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X-Rays for Dogs

When a vet makes an appointment for radiographs for dogs, it means that they are looking to create an internal image of your pup's structures for diagnosis or treatment. Our vets at Orange talk about dog X-rays, how they are done, and how long they can take.

What do dog X-rays show us about their health?

X-rays are a commonly used and highly valuable diagnostic tool in both human and animal healthcare. They enable vets to gain a clear view of your pet's internal structures, including bones, tissues, and organs, which can aid in diagnosing a range of health issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, and swallowed foreign objects, among others. X-ray images can also assist in identifying tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs, which may indicate conditions like heart disease or cancer.

However, it is important to note that while X-rays are helpful in many cases, they may not provide a detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments. For more comprehensive diagnostic imaging, techniques such as MRI and Ultrasound may be more appropriate.

If you have a pregnant dog, an X-ray can be particularly beneficial in preparing for the birth of puppies. It can reveal how many puppies your dog is expecting and whether a c-section delivery may be necessary.

What should I do to prepare my dog for an X-ray?

An x-ray will often be done when an animal is brought in to have issues assessed by a veterinarian. Because of this, no preparation is required. Your vet will be able to examine your pet and then, if an x-ray is required, they will take some time to walk you through the procedure and what they will be looking for from it. 

How do dogs get X-rays and do they need to be sedated?

Sedation is sometimes required 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.

On the other hand, if your pup is squirming, edgy, or in pain, sedation may be recommended by your vet. Some other reasons why sedation may be advised during your pup's x-ray include if your dog's muscles need to be relaxed to gain a clear image or when the ray is of their spine, skull, or teeth.

How long do dog X-rays take?

While the entire visit takes a little longer, your dog's actual X-rays only take about 10 minutes to complete. The rest of the time is devoted to preparing for the procedure, evaluating the images and your dog, any additional treatments your dog will have, and a final discussion with you about the results.

Are X-rays safe for dogs?

Although X-rays are commonly used as a diagnostic tool for dogs, it is important to note that there is some radiation involved. As a result, x-rays are only used occasionally. In certain situations, such as during a dog's pregnancy, vets may use X-rays to obtain information. However, other imaging techniques like ultrasound devices may be used instead.

If you have concerns about the use of X-ray technology and your dog's well-being, it is recommended that you speak with your veterinarian. Your vet can provide you with a thorough understanding of the risks and benefits associated with X-rays in your dog's specific case, allowing you to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with an X-ray.

What is the cost of X-rays for dogs?

Various factors can impact the expense of your dog's X-ray, such as the size of your pet, the specific area being examined, and whether or not sedation was administered.

Additionally, the geographical location of your veterinarian clinic and the type of clinic may also play a part. If you have concerns about the cost of your dog's x-ray, it is recommended to request an estimate from your vet before the procedure.

Our diagnostic laboratory at Vet4HealthyPet is fully equipped to manage diagnostics including comprehensive imaging.

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.

If you have more questions about your dog's upcoming diagnostic imaging appointment, please contact our Orange veterinary team right away. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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