Can a dog have water before an abdominal ultrasound? Here’s What to Expect

When a pet is scheduled in to have an ultrasound performed we will quite often have to sedate the patient. This is necessary as the animal will need to be positioned on his/her back or side for an extended period of time. Motion from heavy breathing (often from stress) can also negatively affect the s. Sedation will remove these obstacles and we will be able to acquire good diagnostic s for our Radiologist to interpret.

An ultrasound scan is where high-frequency sound waves are used to produce s of structures within your pet’s body. So what should you expect from this procedure?

The morning of the procedure please take your dog for a walk to urinate (unless we are focusing on the bladder) and defecate so this will not be in the way of the structures we will need to be imaging. Your pet should not be allowed to eat for 12 hours prior to the procedure. This reduces the chance of vomiting during sedation and food content in the stomach and the gut can interfere with ultrasound s.

After we are finished the ultrasound scan we are generally able to give your pet a rapid reversal drug to the sedative we used. This will help to wake the patient quicker and get him/her back home sooner.

All ultrasound s and videos are sent to a radiologist to interpret. Results are reported back to us within 12 to 24 hours. Our doctors here at Hillcrest Animal Hospital will contact you as soon as we have information pertaining to your beloved furry friend.

Will your pet need to be sedated?

Most of our patients will not need sedation. However, if your pet is very anxious or painful, sedation may be helpful. It will also be indicated if a tissue biopsy is required. We will inform you if there are any contraindications to sedation.

After the procedure you may notice that your pet has been clipped. The hair on the abdomen (for abdominal ultrasound) or on the chest wall (thoracic ultrasound) will be shaved prior to the examination. This is necessary as the presence of hair obstructs the ultrasound waves and causes “blackout” on the picture. Blackout prevents us from obtaining the best possible view.

Following the examination the ultrasonographer will contact your veterinarian to discuss the findings. When you return to pick up your pet, you will be given a brief indication of the findings, but we ask that you visit or contact your regular veterinarian to fully discuss the findings from the study and any further recommendations as they relate to the clinical problem of your pet.

Does the technique have any drawbacks?

Ultrasound examinations are of little value in examining organs that contain air. Ultrasound waves will not pass through air and therefore it cannot be used to examine normal lungs. Bone also stops ultrasound waves, so the brain and spinal cord are unable to be seen with an ultrasound study, and obviously, bones cannot be examined.

10 things to know before you go for a Ultrasound Scan