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In the past two months my dogs have had issues that required ultrasound equipment...something I was surprised to find out my Vet didn't have and we were referred elsewhere no issue really but...since there's members here from many different areas of the world and the US also....I'm curious if folks think that's the norm or if their vet has in house equipment.....I get that the equipment can get pricey and that the more you spend the better the imaging...I also learned their x-ray machine is darn near an antique.....this is not a tiny-- hole in the wall practice....they have 4 vets and will do most anything dental and frankly I thought most surgeries,,,I'm confused how without doing exploratory surgery they can get by without one.....as a side note this place is not the cheapest in town by any stretch...however I love and really trust this vet...so my question is am I out of line expecting an ultrasound on site,,??
 

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I am also in Virginia and the vets here use a traveling ultrasound vet. I recently had one done and had to wait two weeks for the appointment. I'd say it's pretty standard. The ultrasound vet specializes in that and does travel.
 
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Most vets do not ultrasounds in house and if they do, they are lower quality machines that allow them to do FAST scans, cystos and stuff like that. Training to read accurately is another aspect that most vets are not up to date in.

Would you rather someone who has extensively trained to read ultrasounds do it, or a vet that does 1 maybe 2 a month?
 
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FWIW, every AAHA-accredited clinic I've every patronized had one. That's only the top 15% or so of all vet hospitals--meaning 85% of all clinics are not AAHA accredited. I can't say whether it's true of all of them, but that experience covers three different states. They tend to be significantly more expensive than surrounding vets generally due to the commitment to extra training and investment in diagnostics -- but I've never had to wait for an ultrasound at one of them. Vet school clinics also always have them. In one case, being able to do it immediately helped avoid exploratory surgery that otherwise would have been recommended. Digital radiographs are also pretty standard at this type of clinic.

Maintaining AAHA accreditation seems to require a significant clinic investment in diagnostic technology and training...and that does drive up prices. So there's a gimme and a gotcha to it. "Country vets" practicing older, spartan facilities can simply charge less, and that's what many clients want -- so most people who don't need ultrasounds don't want to pay higher rates for everything that would be needed to enable the vet to pay off the loan on the expensive new machine.

I think we're entering an age of two tiers of vet practices -- high-end, full-service practices with cutting-edge diagnostics and the latest, greatest tech (and sometimes even specialists under the same roof) vs. bare-bones, low-cost clinics with minimal diagnostics (some I know don't even have xray capability). The middle seems to be eroding as people retire and sell-out their practices to VCA/Blue Pearl/Banfield -- the ones in the middle are sandwiched uncomfortably between low-cost practices taking away bread-and-butter wellness visit clients based on cost, and high-end practices that offer a lot more in beautiful, new facilities. As WM rolls out its low-cost, no-frills wellness clinics in stores, watch this trend accelerate!
 

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Thanks for all the replies.....much appreciated......special thanks to Magwart I thought in the back of my mind I'd I'd seen some AAHA signs etc on windows of my vets practice.....I went to their website and my vets clinic is in fact AAHA....my vet and another at the practice are both owners they recently bought when the older owner/vet retired and they've done a lot of remodeling--it's very nice......it just seems ironic to me that while on the website I was reading my vets bio and listed with "special interests" was ultrasound....in the end it doesn't matter to me either way because his advice is always perfect....we've laughed and cried together....he's my guy until he retires or dies (God forbid) or my wife or myself die......period.


The hospital we were referred to is a critical care "refer only" facility they have multiple x-ray machines-MRI-CT scan and the ultrasound...they have multiple vets with years of experience and young interns fresh out of school and yet as has been pointed out on this thread...there's only one vet who "interprets" if you will...what's seen on the ultrasound----with the onsite wellness clinics in Petsmart-Petco and now based on what I've read here and elsewhere---coming soon to your local Wally World....I don't like the position that's going to put my vet and his practice in
 

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The installations of MRIs is very interesting as they are SO expensive to do! The last time I had to price one for the rescue, I checked with the vet school, the "specialty referral" vet, and two human MRI centers that quietly do animal MRIs after hours without advertising that they do so, because it's easy cash (unlike human insurance reimbursement). The difference in cost was astounding -- more than $500 difference in the quoted price. The vet school was the cheapest, but that could vary elsewhere.
 
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