lungs.
Types Of Ultrasound
In general, there are three types of ultrasound B-mode Ultrasound, M-mode Ultrasound, and Doppler Ultrasound. This classification is done these types is done on the basis of the type of images they produce.
- B-mode Ultrasound
In general, B-mode Ultrasound is also known as 2-dimensional ultrasound. Vets suggest a B-mode ultrasound scan when they are looking for a two-dimensional image of the scanned organ. The B-mode type is helpful in evaluating the cardiac function, examining the abdominal structures, performing pregnancy diagnosis or analysing the eyes.
- M-mode ultrasound
The M-mode i.e. motion mode is a type of ultrasound that is useful in tracing the movement of the organs on the screen. On combining with the B-mode, the vet can easily examine the chambers, heart walls, and valves to assess the cardiac condition.
- Doppler Ultrasound
Doppler ultrasound is a specialised form of cardiac ultrasound. Here a vet can measure the direction and the speed of blood flow in the heart and blood vessels. Color-flow Doppler technology makes it easy for the vet to see the flow of blood through the heart and other important blood vessels in the dog.
When Does a Dog Need An Ultrasound?
The ultrasound procedure is only necessary under serious medical conditions. Below are some of the instances where your furry friend may need an ultrasound.
1. Pain in the abdomen region
An ultrasound scan of the abdominal region will help the vet in pinpointing the precise location, shape, and size of an internal mass, swelling or pain. The severity of the underlying issue will allow the vet to choose the best course of action.
Further, you may also encounter a situation where your furry friend has swelling or pain during the pregnancy period. In such a situation, a vet will mandate you to get the scans to rule out any complications.
2. Abnormal lab reports
The frequent blood work reports provide your veterinarian with information on your pet’s overall health. They can assess the organ function, and look for the presence of infection, abnormalities, and red blood cell health.
So, if all these aspects are in line with the standard parameters there is no need for the ultrasound. The ultrasound scan is necessary when the pet has a high liver or kidney value in the reports. A vet will recommend an ultrasound of the abdomen to examine their function, size, and shape.
Further, elevated blood values may reveal a mass or a type of cancer that is not diagnosed just through a blood test. Ultrasound can also operate as a guide when collecting irregular cell samples, or biopsying organs to add diagnose and treat disease.
3. Fatal Injury
If a car has hit your furry friend or they were in a fight with a fellow canine, they suffer lots of injuries. These injuries can often cause internal bleeding and organ damage. Also, these injuries are normally not visible to the naked eye, so you may ignore the signs. But, your canine friend needs immediate medical assistance.
When you take your dog to the hospital or a vet, the clinical team will carry out an ultrasound examination. They will use fast ultrasound methods to get quick results. The results usually come back in a couple of minutes. A vet can now assess the presence of blood, and look for organ trauma, free fluid, or heart complications to outline the prognosis.
Preparing the dog for an Ultrasound
To get a proper ultrasound scan you will need to follow certain prerequisites and prepare your dog accordingly. Otherwise, the vet will have issues analysing the internal organs. Here are the basic requirements:
- Your dog’s stomach must remain empty. So, avoid giving any water or food before you take them for an ultrasound. This will keep the passage unobstructed and the imaging will also be clear. Afterwards, the vet can easily analyse the imaging.
- Now, if your dog is on medication, you may have to alter the schedule of the medication. Ask your vet and see if there is any need for such a change.
- Discuss the process and clear your doubts with the vets. For instance, how dogs may react to them using the devices or to the surrounding environment.
Remember, it’s crucial for you to prepare your dog mentally as well. Otherwise, you will never get accurate results if the dog misbehaves during the procedure. For instance, make them rehearse going hours without food at home itself. Doing this is necessary because if the scan is for the abdomen region, the vet will instruct you to keep your dog’s stomach empty for 12 hours.
So, making them withhold food at home will prepare them to control their hunger instincts. So, when you take them for examination, they will not find it unusual.
Further, make sure you have some tricks or techniques up your sleeve which help them calm down. The reason for this is simple. If things sideways at the clinic, you can use the tricks and control your dog’s behaviour. This helps the vet complete the procedure without any hassle.
Generally, dogs should get an ultrasound whenever there is swelling or pain near the abdomen region. Your vet will apply the pressure near the abdomen region and suggest whether or not the ultrasound is necessary. However, if the pain is during the pregnancy of the dog, the vet will recommend immediate scans to ensure that the fetus is safe.
Yes, you can! According to local vets UK, the pregnancy scan can is possible from four weeks after the last mating or insemination procedure. In fact, a dog pregnancy scan at 5 weeks may provide more accurate results and also help identify any false pregnancy.
If your furry friend is cooperative and maintains decent behaviour, there is no requirement for anaesthesia or sedation. However, if the vet feels to sedate your dog because of the behaviour response, then is crucial. In fact, for the biopsies, the dog is sedated to avoid any complications.
The procedure is done in real-time. So, a vet immediately gets the visual results. At times, the ultrasound images are sent back to a radiologist for getting a professional opinion. If this happens, there is a delay in the final report.
The hand-held ultrasound probe has to make contact with the skin. So, it’s crucial to shave the areas where the vet will conduct the inspection. But, you don’t have to shave the fur at home. The medical team at the clinics will handle the shaving of the dog’s fur.
How Much Is An Ultrasound For a Dog UK – Final Remark
In conclusion, if we consider the minimum cost it lies around £30-£50. The maximum cost for a dog ultrasound can vary significantly and it can cost you £100 or even £300. But, why such a big variance? Well, vet clinics or hospitals charge more because of the top-quality machines for the Ultrasound.
In fact, there are some additional costs you need to consider i.e. vet’s charge, the follow-up scan cost, the treatment charge and so on. The high costs can sometimes make dog owners get an ultrasound from a random clinic. This can have severe consequences because you are putting your dog’s health at risk. So, it’s best if you avoid such a situation and get the procedure done using a professional service.