Ultrasound Scanning

Q. What stage of pregnancy is best for scanning?

A. To confirm pregnancy and estimate the number of whelps we should ideally scan around 4 weeks after the last mating or ovulation if you did any ovulation detection. After 6 weeks it becomes even more difficult to count whelps but we can see better images of developing puppies.

Q. Should I take my bitch for a pee before the scan?

A. No, a full bladder can help provide a good accoustic window and better images.

Q. Should I shave my dog's abdomen before the scan?

A. Very hairy dogs can make it a little more difficult to obtain good ultrasound images but we can just use lots of gel. So whilst ideally it would be better to have a clean shaved area for scanning, it isn't absolutely necessary.

Q. Will you be able to tell how many pups there are?

A. Counting the number of whelps is never 100% accurate so we can only give an estimate.

Q. How long will the procedure take?

A. Usually around 15 minutes.

Q. Can you tell me when the pups are due to be born?

A. If we can obtain a good enough imge to take measurement of Head Diameter, Body length or gestational sac diameters then we can usually calculate expected birth date.


Q. What is a microchip and how does it work?

A. A microchip is a small electronic component, about the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted subcutaneously (under the dog's skin). The RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip contains a unique, 15 digit number that can be read by a scanner. When the scanner is close enough to a microchip, the scanner energizes the microchip to transmit a very weak radio signal which displays the 15 digit number on the scanner's LCD display. The dog owner's contact details relating to each number are logged onto a database, so should the dog ever stray or be stolen it can be scanned by the authorities and returned to his owner. The owner is responsible for updating their details with the database should they change address or telephone number or the dog changes hands.

Q. Where is the microchip implanted?

A. The microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades.

Q. Does the procedure hurt?

A. No, it does not hurt the dog. The needles are razor sharp and penetrates the skin where it is least sensitive so it should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.

Q. How will the microchip be used if my dog becomes lost?

A. It is standard practice nowadays, that the local authority, vet practices or animal welfare organisations and charities scan any lost dogs. They would then contact the national database to find the owner’s details. The owner can then be contacted and reunited with their dog.

Q. Will I still need a collar and tag once my dog is microchipped?

A. Yes, your dog will still need to wear a collar and tag that states the name and address of the owner when in a public place as required by the 'Control of Dogs Order 1992'.

Q. Does it cost anything to have contact details amended?

A. Yes. You would normally be charged a fee of £10 every time you amend your details on the database. However, you can pay an initial £10 to activate Lifetime Cover then it won't cost anything if you wish to amend your details at any time in the future.