Frequently Asked Questions
What is an ultrasound for pets?
Veterinary ultrasound is a safe and non-invasive pet diagnostic imaging technique that helps veterinarians to examine your pet’s internal anatomy and diagnose certain health conditions. Based on your location, most of our mobile vets can provide an AFAST scan in the comfort of your home, where your pet is most relaxed and comfortable.
Why perform an ultrasound on my pet?
Ultrasound imaging allows us to take a closer look at your pet’s internal organs and systems and can help us determine whether your pet needs surgery. A small ultrasound unit can help our doctors get a sterile urine sample or look for fluid accumulation where it shouldn’t be. A larger ultrasound unit can non-invasively help us to identify problems with your pet’s GI tract, kidneys, liver, heart, and other soft tissue organs if you or your veterinarian have concerns.
How much does a pet ultrasound cost?
The cost of a pet ultrasound will vary depending on the veterinary practice you choose. To determine the cost of a mobile pet ultrasound with one of our veterinarians, simply visit our website or mobile app, enter your zip code and the service you would like to schedule (in this case, an ultrasound appointment) and you will be able to check whether the service is available in your area and review the total cost of the home visit prior to confirming.
Does pet insurance cover ultrasounds?
Depending on your pet insurance plan, some companies may cover the cost of a pet ultrasound as a diagnostic service.
Does pet hair interfere with ultrasounds?
Yes. In most cases, your pet’s fur will need to be shaved to perform an ultrasound examination. For the most accurate ultrasound exam, it is best to make direct contact with your pet’s skin.
How long does a pet ultrasound take?
Usually, a pet ultrasound takes approximately 30-60 minutes. Some pets will tolerate an ultrasound just fine with no sedation. However, others may need sedation to keep calm and still during the painless procedure.
What is the difference between a PET scan and an ultrasound?
A positron emission tomography (or PET scan) works by using radiation to show activity within a pet’s body on a cellular level and is often used as a tool to diagnose cancer, neurological, and heart issues. A pet ultrasound works by using sound waves to create images.
Can a pet ultrasound detect parasites?
While a fecal exam or blood test is usually a very effective means of diagnosing worms, parasites, and heartworm in your pet, an ultrasound may show worms in the pancreas or liver.
How do I prepare my pet for ultrasound?
To prepare your pet for an ultrasound, they'll need to be fasted for ideally 12 hours before a scan. This allows for better images without artifacts from food in the stomach or gas in the intestines, and also allows us to sedate if necessary. We will need to clip the hair which we then soak with water or alcohol and apply coupling gel to minimize air between the probe and the skin- this gives us the best image. For focused exams we do not normally need to clip the hair, we simply part the hair in the area to be examined and apply either water or alcohol, and use coupling gel.
What to expect during the ultrasound scan?
Your pet will usually stay lying on its right side for the entire scan, either on the floor or on a raised bed, with a Fear Free® trained, knowledgeable nurse reassuring and maintaining the recumbent position while your veterinarian performs the scan. All images are saved onto our state-of-the-art portable ultrasound machine, before being uploaded to our secure database later the same day and reviewed by your ultrasound-trained veterinarian.
How long does it take to receive my pet's ultrasound results?
You should expect your pet’s ultrasound results within 24-48 hours.