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Taking Your Dog For an X-Ray - What To Expect

Is your dog booked to have an X-ray (radiograph)? If so, you may be wondering what to expect from your dog's X-ray appointment and how you can prepare. Today's post outlines the typical process for capturing dog X-rays.

What can dog 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 get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, foreign objects that have been swallowed, and more.

X-ray images can also be helpful when it comes to spotting tumors, diagnosing pregnancy, and detecting enlarged organs which can occur due to 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.

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.

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How can I prepare for my dog's 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 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.

Will my dog need to be sedated when they have their X-ray?

In some cases, sedation is necessary to get a clear X-ray image. 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 may not be necessary.

However, if your dog is squirmy, edgy, or in pain, sedation is generally 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. However, it is important to note that today's digital X-ray technology involves far less radiation than X-rays in the past. Nonetheless, X-rays are typically used only occasionally and generally as a diagnostic tool. In some cases vets will use X-rays 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 and 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 dog 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. The services listed in this post may not be available at this hospital.

Does your dog need an X-ray? Our Tucson vets are here to help! Contact Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson today to book an X-ray appointment for your dog.

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