The life of a sled dog is not an easy one spending hours in sub zero temperatures running over rough terrain. Sled dog owners have to take care of their dogs with scheduled visits to the vet, which are usually routine. But what happens when your sled dog is found to have something more serious wrong with him?
When the veterinarian suspects that there is something serious wrong with your sled dog, he will order a series of tests to rule out common conditions. This will include taking samples of blood and getting images of the internal organs using an ultrasound machine.
The use of ultrasound technology to see inside of living tissue has been a part of medical science for years. Mostly used on humans in the past, veterinarians are now finding that it is a great tool at diagnosing certain diseases in animals.
The procedure is performed by a trained sonographer, who went to a specialized school to not only learn how to use the technology, but how to read the anatomy that it shows.
During ultrasound school a student may turn towards applying these skill towards animals, learning about their internal structures and common diseases. They can than take that knowledge and apply it towards helping animals like sled dogs overcome those diseases.
When Will an Ultrasound Be Prescribed for a Dog?
Veterinarians prefer to use ultrasound imaging because the machine is portable and does not make loud noises that will scare a dog. This is important to consider with animals, who do not understand what is happening or why they are not feeling like themselves.
A vet may order an ultrasound exam if they find any of the following during a routine examine:
- High White cell counts in the blood work
- Ongoing vomiting or diarrhea
- Sudden unexplainable weight loss
- Infections that do not respond to medication
- Breaking their house training habits
- Wet sounds coming from the chest
What Happens During an Ultrasound Exam for a Sled Dog
Parts of the dog’s fur may need to be shaved in order for the ultrasound technician to get a clear picture. A special gel is than applied to the skin that acts as a conductor for the sound waves. What vets and owners like about ultrasound imaging is that unless your sled dog is unusually skittish, there will be no sedation required. Once the exam is done, you will usually be able to take the dog home immediately.
Sled dog owners have no reason to worry about the ultrasound exam. This is a perfectly safe procedure, that can be instrumental in diagnosing problems in the sled dog early enough to implement an effective treatment plan.