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Dog Ultrasound for Pregnancy - Is it Necessary?

If your dog is pregnant, an ultrasound can provide a wealth of vital information that just isn't available through standard examination methods. But is an ultrasound scan really necessary? Our Rock Hill vets explain.

Understanding Ultrasounds for Dogs

Ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging technology that uses sound waves to provide your veterinarian with a 'real-time' view 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 is able to provide both a static view (like an X-ray) and also a real-time moving image of blood flow, heartbeat and more.

But, are ultrasounds for dogs really necessary for pregnancy?

Information Gathered Through a Dog Ultrasound for Pregnancy

To understand whether an ultrasound is really an essential part of caring for your dog during their pregnancy, let's look at what information an ultrasound scan can provide:

Confirmation of Pregnancy

Perhaps you think that your dog is pregnant but you aren't sure. The signs are there, but is she pregnant? An ultrasound scan can provide you with a definitive 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, 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 be helpful in determining 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 and your veterinarian to spot the risk of potential complications that could arise during the birthing process.

Timing of Delivery

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

There are a number of complications that 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. 

Determining Whether Your Dog Needs an Ultrasound for Pregnancy

Certainly, there is a cost associated with dog ultrasounds, so is it worth the investment? It's hard to say. 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 for 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 an 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.

At Carolina Veterinary Specialists we are equipped with a range of diagnostic imaging technologies. Contact our Rock Hill pet hospital today to learn about ultrasound scans for your dog.

Vet Care for Rock Hill Pets

Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Rock Hill, accepts new patients to our specialty services by referral only. Our emergency/urgent care service welcomes all patients.

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