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X-Rays for Dogs

X-rays, also called radiographs, are an important tool for diagnosing and monitoring the health of pets. Here, our veterinary specialists in Springfield discuss the purpose of X-rays for dogs, how to prepare them, and what to expect during this diagnostic procedure.

What are X-rays for dogs?

X-rays are a highly valuable diagnostic tool in animal healthcare. This non-invasive technique lets your vet view your dog's internal structures, including bones, tissues, and organs. X-ray images can aid in diagnosing various health issues, such as broken bones, bladder stones, and swallowed foreign objects. They can also assist in identifying tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs, which may indicate conditions like heart disease or cancer.

However, while X-rays are helpful in many cases, they may not provide a detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments. MRI and ultrasound may be more appropriate for more comprehensive diagnostic imaging.

X-rays of pregnant dogs can be helpful when preparing for the birth of puppies. It can reveal how many puppies a dog is carrying and whether a C-section delivery may be necessary.

Do you need to prepare your dog for an X-ray?

X-rays are often done without planning. This is because they are often performed on pets brought in for illness or injury. 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. 

Will my dog need to be sedated?

In some cases, X-rays require sedation. However, sedation is unnecessary if your dog is calm, not in too much pain, and can lie comfortably during the X-ray.

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 does it take for a dog to be X-rayed?

While the entire visit takes a little longer, your dog's X-rays only take about ten minutes. This is less time than it would take to perform an MRI because of the uncomplicated procedure. The rest of your dog's appointment is devoted to preparing for the procedure, evaluating the images and your dog, determining any additional treatments your dog will have, and discussing the results with you.

Are X-rays safe for dogs?

Although X-rays are commonly used as a diagnostic tool for dogs, it is important to note that some radiation is 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, 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.

How much do X-rays cost for dogs?

If your dog needs an X-ray, the cost will depend on factors such as size, 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 your dog's X-ray costs, you should discuss these with your vet before the procedure. That said, if your vet recommends an X-ray, then the health and treatment of your dog likely rely on it, and it should be performed.

Our diagnostic laboratory at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center 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.

Is your dog showing signs of a condition requiring advanced diagnostics and care? Ask your vet about a referral to our specialty veterinary hospital in Springfield.

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The Regional Veterinary Referral Center is accepting new patients in emergency situations or by referral! Our experienced specialists are passionate about the health of Springfield pets. Contact us today to learn more.

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