Dog being examined at the vet by a doctor and her assistant

Why ultrasound is the right choice to create long-term, sustainable profit.

There are specific areas to explore when considering how to generate long-term, sustainable profits for your veterinary practice; profitability and complexity of service. You must have both for long-term, sustainable growth.

The landscape of veterinary practice ownership is rapidly changing, large in part to the rapid rise of corporate owned veterinary practices. The result is an increasingly competitive environment, where finding ways to differentiate your practice is critical to your survival.

Today, pet owners have many options for veterinary services, and have likely already researched options on the internet, and are willing to spend money on their pets. They will seek out veterinary partners that offer a wide range of modern diagnostics services.

According to the report, the global veterinary ultrasound imaging market is expected to grow by over 5% between 2019 and 2025. Ultrasound is rapidly gaining popularity as a main diagnostic tool, and becoming a key way that veterinarians can improve diagnostics, add valuable skills, and generate additional revenue for the practice.

Profitability and Ultrasound

Using very conservative numbers, your practice should be able to earn at least $700/month in additional revenue from ultrasound services (above your equipment payment). Based onthese numbers,  every practice in North America should be able to afford an ultrasound, and should make it a priority purchase in their practice.


The other factors that play into profitability that are difficult to quantify are:

Increase in case revenue. If you're seeing more, you're going to be diagnosing more. The more you diagnose, the more you treat.

Increased customer satisfaction - being able to quickly and efficiently diagnose pets without having to send them elsewhere for imaging services, will save pet owners time, money, and stress. You'll gain happier customers, who will gladly recommend you to their friends.


This is a key component to sustainability. If the service you're adding is easy to perform/obtain then it's easy for your competition to come along and offer the same...or better service. Laser Therapy is a great example of this. The barrier to entry can be rather low in terms of cost range, and the modality itself can be operated with little training, and provided by anyone. While this is a great service to offer, this is not a service that should be considered "sustainable" due to lack of complexity.

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Ultrasound, on the other hand has a fairly high-level of complexity involved, and is a VERY user dependant modality that requires advanced training and practice. Quite frankly, this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of being able to differentiate leverage ultrasound as a key differentiator, you'll need to be able to do more than "cysto's" and FNAs. This will require a certain level of ultrasound machine, the correct probes - and most importantly the training that will have you scanning at high-levels, and getting definitive diagnoses quickly.

This is where you need to commit to the modality. Your scanning skills and the quality of your machine are the difference between success and failure. So many people give up, either because they had a subpar machine, and mistook that for user error, or they simply did not get adequate training. When the right veterinary ultrasound machine and good training come together, it opens up an amazing new world full of diagnostics, where you're truly only limited by yourself.

The more you've invested into a good machine and quality education, will make it more difficult for competitors to come in and offer similar or better services.

Next Steps to Incorporating Veterinary Ultrasound in Your Practice

1a. Students in the Lab-143You'll need to determine which type of system is right for your practice. Options range from low-end utility 
machines, used machines, and new machines. Pricing can range anywhere from $5,000 up into the $50k price range. We recommend that you begin with a new machine, in the $30-$45k price range. That should get you a system that can properly image the organs and structures you'll need to provide the highest diagnostic value. 


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