Preparing pets and their owners for an ultrasound scan
Generally speaking, ultrasound scanners are immensely useful for veterinary professionals as they can help with the diagnosis of an array of diseases and conditions. As well as being relatively harmless and pain-free, the procedure is quick and can potentially save an animal’s life. As with any medical procedure, however, it is important that owners are clued up on what an ultrasound scan entails before their pet undergoes treatment. Indeed, pets can often detect anxiety in their owners, something that can cause their own stress levels to rise. A stressed-out pet can be particularly difficult to scan and, in the end, can cause a number of problems for veterinarians. Fortunately, there are a few steps that owners can take to make their pet’s ultrasound as easy and stress-free as possible. These include:
1. Avoid feeding the animal before an ultrasound
Scanning a pet while it has a full stomach can be particularly problematic for veterinarians as it can interfere with their ability to spot organs such as the liver and adrenals. In this way, veterinary professionals should advise owners to avoid feeding their pet late in the evening and to take away any dried food that they may be tempted to nibble on. They should still keep their pet hydrated with water, however.
2. Try to keep fluids in the animal
Ultrasounds are often more effective when a pet’s bladder contains some urine. In this way, owners should try to prevent their pet from expelling fluids in the hours leading up to their procedure.
3. Monitor the pet’s anxiety levels
Most pets do not need to be sedated to undergo an ultrasound. However, animals that are prone to pain or extreme anxiety often benefit from sedation.
4. Be open about potential worries
It is important that veterinary professionals encourage owners to speak up about any concerns or worries they have about their pet’s procedure. For example, they may be worried about giving their pets certain medications directly before the scan or they may be worried that their pet may feel discomfort and pain. Being open and direct with questions should make the procedure much smoother for everyone involved.