Cat & Dog Ultrasound &
The ideal time for confirming a pregnancy is 28 days from the date of LAST known mating, but scans can take place at any time after this point. If you want a scan for best guess at numbers, then the optimum time is between 28 and 35 days. After this period embryos have changed in shape and size and it can become difficult to see each individual sac. We can still offer a best guess and ascertain age and health status of the embryos, but accuracy of numbers cannot be guaranteed at any stage, so please don’t hold us to this as nature is out of our hands we can only go off what we see there and then.
We are able to scan all breeds of cats and dogs. Any mobile scans must be prepaid.
Emergency scanning may be available, however we STRONGLY advise contacting your vet in the first instance if you are at all worried at any stage during pregnancy and delivery.
Please note we cannot be held responsible if you request a scan too early in a pregnancy. To avoid a potential false negative your bitch MUST be a minimum of 28 days from last known mating. Due to the nature of conception, scanning before this time may result in a false negative. If you are unsure of your mating dates then a second (chargeable) scan may be required if the first is inconclusive.
Please note that any estimate of the number of puppies/kittens are given as a best guesstimate only. Babies can hide behind each other or in the mum’s abdominal cavity beyond the ribs where the ultrasound can’t penetrate. Puppies and kittens can also be reabsorbed up to around 6 weeks. We can make no guarantee that any guesstimate will be correct.
Please be aware that whilst we are fully trained in ultrasonography for the detection of pregnancy, and we are experienced breeders, we are not veterinary practitioners. Our service can DETECT a pregnancy but we do not make any diagnosis of a pregnancy or other condition such as, but not limited to, Pyometra. We can offer advice and will ALWAYS refer on to a veterinarian where necessary. These services are NOT a replacement or substitute for veterinary care.
For emergencies, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VET!
Ultrasound Technical Information
First of all let’s briefly explain how ultrasound actually works without getting too technical!
The ultrasound beam is produced by small crystals which are housed within a transducer (the probe). These crystals both produce the sound (by expanding or contracting when an electric current is applied to them) and receive the returning sound beam and convert it back into an electrical signal. The electrical impulses produced by the returning sound are then converted into a picture on a small screen. The picture produced on the screen is referred to as an image. The ultrasound crystals produce many rapid pulses of ultrasound which allow images to be continually updated on the screen so that movement of organs or pups in utero can be seen. This is called real-time ultrasonography.
When a beam of ultrasound is directed into the body from an ultrasound machine, the sound travels through tissue until it meets an obstruction. At this point some sound continues on its original path, whilst some is reflected back (an echo) to the ultrasound machine. The speed of sound within the body is almost constant; therefore by measuring the time taken for the echo to return to the machine, the distance between the ultrasound machine and the tissue obstruction can be calculated. This calculation is done by complicated electronics within the machine and the information is displayed on the ultrasound machine’s screen.
Ultrasound pictures are black and white with varying shades of grey. The brightness of the image is related to the degree of sound reflection. If most of the ultrasound beam is reflected back to the transducer, the images appear white on the screen. When little of the sound is reflected back, the images appear darker shades of grey or black. Very dense structures such as bone reflect nearly all of the sound beam and produce bright white images. Gasses such as air (found in the lungs and some areas of the gastrointestinal tract) do not allow the transmission of ultrasound and also appear white on the screen. Conversely, most fluids allow sound to be easily transmitted; they appear black on the ultrasound screen
We use a highly portable scanner which is a digital veterinary ultrasound imaging system which uses advanced imaging technology housed in a portable machine that incorporates a 10.1″ high-resolution monitor. Our scanner uses B, B/B, B/M and M image modes and has the latest THI capabilities. We use a micro convex transducer (non-vibrating) with this machine with a variable scanning frequency of 2.5 – 7.5MHz so our machine is suitable for all breeds of dogs and cats.