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Patient preparation
Prior to the study we recommend to:


Fast the patient for 6-12 hours (water is allowed)

* Diabetic patients or pregnant does not require fasting.


Full urinary bladder is ideal (for abdominal studies)


Clip the patient in the region to be evaluated

(abdominal studies require a wide clipping)

* Please help us having patients ready upon arrival specially large dogs over 40kg.


If tru-cut biopsy is required a full coagulation profile is required prior to procedure.


Placing an IV cathether prior to our arrival in case sedation

is required

* DO NOT sedate with MEDETOMIDINE (Domitor) for Echocardiograms

(See sedation information below).

Patient Preparation

Clipping Patients for Abdominal ultrasound and Echocardiogram:

We ask all patients be clipped prior to our teams arrival. 

For a full tutorial on how to clip a patient for these procedures please click the links below:

Abdominal Ultrasound Clip
Echocardiogram Clip

                Abdominal Ultrasound                                               Echocardiogram

  • Sedation for abdominal ultrasound and echocardiography:
    Often required to facilitate a safe and stress-free procedure for patient and handlers. Panting, tense abdominal muscles and patient movement can significantly impact the quality of the study and ability to visualise certain structures. Decisions about which sedatives to use should always be guided by careful clinical evaluation of each individual patient and knowledge of any potential adverse effects and drug interactions. Butorphanol: - may be effective alone for some patients - combine with an additional sedative for very anxious patients. Buprenorphine - tends to provide less sedation than butorphanol but may be preferred if stronger analgesia is desired - consider combining with another sedative such as acepromazine. Methadone - stronger analgesia than butorphanol or buprenorphine - may cause excessive panting if used as the sole agent; consider combining with acepromazine if appropriate. Acepromazine: - can cause splenomegaly so should be avoided in patients where spleen size is of interest (or alternative the spleen may be assessed prior to administration of ACP if possible) - Low doses may be used for echocardiography unless dilated cardiomyopathy is suspected or the patient is clinically unstable (particularly hypotensive). Alfaxan: - useful for highly fractious or anxious patients - minimal effects on abdominal ultrasound or echocardiography Medetomidine: - should NOT be used for patients undergoing echocardiography as it may significantly impact findings and measurements. - may be utilised for abdominal ultrasound, can cause dilation of caudal vena cava and may cause splenomegaly in cats. Oral sedatives (such as gabapentin or trazodone) given at home prior to the procedure can help for severely anxious or fractious patients. Additional injectable sedatives may still be needed. Give with the minimum amount of food possible (particularly for abdominal scans). For fractious cats, gabapentin is best given the night before and morning of the procedure (at least 2 hours prior).
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