Purchasing an Ultrasound scanner for pets!

If you want to purchase a pet ultrasound scanner you will find many options on the internet. A simple piece of scanner equipment can cost you anywhere between £1300 and £3900.

However, if you are confused between which ultrasound scanners to buy, keep three factors in mind.

Factors to Keep in Mind While Buying a Animal Ultrasound Scanner

To make an informed decision which meets your requirement ask yourself three things –

  • What is the size of the animal you want to scan?
  • Do you need a scanner for your pets only or will you scan other animals as well?
  • How long would you need to share the scan images?

The answers to these questions are explained below in detail –

Size of the Animal

If you want to scan cats or small to medium-sized dogs, take the following factors into consideration –

  • First, look for a scanner which has a microconvex probe. You need something smaller because the bitch’s womb is quite small, making the use of wide probe inconvenient.
  • Another reason to use a microconvex probe is because you do not need to send ultrasonic waves deep into the body. By using high frequency sound waves you can easily create images of good quality.
  • For instance, if you want to scan a pregnant pug, you must use a microconvex probe. A convex probe on the other hand is double the size of a microconvex probe. The pug will not be able to take in the probe because of its small abdomen.
  • Smaller animals like cats and Chihuahuas might need even smaller devices. But usually a microconvex probe is sufficient.
  • Along with a smaller probe, you must prioritize high frequency method to produce better pictures.
  • Using a transducer, you should also enhance the resolution of the image. The only drawback is the cost. Good quality transducers are little more expensive than their cheaper, low frequency counterparts.
  • Some good ultrasound scanner brands include – ScanPad, Apogee 1000 Lite, ScanX.

If you have a large dog, you should keep the points mentioned below in mind –

  • The scanning probe you are looking for should operate on low frequencies. Ideally, the frequency should be 5 MHz or lower if possible.
  • Using a larger probe also makes sense. It will produce a more expansive image on the screen in a single sweep.
  • These bigger scanners can also work on medium-large dogs like bulldog.
  • Some of the recommended scanner brands in this category are – ScanX and KX5600.

Use of the Scanner: Personal or Professional?

If you are a veterinarian or work with one, you might need an ultrasound scanner for professional needs. In that case, please make sure that your scanner comes with a warranty and guarantee. If there are any technical issues, you should be able to find a quick replacement. Without warranty or guarantee you would be waiting for days before your scanner returns from repair work. Needless to say, this will also cost you extra. In extreme cases, your clients will walk away too.

When it comes to the brand of the ultrasound scanner, do not go for cheap ones. Cheaper devices come with an inherent risk of being inferior and unreliable. You may think buying cheap equipment will save you money. But this is true only in the short term. In the long term, the chances of your machine falling apart are higher. This means a shaky business and constant expenditure on scanner repair. It is better to invest in a slightly expensive but dependable scanner which will prove to be very cost-effective in the future.

Stay away from online shopping sites which do not specialize in the sale of medical equipment. You can never be sure of what you might get. Another advantage that good brands have over cheap ones is remote repairing. Good brands can send repairmen to your ultrasound scanner for repairs. You do not have to arrange for transporting your scanner all the way to the repair center.

Sharing Of Scanned Images

The type of ultrasound scanner you should get depends on what you intend to do with the scanned pictures. Are you going to share the images with friends and family only? Or, are you running a lab and intend to share the images with clients and customers?

Your ultrasound scanner should be able to produce high resolution images. Even if you want to share the images with your loved ones, you would definitely like to post the images on social media. Using your phone camera to click a picture of the screen will produce grainy, unclear images.

If you run a kennel or an animal adoption agency, scanned ultrasound images of unborn kittens and puppies can promote your brand in the community, increasing the chances for an adoption.

KX5600V is a good option for those who want to take high resolution ultrasound pictures. If you intend to take good quality photos and videos, then ScanX and ScanPad are some very good options.

Tips for Choosing the Right Ultrasound Scanner

Keep the following things in mind if you want to purchase a pet ultrasound scanner –

  • When choosing the correct sized ultrasound scanner, take factors into consideration like – animal size, weight, breathing patterns, eating habits and heart rate. A smart scanner should know how to set default settings while detecting any kind of deviation.
  • Remember, smaller animals need smaller high frequency ultrasound probes. On the other hand, bigger animals need bigger low frequency ultrasound probes.
  • For example, linear probes that function on high frequency are good for cat ultrasound scans.
  • If the animal is too big (comparable to humans, or even cows), you need not stick to animal-specific ultrasound scanners. You can use the equipment used on humans or large animals instead.
  • Depending on your requirement, your ultrasound scanner must have the necessary functions and settings. Are you focusing on scanning the womb or the heart? The technical specifications of the ultrasound scanner will depend on what body part it will scan.
  • You can ask some medical equipment manufacturers for particular presets. This way the machine will be adjusted as per your need as soon as it arrives.