Ultrasound Scans for Dogs

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 16, 2017
Ultrasound Scans for Dogs

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If your dog has broken a leg, has consumed something they shouldn't have or you want to track their pregnancy, they will need to undergo an ultrasound scan. Don't be scared or frightened, because this can happen to any animal.

To ease any concerns, here at AnimalWised we will give you all the information you need below so that the notion of ultrasound scans for dogs does not cause any anxiety or confusion.

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  1. How do ultrasound scans work?
  2. Ultrasounds for fractures and other problems
  3. Pregnancy ultrasound scans

How do ultrasound scans work?

Ultrasound is a system of obtaining images through the echoes of ultrasounds directed at a body or object. High frequency sound waves are targeted at the object that's being studied - in this case, your dog. When the sound wave arrives to an object or surface within, it emits an echo.

This information is first processed in a transducer before a computer converts it into a clear image on a screen. For it to work properly, a gel is usually applied to the skin which facilitates the transmission of waves.

An ultrasound scan is a simple, non-invasive procedure. There is no radiation at all, only the sound waves. While all experts agree that this procedure is safe, subjecting a fetus to excessively frequent ultrasounds may have mild side effects, such as the puppy experiencing weight loss or a delayed development of certain skills. Ask your veterinary for guidance and they will clarify your doubts.

Ultrasound Scans for Dogs - How do ultrasound scans work?

Ultrasounds for fractures and other problems

There are many reasons why your dog might end up getting an ultrasound scan, such as breaking a bone or swallowing an object. The vet will suggest this method of analysis to make absolutely sure and confirm the diagnosis.

You shouldn't pinch pennies when it comes to your pet's health care. Undergoing this procedure may reveal issues which you hadn't yet identified such as urinary problems, possible tumors or a surprise pregnancy.

Ultrasound Scans for Dogs - Ultrasounds for fractures and other problems

Pregnancy ultrasound scans

You should be patient if you're tracking the pregnancy of your dog. You'll be able to feel the difference with your hands 21 days after intercourse. Only a veterinary expert can fully confirm a pregnancy at this stage. It can sometimes be more difficult to detect in certain breeds, which is why you may have to get an ultrasound scan for your dog.

The vet will advise you to get two ultrasounds during the pregnancy:

  • The first ultrasound: This takes place 21 or 25 days after mating; the longer we wait the more accurate the result will be. It's recommended for the patient to attend the consultation with a full bladder.
  • The second ultrasound: Wait until 55 days of the pregnancy have passed before subjecting your dog to her second test. There's no risk of the puppies being harmed, and you'll be able to identify how many are on the way as well as their position.

It's true that this method tends to underestimate small litters and overestimate large litters. It's not 100% accurate. For this reason, many experts recommend subjecting the dog to a radiology scan towards the end of the pregnancy when the puppies are stronger, so that you can be absolutely sure of the status and quantity of the fetuses. We remind you that this type of test can be somewhat detrimental for your pet's health. Even so, the vet will let you know if you need to get one or not for the safety of the pregnancy.

Ultrasound Scans for Dogs - Pregnancy ultrasound scans

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Ultrasound Scans for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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1 comment
Gerard Calvey
I just lost my 9 yr old GSD female Niki Yesterday. Thurs ultrasound discovered Spleen tumor, abdominal blood. I have a 10 yr old Male GSD Titan. Pretty good health as of June exam. I'm scared. Is it smart to request an ultrasound for him to be safe?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gerard
If you’re worried, there is no harm in double-checking!
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Ultrasound Scans for Dogs