What to Expect When You Take Your Dog For an X-Ray

If your dog is booked to have an x-ray (radiograph) you may be wondering how the appointment will work and how you can prepare. Below, our Tucson vets share what you can expect when you take your dog for an x-ray.

What can x-rays help vets diagnose?

X-rays are one of the most helpful, and frequently used tools in both human healthcare and veterinary healthcare. X-rays can help vets to get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowed foreign objects, and more.

X-ray images can help vets to spot some tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs which may lead to a diagnosis such as heart disease or cancer.

A detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments cannot be obtained using x-ray technology. In these cases, other diagnostic imaging such as MRI and Ultrasound is more beneficial.

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How can I prepare my dog for their x-ray appointment?

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 vet will examine your pet, then if an x-ray is required, they will take some time to explain the procedure and what they will be looking for.

Will my dog be sedated when they have their x-ray?

Sedation is sometimes required 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.

On the other hand, if your dog is squirmy, edgy, 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.

Are x-rays safe for dogs?

While 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. In some cases vets will use x-ray technology to glean 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 veterinarian 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. 

How much will my dog's x-rays cost?

There are a range of factors that will dictate the cost of your dog's x-rays including the size of your pet, the area being x-rayed, whether sedation was used, the type of clinic, where your veterinary clinic is located, and more. 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.

At Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson, our vets use state of the art diagnostic imaging tools to diagnose and treat many conditions in dogs and cats. If your pet needs urgent care visit emergency vets right away, or for specialist care ask your vet for a referral to our team of veterinary specialists

What to Expect When You Take Your Dog For an X-Ray

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