How do I schedule an appointment with you?
It is best to set up an appointment through your veterinarian’s office. Usually an appointment can be scheduled for your pet in less than a week.
Is it best to wait for my pet?
Usually it is more convenient for the pet owner to drop off their pet at their veterinarian’s office in the morning, and pick them up later in the day. This way your pet can settle down and be prepped for the procedure, and if sedation is necessary or biopsies are performed, they can be observed after the procedure for complications.
Can I get a specific appointment time?
As the service is mobile, Dr. Tomes’ schedule is affected by traffic, weather, and emergency procedures. Sometimes cases get more complicated than anticipated, biopsies need to be done, or clients need more extensive discussions about their pet’s continued care and options. For most people it is more convenient to drop their pet off and have the doctor call with the results. For those that wish to wait, Dr. Tomes can call about ½ hour before arrival, if he knows that you are planning to wait.
How much does an ultrasound cost?
The cost of different types of ultrasound exams vary depending on their complexity. Your veterinarian will determine which study is best suited for your pet, and will be better able to provide an estimate. All fees are paid to the hospital where the study is done. The cost includes evaluation of your pet's case, the ultrasound study and interpretation, consultation with your veterinarian, and the consultation with you by either Dr. Tomes or your veterinarian. Generally a study can range from around $200 for the simpler cases up to $575 for the most complex cardiac procedures. There are significant discounts if your pet needs multiple studies at the same time. Sedation, if necessary, is in addition to the ultrasound cost.
How much does an ultrasound guided biopsy cost?
Again, due to the individual nature of each case, biopsy costs can only be estimated after the original study has been done. Most end up being less than $250, but can be more than $500 for more complex biopsies that require anesthesia and special testing. It is always our policy to come to a consensus with you as to what is best for you and your pet before performing any biopsies.
Does my pet need to be sedated or anesthetized?
Most pets do not require any sedation or anesthesia for an ultrasound study. If a pet appears too excitable or stressed by the procedure, or if a biopsy is being performed, a sedative is likely to be necessary. If a sedative is used, it is because the risk of stress related problems and the benefit of a more accurate ultrasound examination exceeds the risk of using a sedative. In very rare situations sedation, pain medication, or general anesthesia can cause complications, some of which can even be life threatening (certain biopsies require light anesthesia and this will be discussed with you if it is necessary).
Does an ultrasound exam hurt?
Depending on the patient and their condition, there is usually no pain and very little stress associated with ultrasound examinations. Many patients actually fall asleep during the procedure. Some patients may, however, find this to be more stressful than others.
Will an ultrasound exam find my pet’s problem?
Although an ultrasound evaluation is an excellent diagnostic tool for many conditions, there is no guarantee that every pet’s problem will be diagnosed by means of ultrasound.
Why does my pet have to be shaved for the procedure?
Ultrasound waves do not reflect clearly through air. Hair insulates by trapping a layer of air between the skin and the hair, and to eliminate this air layer, the hair must be shaved in order to get good image quality. If an abdominal ultrasound is being performed, the abdomen and sides will need to be shaved; if a thoracic ultrasound is being performed, one or both sides of the chest will be shaved; if a cardiac ultrasound is being performed, the lower side of the chest of one or both sides must be shaved; and any other site will have the corresponding area over it shaved. Please be aware that in rare cases the hair can grow back a slight to moderately different color.
Does my pet need to have food and water withheld?
YES!!! For all procedures we ask that there be no food after midnight, but water can be provided up until the time your pet comes in. This is because of the possibility of the need for sedation or anesthesia. In addition, a very important part of evaluation of the stomach and intestines is how much food is in the stomach after fasting. Food in the stomach can also block the ability to image organs around the stomach. The exception to fasting is for some cases of diabetes and for hypoglycemia problems.