Imaging Information

Important information regarding your pet’s procedure

Thank you for choosing The Vet Lounge for your pet’s imaging procedure. We know how important it is to you that your pet receives the highest standard of care, and we work very hard to ensure we deliver just that.

You will find the following information below:

1. Pre-operative details
2. Admission procedures
3. Anaesthetic/sedation safety
4. Ultrasound Procedure
5. Radiograph Procedure
6. Discharge guidelines
7. Home care instructions
8. Fee details

Pre-Operative Information (before the day)

No food after 10.00pm the night before the procedure

  • We need a completely empty stomach for their procedure. This is to prevent vomiting and aspiration during anaesthesia, which is serious. It’s especially crucial that the stomach and intestines be clear of food to get clear ultrasounds. Food can create gas shadows that might obstruct a comprehensive scan.
  • If your pet is on medication and can be taken without food, please continue to give them this medication the morning of the procedure (unless directed otherwise by your vet).

No water after 7.00 am the morning of the procedure

  • We don’t want your pet to dehydrate, so please pick up the water in the morning when you wake up. It is safe for them to continue drinking overnight the night before.

Feline (cat) patients – Keep your cat inside overnight

  • This will prevent the risk of not being able to find them in the morning and ensures they didn’t eat anything overnight.


  • Take your dog out for a short walk the morning of the procedure to encourage them to defecate (poo) and urinate. Anaesthesia causes relaxation of the sphincter, increasing the risk of potential contamination if they have an accident, and we hear it embarrasses them! A quick walk up the street should do the trick and there’s lots of smells on the grass outside the clinic!


  • If you have been allocated a surgical admission time, we ask that you arrive promptly to your appointment. Delays in patient admissions delay our surgery start times, which result in pets going home later than expected. Admission will take approximately 10 minutes.
  • You will receive a phone call from one of our nurses 1-2 days prior to the procedure, to confirm the booking and answer any further questions you may have.
  • If your pet has had any gastrointestinal upsets (vomiting/diarrhoea), please notify us prior to arrival. If your pet is unwell, we may need to postpone the procedure.
  • Please ensure you are contactable throughout the day as we may need to contact you.
Anaesthetic/ Sedation Safety/ Bloods

Anaesthesia and sedation have become significantly safer over time, yet they still pose some risks. To ensure your pet’s safety, our team takes all necessary precautions.

While patient history and physical exams provide valuable information, certain details can only be revealed through blood tests, such as underlying diseases invisible to the naked eye.

Conducting pre-anaesthetic blood tests serves several purposes:

1. Establishing a baseline for future reference in case of illness (results are kept on your file).
2. Confirming normal results boosts confidence in proceeding with anaesthesia.
3. Abnormal results allow us to adjust the anaesthetic protocol for enhanced patient support.
4. Considerably abnormal results may prompt postponement of the procedure for further treatment or testing.

When is it performed?

These tests are performed on the morning of your pet’s procedure, requiring only a small blood sample and our in-house pathology machine delivers results within approximately 20 minutes. If veterinarians are happy with the results, we will proceed as planned (you will also receive a copy of the results). However, if any concerns arise, we will discuss them with you immediately.

For example: We performed a blood test on a Staffordshire Terrier scheduled for dental work. The results indicated a decline in kidney function, prompting us to administer IV fluids for 24 hours to support the kidneys and the procedure was rescheduled for the following day. This precaution ensures safer conditions for anaesthesia.

Is it compulsory?

Blood tests are compulsory for all pets aged 8 years and older. This precaution is taken because older pets are at a higher risk during anaesthesia.
The blood test is not compulsory for pets under the age of 8, however they are strongly advised due to the extra layer of safety it gives to your pet. Our Admissions Nurse will ask if you would like this test performed during Admission.

Ultrasound Procedure

Duration of stay

• Your pet will stay with us for most of the day.


• We aim to conduct thorough Ultrasounds, which typically require your pet to remain still for 40 minutes to 1 hour. To achieve this, we employ various sedation protocols tailored to each patient. Upon admission, the       attending veterinarian will determine the most suitable option for your pet.
• Sedations typically last between 40 minutes to 2 hours.
• For patients who struggle to maintain positions, or who are having a prolonged scan, a stronger sedative is used. We are however able to reverse some of the stronger sedatives to aid if a faster recovery.
• It’s important to note that sedation can affect each patient differently. You may observe that your pet is a bit subdued for 12-24 hours following sedation, which is normal.


• Your pet will have a large part of their abdomen clipped as this is necessary to obtain clear images. The ultrasound probe must make direct contact with skin.

Additional studies

• In some situations, collecting samples can provide a clearer understanding of your pet’s illness. Fine needle aspirates (collecting needle samples) / cystocentesis (collection of urine) can be performed during the ultrasound     with your consent.
• We may take samples of urine or use needles to collect samples from organs or growths if abnormalities are found during the scan.
• Sometimes, it’s best to collect samples on another day after further discussion and possibly obtaining additional blood test results. For example, normal blood clotting test results are usually recommended before taking liver samples. However, in certain cases, proceeding with sample collection may not be advisable.
• These additional tests may incur additional costs, and we’ll discuss them with you before proceeding.
• Please note that Ultrasound is a screening test and cannot detect all abnormalities.


• The cost of an ultrasound will largely depend on the type of scan your pet is receiving.
• We are happy to provide you with an estimate of our fees.


Duration of stay

  • Your pet will stay with us for most of the day.



  • We require your pet to remain perfectly still during their X-rays. Even slight movement can result in blurry images, necessitating retakes. Therefore, most patients receive a strong sedation to ensure stillness during the procedure. However, if your pet has a condition that prohibits sedation, we’ll discuss alternative options with you.
  • Our sedation enables us to position your pet appropriately for X-rays, which may involve some awkward but non-painful positions. Without sedation, an awake patient may not tolerate these positions. The heavy sedation we administer can be reversed, ensuring that your pet’s system is clear of its main effects when they leave the clinic, allowing them to walk out comfortably.
  • Some patients undergoing Orthopaedic X-rays may require a ‘Twilight Anaesthetic’ or ‘Intravenous Anaesthetic’. This ensures your pet is completely asleep during the procedure. Orthopaedic X-rays can involve uncomfortable positions to obtain certain views, so we opt for a light anaesthetic to ensure they feel no pain during the process.

Clipped Hair

  • Your pet may have a clipped section on their arm where an intravenous catheter was placed or where they received their sedation. Additionally, there might be a clipped section on their neck where blood was collected for pre-procedure blood tests.


  • Our standard X-ray package covers 3 views.
  • Occasionally, if abnormalities are detected, or specific orthopaedic cases require additional X-Ray views, these additional images are charged individually.
  • Please note that X-rays are a screening test and cannot detect all abnormalities.
Discharge (pick up/collection)

Going Home

• Our veterinarian will discuss the procedure findings with you during an afternoon discharge appointment. If further results or reports are necessary, we may initially provide a summary over the phone and follow up with a detailed report later.
• Your pet will be discharged in the afternoon by one of our nurses, at a pre-arranged time agreed upon during admission (discharge times are usually between 3.00-5.40pm). Please allow 10-15 minutes for this appointment.
• We understand that there are sometimes delays getting out of work, stuck in the afternoon traffic etc. If you will be late for your appointment, please call us as we may need to re-schedule for a later time.

Home Care

When you get your pet home

• Offer your pet a place to sleep inside (if possible), to ensure they are kept warm.
• Keep other pets and small children away from them so they can continue to rest and recover. They’ll be back on their feet the next morning.


• You can feed your pet when you get home, but only offer a small amount first in case they vomit. If they keep it down, you can offer more. Please offer water also but your pet will have received IV fluids during their stay so don’t be worried if they don’t appear thirsty.


• Let your pet rest for the night of the procedure but they can return to their normal exercise the following day. We will advise if restriction of exercise is required.


• See your personal take home sheet for instructions regarding medications (if required).


• If you have Pet Insurance and would like to submit a Gap Claim, please notify us on admission.
• If you would like to use Zip, VetPay or AfterPay, please notify us on admission so paperwork can be started.
• All fees are payable on discharge when you pick up your pet.
• Please allow for unexpected issues & therefore fees e.g. some pets are a bit mischievous and despite all of our efforts, chew out their IV catheters. An additional catheter charge may be charged to put in a new one. Have a word to your pet before they come in and ask them to be good!