How Do I Prepare My Pet for an Ultrasound?

Pets may also need ultrasounds as humans do. They will help the vet accurately diagnose your pet’s condition. The vet must get an accurate diagnosis to give the proper treatment.



What Is an Ultrasound?



An ultrasound is a non-invasive way of evaluating and diagnosing issues with your pet’s internal organs. They are gentle and painless. The technology transmits sound waves into the pet’s body, producing images of a specific body part. 


The vet can identify tumors and assess blockages from the images. It distinguishes foreign bodies from soft tissue masses and fluid, helping them come up with an accurate diagnosis.



How Do You Prepare Your Pet?



The vet performs different kinds of ultrasounds on various parts of the body, so they require various preparations. Ensure you speak to your vet about how to prepare. However, here are some general guidelines you can follow.



Avoid Feeding



The vet may require you to withhold food for eight to twelve hours. The requirement is vital for abdominal ultrasounds. It helps give clear images where the vet does not have issues spotting the liver and adrenal glands. 


It also reduces the chances of your pet vomiting during sedation. You should avoid feeding your pet late into the night and discard any dried foods. However, water is permissible for hydration.



Walk Your Dog



Walk your dog on the morning of the procedure to allow it to defecate and urinate. Food content in the stomach and gut can interfere with ultrasound images.



Keep the Bladder Full



You may withhold food, but do not withhold water. Ultrasounds are clear when your pet’s bladder is full. Ensure your pet does not urinate for three to six hours before the procedure. It may mean that you must cover or put away litter boxes. 


For small dogs, carry them. You may have to keep large dogs active and moving about to discourage them from stopping to mark their territory. You may take them for a jog to the vet’s office.



Monitor Anxiety Levels



Ultrasounds are gentle and not painful. However, some pets may get anxious. You will need to calm down your pet. Otherwise, the vet will need to sedate it. Sedation is not necessary, but it helps pets calm down so the vet can get clear ultrasound images. 


One way to calm your pet down is by bathing them the day before the procedure. It also keeps their coat clean if the vet needs to shave the area. However, a bath may not be a good idea for cats.



Talk to Your Vet



Please speak to your vet about worries and concerns you have about your pet’s procedure or their condition. You may have concerns about certain medications they may need before the scan or their discomfort and pain. Call your vet and talk about it! They will answer your questions and help you relax. 


Being open and direct about these issues will also help your pet relax. They can sense your anxiety, and it rubs off on them. Speaking out also helps the vet get feedback that you understand the situation. It allows the procedure to run smoothly for everyone involved.


For more information on ultrasound procedures, visit Circle of Life Animal Hospital at our Tampa, Florida office. Call (813) 850-0600 to schedule an appointment today.

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