Your dog is an important part of the family, so taking care of their health is just as crucial as taking care of your own! That means getting regular check-ups at the vet and making sure their health is up on the up and up! Unfortunately, our furry friends can’t speak English and tell us what’s going on in their bodies, so we have to make some educated guesses to get to the bottom of what ails them.
If the idea of taking Rover to the vet gives you cold sweats, you’re not alone. Vet bills can cost you your life savings. Walking the line between shelling out a fortune and making sure your pet has top care can be tough, especially when you hear the dreaded words “he needs an x-ray”. You might have visions of your children’s college funds evaporating, or you sliding into bankruptcy with a single picture of your dog’s insides. Fortunately, that’s not necessarily true. Most of the time an x-ray will be a painless and fairly moderately priced expense that you’ll happily pay for peace of mind about your dog.
Here’s what to expect when you have to take your precious pooch in for an x-ray.
What Are The Costs Associated With X-Rays?
An x-ray itself isn’t guaranteed to break the bank. Just like human x-rays, dog x-rays can vary drastically in price. It really depends on the size of your dog, what part they need x-rayed and if your pup needs to be put under to perform the procedure. A good rule of thumb is that when you can, you should go to your regular vet’s office. The cost of a dog x-ray rises exponentially when done at an animal emergency clinic. If you can wait to see your usual vet practitioner, do it. Of course, if your dog is in severe pain and it’s after hours, you’ll have to make your best judgment call. It’s never advisable to put cost above your dog’s health if you can avoid it.
If you’re able to go to your regular vet’s office, the cost of the first x-ray will be anywhere from 75 dollars to 150 dollars. This cost completely depends on the breed and the place they need to be x-rayed. If you need subsequent x-rays, they’ll be in the 20 dollar to 75 dollar range per x-ray. Your vet should keep you apprised of how things are going and how many additional x-rays they need to take during the entire experience.
If you have an anxious little guy or girl, you might need to have them sedated. Some pets just don’t like to visit the vet and any unfamiliar aspects of the normal vet visit will put them into a tailspin of panic. If a regular visit to the animal doc has your dog in a fit of anxiety, chances are they will not do well with an x-ray and might need to be put under. Just like human anesthesia, pup anesthesia can cost some big bucks and ranges from 40 dollars to over 200 dollars depending on the size of the dog.
The costs associated with x-rays don’t include the cost of the visit itself. If your best buddy is an anxiety-prone Great Dane who you know is going to need a pricey x-ray and a solid dose of anesthesia, you might want to check around to see where you can find the best price. That way, you can make sure your pup is as comfortable as possible and your wallet isn’t taking a huge hit for the vet visit.
- There is no “one size fits all” x-ray for dogs, every pooch is different
- Your costs will vary dramatically depending on the size of the dog, breed and where the x-ray needs to take place
- If your dog needs anesthesia prepare to pay a lot extra (especially for big breeds)
- It pays to do some price checking as x-rays can be expensive
- When possible, try to avoid emergency vet clinics, but use judgement if your dog is in pain
What Is The X-Ray Procedure?
Dog x-rays are a lot like human x-rays. They serve exactly the same function; to check out what’s going on inside the body and make sure things are functioning just like they need to be! In order for your veterinarian to get a good glimpse inside Rover, he’ll need to drink some barium. Barium helps illuminate the insides of the dog and give medical personnel the tools they need to take an accurate peek inside. Barium won’t hurt your dog.
Secondly, your dog and the vet technician will go in a special room that is specifically designed to conduct x-rays. The technician will wear protective gear and you probably won’t be allowed to enter. This is for your safety. Unnecessary exposure to x-rays is not advisable and should be avoided. Many times, the type and strength of x-rays used on dogs are stronger than the ones used on people. This is because dogs have a lot of fat and fur that the x-ray has to burrow through.
If you have visions of enormous x-ray machines, think again. Your dog won’t need to go through a big machine in order to have the x-ray done. It will be a painless and quick experience.
- Your dog will need to drink barium before the x-ray so the vet technician can get a better idea of what is going on inside
- The x-rays used on dogs are stronger than those for people because dogs have more fur and fat
- Your dog does not need to go into a fancy machine to have their x-ray
- The x-ray will be painless and rapid
Special Types Of X-Rays Your Dog Might Need
Nine times out of ten your dog will only need a standard x-ray to be on his or her way, but sometimes, a more sophisticated x-ray is required. In times like these, the vet technician might suggest a type of x-ray that is designed to look specifically at, and give detailed data on a certain part of your dog’s body. If this happens, you shouldn’t be alarmed. This just means that they need to go in for a deeper peek to make sure your pup is okay. It should be noted that these x-rays are generally a little more expensive, so if one of these is prescribed for your pooch and you can do some price checking, you probably should! The three types of x-rays your dog might need are:
CT Scan: This type of x-ray is also known as a “cat scan”, but don’t worry, it’s perfectly okay for your dog! This x-ray is great for getting in-depth information on complicated parts of the body, like the head. Instead of taking one x-ray, CT Scans take multiple pictures and catalog them together, so the vet technician can get a complete picture of what’s going on inside your dog.
MRI Scan: MRIs use a magnetic field to pick up any disturbances or irregularities in your dog’s tissue. These types of x-rays can be especially useful for pups that suffer from nerve damage or any spinal problems. MRIs are a good way to see malfunctions in connectivity that could be plaguing your dog and causing serious pain.
Ultrasound Scan: Usually associated with pregnant human women, Ultrasound Scans are often used in non-expecting people and dogs to get a better insight into any potential abdominal problems. Ultrasound Scans operate exactly how they sound; by emitting a ray of sound into the abdominal cavity. Even though dogs can hear sounds and frequencies that humans can not, the sound made by the Ultrasound Scan doesn’t hurt their ears.
Are X-Rays Good For My Dog?
It’s generally accepted in the animal medical community that x-rays are fine for dogs. Although unnecessary and prolonged exposure to radiation is harmful to both pups and humans, x-rays are a legitimate medical procedure that do much more good than harm. They can help detect cancerous tumors, fractures, breaks, nerve or brain damage or abdominal issues. If Rover has swallowed something he shouldn’t have, an x-ray will tell you what it is and you can take steps to remove it.
Overall, x-rays are part of balanced medical care for both humans and dogs. You shouldn’t hesitate to get your pup an x-ray if you suspect there is a problem, or if one is recommended by the veterinarian!
Treating Your Best Buddy
Remember that the veterinarian can be a traumatic experience even for the best and most calm dogs, so you should reward your pup accordingly after a visit! Why not stop at the store for a special gift, or give Rover a nice treat for being such a good boy? Certain people treats, like Gatorade, are also appropriate for dogs(in moderation and only when necessary). Can dogs drink Gatorade, you ask? We have written an article on that matter, read it here.
Other ways to treat your dog could be a nice long run in the park or a canine chew; like a bone or dental stick that does double duty of giving them fresh breath and clean teeth along with being a yummy post veterinarian treat! Why not splurge on a squeaky toy too? This is your best friend, after all.
Getting Your Dog An X-Ray Doesn’t Need To Be Scary
Just like for people, x-rays are part of normal routine medical procedures for dogs, and they don’t need to be scary or fill you with dread. Just remember that x-rays vary wildly in cost, so do your due diligence and price check as well as avoid emergency clinics. If your dog needs a special kind of scan, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that he or she is very sick, just that the veterinarian needs to take a closer peek at a certain part of their body. X-rays won’t hurt your dog and they’ll be over in a jiffy. Although prolonged or unnecessary exposure to x-rays can be detrimental to both dogs and humans, x-rays have more benefits than they do downsides and you should never hesitate to get your pup one if you think you need to or are told to by a respected veterinary professional.
We know your dog is a valuable member of the family and with regular care, Rover will be happy and healthy for years to come!