Ultrasound Examination in Dogs

Is an ultrasound needed if your dog is pregnant? Our Sharpsburg vets explain how ultrasounds work and the information gathered during an ultrasound.

Understanding Ultrasounds for Dogs

Ultrasounds use sound waves to create a picture of your dog's internal health. This technology is a vital tool when it comes to checking the functioning of the heart and other organs since it can provide both a static view, like an X-ray, and also a real-time moving image of blood flow, heartbeat, and more.

Information Gathered Through a Dog Ultrasound for Pregnancy

Ultrasounds are an essential part of caring for your dog during their pregnancy. Here is a list of what information an ultrasound scan can provide:

Pregnancy Confirmation

An ultrasound scan can provide you with a confirmation of pregnancy as early as 20-22 days after conception. This can help you make informed decisions regarding your pup's care throughout her pregnancy.

Fetal Development

Regularly scheduled ultrasound scans allow your veterinarian to monitor the growth and development of the puppies. They can also check for abnormalities, and watch for any complications that may require intervention.

Litter Size

Ultrasounds allow your veterinarian to view the individual heartbeats of each puppy. This can help determine approximately how many puppies will be in the litter. Although puppies can be hidden and the count may not be precise, this information can still be useful for both you and your veterinarian. Understanding the approximate size of the litter allows you to plan for upcoming responsibilities. Ultrasounds also allow your veterinarian to spot the risk of potential complications that could arise while your dog is giving birth.

Delivery Date

Information gleaned through an ultrasound can allow your veterinarian to provide you with an approximate delivery date for your dog's puppies. This information gives you time to prepare for the delivery of puppies and to provide your dog with a safe and comfortable place to give birth.

Health of the Pregnancy

Several complications can occur during pregnancy such as ectopic pregnancy or fetal resorption. Ultrasounds can help your veterinarian spot developing issues early, allowing for appropriate care to be provided as quickly as possible. 

Do all Dogs Need an Ultrasound for Pregnancy?

There is always a cost associated with dog ultrasounds, and pet owners do not always need to make this investment. If you are unsure about whether the procedure is worth the expense, consider the benefits listed above and speak to your veterinarian for advice.

Your veterinarian wants the very best for your four-legged friend and you. Veterinary professionals understand that it can be challenging to meet the costs associated with veterinary care, and can help you to weigh the pros and cons of ultrasound for your dog's pregnancy.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Our clinic is equipped with the technology to perform an ultrasound if your pet needs it. Contact our Sharpsburg pet hospital today to learn about ultrasound scans for your dog.