Ultrasound equipment should only be used by people who are fully trained in its safe and proper operation. This requires an appreciation of the potential thermal and mechanical bio-effects of ultrasound, a full awareness of equipment settings and an understanding of the effects of machine settings on power levels.

Ultrasound scanning is completely painless in a stress free environment. I normally scan with the dog standing up, but however they are most comfortable, which is sometimes on their back, as you can see below, Lucy and Harley were very chilled out.

 

Pregnancy can be confirmed from 28 days after the last mating, although optimum results are achieved from around day 32 - 35 of your bitch's pregnancy, at around day 35 is when embryos change to foetus.
When confirming pregnancy, we can also give you an estimated due date. When measuring a structure inside the uterus, ie: a puppy's head, or the fetal sac, the ultrasound machine applies a formula to give an estimation on the due date. Some breeders report back to say it is always bang on for them, but unfortunately some breeds do not conform to the standard and the same as when women have scans, it is not always 100% accurate, but it is a useful tool, especially if it is an accidental mating.

The ultrasound procedure is non-invasive and, in most cases, doesn’t require the animal to be shaved nor does it require sedation or an anaesthetic. A probe is covered with water based gel and placed on the animal’s abdomen, emitting an ultrasound wave in order to detect pregnancy.

Below a typical 5 week scan video

Please note that any indication of numbers is an estimate as re absorption can occur and not all foetuses may be seen
Calcification of foetal bones is around day 45, but can sometimes be seen earlier.

During early pregnancy, the embryo(s), which are only 1 - 2mm in diameter, can be seen within a small amount of fluid
  In the following weeks, the foetal sac enlarges and the embryonic tissues become more prominent and the heart is more easily seen. At an early stage of pregnancy of between 28 - 35 days, it is possible to 'estimate' the number of puppies, but as the pregnancy progresses, this is more difficult, as only part of each puppy can be seen.

From 35 days onwards, the foetal skeleton develops and appears white on the ultrasound screen (picture 3).
During late pregnancy the chambers of the heart can easily be identified and organs like the kidneys are more easily seen. Counting the number of puppies at this time is less accurate although any dead puppies can be identified by the lack of heart beats and lack of movement of foetal fluid.

The optimum time for a first scan is between day 32 - 35, and I cannot be held responsible if a scan is carried out too early leading in a false result, although I will offer one free re-scan if taken out within 14 days at my own premises to take into account late conception.

I am happy to give you a indication of numbers seen within a range eg: 3 or more or between 4 - 6 etc, but puppies can be obscured by others, and with the puppies moving around, it is very difficult to know which one you have counted, and with large litters, almost impossible.

Please also be aware that fetus can be reabsorbed. The most common causes of fetal resorption are inadequate progesterone levels in the bitch, maternal infectious disease (such as brucellosis and canine herpesvirus), endometrial disorders, and developmental defects in the fetus. Therefore any indication on numbers applies to the day of the scan only.

As the embryo grows it becomes
possible to recognise the head and body regions.

For a discreet and confidential service I am available 7 days a week

ULTRASOUND versus XRAY

LEVEL 2 DEFRA APPROVED TRAINED
FULL MEMBER OF THE ANIMAL ULTRASOUND ASSOCIATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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