If you’re considering equipping your veterinary clinic with an ultrasound machine, you’re on the right path. The right ultrasound equipment can prove to be a valuable asset. It will boost your veterinary practice by helping you provide quality and timely care to your furry patients.
Earlier veterinarians relied heavily on MRI and CT scan machines for diagnoses. However, these are extremely bulky and have many safety considerations and guidelines owing to their harmful radiation. Such downsides limit their availability to a few specialized facilities.
On the other hand, ultrasound machines are easily accessible and safe. In addition, there are many other pros of using ultrasound in veterinary practice. These include convenience, accuracy, cost-efficiency, and ease-of-use. The machines then become one of the most preferred diagnostic tools for veterinarians.
Furthermore, rapid advances in ultrasound technology have led to increasingly portable, compact, and easy-to-use machines that provide high-quality imaging, making them a suitable choice for veterinary practices. Moreover, in comparison to X-rays, ultrasound machines help doctors easily visualize soft tissues and even distinguish fluids from other masses. This has led to more and more veterinarians commonly using ultrasound for their day-to-day diagnoses. Vets implement other ultrasound-guided procedures and therapies for well-rounded care.
What Is The Best Veterinary Ultrasound Machine For Your Clinic?
Selecting the right ultrasound machine that closely matches your clinical needs is crucial in order to reap the maximum benefits. Whether you’re looking to purchase ultrasound equipment for the first time or simply upgrade your existing system, we recommend conducting thorough research to make an optimal choice. After all, the purchase of an ultrasound machine requires a significant financial investment.
To help you in your search for the best veterinary ultrasound machine, we’ve outlined some tips and factors that will assist you in making an informed decision. To further supplement your research, you may also refer to some veterinary ultrasound machine reviews. They will educate the readers about the performance of specific ultrasound machines, if desired. Word-of-mouth is potent for talking about machine ife as well.
The best ultrasound probe for your practice depends on the type of patients you evaluate. Different animals require different probes. Cats and small dogs would need a different probe than a large dog, for example.
Canine Ultrasound Machines
The best ultrasounds for dogs can assess fetal developments during pregnancy, especially for breeds that have larger litters. Usually, a pregnant dog can receive a scan 28 days after ovulation, and a vet can assess this time period. They can also scan for serious injuries.
With dogs, some learn to hide their pain until serious incidents happen. When that happens, they have trouble communicating the problem, forcing vets to make a diagnosis. Others act up on realizing they get attention from their owners who will worry.
Large dogs require scanning at lower frequencies. Large convex and micro convex probes would do well for them.
Breeds including Chihuahuas or similarly sized canines will not be comfortable with wireless or wide convex probes. They need a probe that can detect smaller organs. Consider belly size as well, especially for pregnancies.
Best Ultrasound Machines For Small Animals
With ultrasound machines, the animal size determines how far the waves travel. They also help a vet conclude what size probe will offer comfort and accuracy. Smaller animals, for example, do not need wide probes.
Animal homeostasis also needs to be considered, for heartbeats, eating habits, normal weight, and breathing patterns. A good machine will be able to set the defaults and notice deviations.
Probes for Small Animal Practice
A probe is the part of the scanner that needs to be applied against the area that is to be examined, making it a crucial and sensitive part simultaneously as it images the organ that needs to be visualized. Therefore, it is understandably one of the most important parameters to consider in your deliberation on the best veterinary ultrasound machine.
If you’re buying an ultrasound machine for the first time, opt for a micro-convex probe with a frequency between 3 MHz and 9 MHz. This is a minimum requirement for every veterinary practice. The probe can also be used to scan a small animal’s heart. For scanning animals’ hearts, another good choice is a phased array probe, which allows enhanced visualization.
With time, as your requirements and budget increase, you can add the phased array probe and other types to cover more uses and even varieties of our four-legged friends. Generally speaking, probes with a small radius are best suited for small animals.
Suppose cats are your most frequent patients. Opt for a high-frequency linear probe for excellent resolution. Meanwhile probes with greater tissue penetration are an excellent choice for larger dogs.
Lastly, for scanning large animals, such as giant breed dogs, you may even utilize probes meant for cows or humans. These have a larger radius.
Basic Or Advanced Functionality
Another parameter worth considering is the type of diagnostic functions you would require daily. Will you be requiring basic ultrasound diagnostic imaging or advanced imaging for detecting abnormalities in the functioning of heart valves?
Would you be conducting diagnostic tests on the field or in your clinic? If you evaluate large animals on the field, perhaps you may opt for a refurbished machine to prevent your new equipment from being subjected to wear and tear.
In addition, would a black-and-white ultrasound machine suffice your diagnostic needs, or would a color Doppler machine fit best? Most practices can survive with black-and-white ultrasound equipment. They tend to start out with this functionality. Initially, they would mostly require basic diagnostic capabilities for say, abdominal scanning for examining fetuses.
On the other hand, with color Doppler ultrasounds, you can even conduct advanced cardiac scanning. These enable you to assess and measure the speed of blood flow, for instance. Color Doppler imaging is also used for guiding interventional procedures, such as injections and biopsies.
Another consideration is whether you require DICOM connectivity or archive data management. These assist in sending images or transferring them to another device. In that case, you may need to opt for these additional features.
Preloaded Veterinary Specific Presets
Some ultrasound machines have predetermined presets. Others allow practitioners to adjust them based on their requirements. Choosing a veterinary ultrasound machine that comes with pre-loaded veterinary-specific presets would make your job easier. The presets streamline your workflow.
Presets optimize workflow by enabling fast and easy scanning. They require minimal adjustment between two different scans. Or in simpler terms, the adjustment is smaller between scanning one type of organ and another.
During exams, presets have a mechanism to automatically change the algorithms for imaging. They select the right depth, contrast, frequency, and focus, based on the organ that is being visualized.
Consider if you’re a small animal’s heart and another’s abdomen to locate an ingested foreign object consecutively. With presets, you will be able to do so with minimum adjustments between the two scans and with clear imaging.
During peak times, it’s exceptionally helpful to have an ultrasound machine that contributes towards work efficiencies and eases the workload. It should include an easy patient information management system. The system must quickly add, retrieve, and modify patient details with appropriate notes. Moreover, it should have easy-to-use interfaces to enable fast and easy scanning.
The machine should also have a scanner that requires minimum starting time. This is especially relevant in veterinary practice. Some animals will not lie still for too long, while the scanner is firing up. Lastly, the equipment should also allow practitioners to save images in the preferred file formats of their choice.
Portability is a convenient attribute to have in a veterinary ultrasound machine. Animals tend to become restless and move about in a room. This may create situations in which practitioners need to carry the scanning equipment to where they are located. They may also need to transport the ultrasound to where the pet will feel comfortable.
Examinations can get complicated especially if the patients are too sick to move. Additionally, if you evaluate patients in both settings, clinic, and in-field, you may opt for portable ultrasound equipment with a long-lasting battery.
Ideally, opt for compact, lightweight, and portable ultrasound machines. Modern portable ultrasounds provide the same high-quality imaging that was earlier associated with bulkier machines. Another plus is that portable ultrasounds are less noisy compared to others. Louder machines tend to scare small animals and make them restless.
Cost is one of the most important factors in choosing an ultrasound machine or a probe. Veterinary offices have different budgets depending on their operating costs and carrying capacity. The good news is that ultrasound machines come in various price ranges. With such flexibility, you can find one that suits your budgetary range.
However, it’s extremely important to ensure that, in the quest for a low-cost machine, quality is not compromised. Often, high-priced ultrasound equipment provides better imaging. The imaging in turn leads to a more accurate and confident diagnosis. Fortunately modern color Doppler systems are not as expensive as they were before.
Regardless of the system you opt for, consider additional costs for add-on options, warranty costs, and additional transducer probes, among others. Warranties cost extra, especially comprehensive or long-term policies.
Costs will vary depending upon whether you buy a brand-new or refurbished model. The same applies if you purchase the equipment with monthly payments or by making a lump sum. Buying or leasing the equipment can also make a difference in short or long-term costs.
Reliable Supplier Or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
It’s highly recommended to select a supplier or manufacturer that offers a range of ultrasound equipment. An OEM or supplies will provide you with a wide variety of good-quality branded equipment as purchasing options. Furthermore, the ideal supplier offers ultrasound machines from various reputable brands and in different price ranges. This gives you the latitude to choose one that meets your clinical as well as budgetary requirements.
In addition, if the supplier provides service, maintenance, and repair services, it’s a bonus. They can help you take good care of your machine. Maintenance will make the ultrasound machines last in the long-term, and consequently ease your workload and stress.
Lastly, look for a supplier that has the provision to ship replacement parts or supplies as early as possible. This ensures that any technical glitch doesn’t stall your practice. Stalling causes downtime and loss of business.
We hope the points above assist you in your search for the best veterinary ultrasound machine for your practice. Investing in the best veterinary ultrasound machine can substantially improve the quality and timeliness of healthcare for your furry patients, who are completely reliant on you to make the right diagnoses, given that they cannot communicate their pains.
Browse Machines At National Ultrasound For All Your Veterinary Needs
National Ultrasound offers a wide range of trolley-based and portable ultrasounds. Lastly, we carry machines from all major manufacturers and in every price range. With so many machines available, you can find the machine that perfectly matches your requirements.
Do you need to equip your practice with the right ultrasound machine or want an upgrade for your existing equipment? Contact National Ultrasound today. Then you can speak to one of our representatives who are skilled in evaluating your requirements. National Ultrasound will fit you with exactly what you need.