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X-Rays for Dogs

Diagnostic imaging including radiography (X-rays) helps us obtain a detailed view of your pet's internal structures. Here, our Citrus Heights vets discuss the purpose of X-rays for dogs including what to expect, how safe they are and what you can do to prepare.

What are X-rays for dogs and what are they used for?

X-rays are one of the most widely used veterinary diagnostic tools. X-rays can help vets get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowing foreign objects, and more.

Your vet is able to use X-rays to spot issues with the bones, organs and soft tissues of your dog allowing for the diagnosis of various medical conditions.

A detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments cannot be obtained using X-ray technology. If you are looking for a more detailed view of the soft tissues within your pet's body then the vet may recommend an MRI or ultrasound.

An X-ray of a pregnant dog can be used to provide valuable information about their puppies including how many they are expecting and if there are signs of potential issues.

Will I need to do anything to prepare my dog?

Diagnostic imaging like X-rays is most often used after accidents or sudden injuries. Because of this, you will not need to prepare your dog in any way for an X-ray. Once your vet has determined that an X-ray is the best option for diagnosing your pet they will share information about the process as well as what they will be looking for on the X-ray image.

Is sedation necessary for my dog's X-ray?

Each dog reacts differently to the X-ray procedure, with some dogs becoming frightened. If this is the case for your dog then your vet may recommend having your pup sedated for the X-ray. Sedation may also be used in cases where your dog is experiencing a great deal of pain or if they are moving around too much.

Other reasons why sedation may be used during your pup's X-ray include if the dog's muscles need to be relaxed to get a clear image, or when the X-ray is of the skull, teeth or spine.

Is it safe for my dog to have an X-ray?

The use of X-rays as a diagnostic tool is irreplaceable and while this diagnostic test requires radiation, the levels are low enough that it is deemed safe for pets. X-rays are also quicker than some other diagnostic tests like MRIs, making them more efficient in getting your dog in and back again sooner.

If you would like to speak in detail about the safety of your pet during their X-ray please talk to your vet. Your veterinarian can answer your questions and 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. 

How much do X-rays for dogs cost?

If your dog needs an X-ray the cost will vary depending on several different factors including the qualifications of the vet, the location, what services your dog needs, if any medications or additional diagnostics are used and more. If you are concerned about the cost of your pup's X-rays, ask your vet for an estimate before proceeding. They can also break down each of the associated costs to help you gain a better understanding of your bill.

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 still have questions about what to expect during your dog's incoming diagnostic imaging appointment, please contact our Citrus Heights vets.

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Family Friends Veterinary Hospital is happy to accept new patients! Our vets are passionate about improving the health of Citrus Heights companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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