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Preparing Your Dog For An Ultrasound: What You Need To Do

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When your dog has internal issues that need to be addressed, they may be scheduled for an veterinary ultrasound to try to detect what is going on. Ultrasounds can be used to check vital organs for function, such as kidneys or intestines, and can also be used to examine a litter of pups if your dog has been bred. The procedure is painless and largely non-invasive, but there are still things you should do to prepare your dog for the process. Here are things you can do to better ensure a more positive ultrasound experience.

Refrain meals

One of the most common types of canine ultrasounds is of the abdomen. If this is the one your dog needs, then you should refrain from feeding them in the hours before the procedure is to be done. Food can obstruct any ultrasound views and interrupt the sound waves that make ultrasounds work. Your vet will tell you how long your dog needs to fast prior to their ultrasound, especially if the procedure is being used to detect tumors or other substances in the body.

Allow water

Water consumption helps swell the bladder of your dog, which can make it more visible in an ultrasound. This is helpful to your vet. Provide your dog ample amounts of water prior to their ultrasound procedure and avoid letting them urinate as the appointment nears. If your dog urinates they may evacuate their bladder entirely, which can limit the success of the images the ultrasound discovers.

Consider sedation

If your dog gets nervous going to the vet, you will want to talk to your dog's veterinarian about sedation for the procedure. This can be done via a mild tranquilizer given a few hours prior to the visit in the form of a pill, or your vet can give your dog a calming shot. If your dog is very old or still a young puppy, sedation may not be an option, so make sure your vet approves any calming methods you want to try to make the visit easier.

Schedule a haircut

The area receiving an ultrasound on your dog will likely be shaved by your vet to allow for better imaging. If this is worrisome to you as you like to keep their coat even and neat, then schedule an appointment with your dog's groomer to give them a haircut to blend the shaved area after their appointment is done. If your dog needs a follow-up ultrasound, it's best to wait for their haircut until all procedures are done so you don't have to repeat the process.