Does your dog need an X-ray? Then you may find yourself wondering how dog X-rays are done, and whether there is anything you need to do to prepare your dog. Our Rainbow City vets discuss what to expect when your dog has and X-ray.
Veterinary Radiographs - Digital X-Rays for Dogs
Radiographs - or digital X-rays as they are most commonly called - are one of the most frequently used tools in veterinary healthcare. X-rays can help vets get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs to diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, foreign objects that have been swallowed, and more.
X-ray scans are also helpful when it comes to spotting tumors in dogs, diagnosing pregnancy, and detecting enlarged organs which can lead occur due to heart disease or cancer.
That said, radiographs are not the best diagnostic tool for all conditions. Your pet's organs, tissues, and ligaments cannot be seen clearly using X-ray technology. In these cases, other diagnostic imaging such as MRI and Ultrasound is more beneficial.
An X-ray of a pregnant dog can also help you to prepare for the birth of puppies by allowing you to know how many puppies your dog is expecting, and whether a c-section may be required for any reason.
Preparing For Your Dog's X-Rays
Often an x-ray is done when the animal is brought in to have an issue looked at by the vet. For that reason, no preparation is required. Your veterinarian will examine your dog, then if an x-ray is required, they will take some time to explain the procedure and what they will be looking for.
How Dog X-Rays Are Taken
In some cases, sedation is necessary in order to get a clear X-ray. If your dog is calm, not in too much pain, and able to lay in a comfortable position while the X-ray is being taken, sedation will not be necessary.
However, if your dog is fidgety, anxious, or in pain, sedation will be recommended. Other reasons why sedation may be used during your pup's x-ray include if the dog's muscles need to be relaxed in order to get a clear image, or when the x-ray is of the skull, teeth or spine.
Dog X-Ray Safety
Although the use of X-rays is generally considered safe for dogs, radiation is involved and so X-rays are typically used only occasionally and generally as a diagnostic tool. On occasion, vets will use X-ray technology to obtain information about a dog's pregnancy however other forms of imaging such as ultrasound could be used in that case.
If you're concerned about the use of X-ray technology and your dog's health, speak to your vet. Your team of veterinary professionals will be able to give you an understanding of the risks versus the benefits in your dog's particular case so that you can decide whether you want your dog to have an x-ray.
Cost of Dog X-Rays
The cost of your dog's X-rays depends upon a range of factors including the size of your pet, the body part being X-rayed, whether sedation was necessary, the type of veterinary clinic, where the animal hospital is located, and more. Most veterinary hospitals are happy to provide clients with an estimate regarding the cost of any service including dog X-rays. If you are concerned about the cost of your pup's X-rays, ask your vet for an estimate before proceeding.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.