What To Expect From Your Pet's Ultrasound Appointment
There are many reasons why your veterinarian may recommend an ultrasound for your pet. Specifically, veterinary ultrasound is often used to diagnose any number of conditions or ailments by allowing veterinarians to examine the body's internal organs. Before your pet's ultrasound appointment, however, there's some helpful information you should be aware of.
Preparing for Your Pet's Ultrasound
For starters, understand that your pet will need to be as free of gas as possible in order for the ultrasound to yield a clear and accurate reading. For this reason, your vet may recommend fasting your pet for 12 or more hours before the appointment. During this time, you can (and should) still provide your pet with water, as well as any medications he or she may be taking. It is also recommended that you encourage your pet to urinate and/or defecate prior to the appointment.
A Small Area of Fur May Need to Be Shaved
In order for the ultrasound probe to work properly, it will need to be held flush against your pet's skin. There's a good chance, then, that a veterinary technician will need to shave or trim a small amount of fur on your pet's body before the appointment begins.
Sometimes, Sedation Is Recommended
Depending on your pet's temperament, it is also possible that veterinarians will recommend sedation for your pet during the ultrasound itself. While ultrasounds are painless, some pets will become stressed out or agitated by needing to sit still or being in an unfamiliar situation. If your pet begins panting or breathing heavily, this could unfortunately cause gas bubbles to form within the body, thus obscuring the ultrasound reading. By lightly sedating your pet, these kinds of problems can be avoided.
Supplemental Testing May Be Required
Finally, depending on the specific reason for getting the veterinary ultrasound in the first place, your veterinarian may also recommend addition diagnostic testing to confirm a diagnosis. Some common diagnostics that are sometimes performed in conjunction with an ultrasound include X-rays, blood testing, CAT scans, and MRIs. These will help to ensure the most accurate diagnosis and treatment for your pet.
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from your pet's veterinary ultrasound appointment, you can better prepare. Typically, ultrasounds take anywhere from 30 minutes to half an hour to complete, so most pet owners choose to sit in the waiting room for results. For more information on veterinary ultrasounds, contact a company like Keebovet.