4 Reasons to Take Your Pregnant Dog in for an Ultrasound

When you or your partner become pregnant, you can get an ultrasound to see how the baby is developing. However, did you know you can also take a pregnant dog for an ultrasound?  

These completely non-invasive scans transmit sound waves through the body in order to provide a real-time view of what's going on inside. There are several reasons why you might take your dog for an ultrasound, but it's often something that is particularly recommended for pregnant dogs. Here are just four reasons why.

1. Check for Foetal Heart Rate

Just like unborn babies, unborn puppies should have a foetal heart rate within a normal range. If one or more puppies has a high foetal heart rate, it could indicate distress or hypoxia. If so, you can talk through treatment options with your vet. If one or more puppies has a low foetal heart rate, they may require immediate surgical intervention in order to prevent their death. Though it can certainly be stressful to learn about such issues, ultrasound scans do at least allow you to take action as soon as possible.

2. Check for Infections

A pregnant dog can suffer from several infections that can do harm to both them and their puppies. For example, pyometra is a serious infection of the womb that can lead to kidney failure, dehydration or even death. However, an ultrasound can detect most pregnancy-related infections before they become too serious, giving you the opportunity to provide treatment before complications arise.

3. Check for Miscarriages

During pregnancy, your dog may show vaginal discharge or seem to become depressed and lethargic. This often indicates they have suffered a miscarriage, which can result in either the expulsion of a lifeless litter or the reabsorption of younger foetuses. Most dogs will make a full recovery, but there are a few things you can do to ease your pet through this time and prevent complications. By taking your dog for an ultrasound as soon as you notice symptoms of a potential miscarriage, you prevent complications and can start working on her recovery right away.

4. Check for Potential Birthing Issues

Most dogs can give birth at home without requiring veterinary assistance, but this is not always the case. You may notice anything from green discharges to excessive straining while your dog is giving birth, and this can impact both her health and that of her puppies. The issues that cause such birthing problems can often be detected in advance using an ultrasound. By having this done early, you can be warned of any potential issues and work out how to deal with them when the puppies are ready to enter the world.

For more information on pet ultrasounds, contact a professional near you.