One type of medical imaging test that can be done on your dog is CT (Computer Tomography) scanning. Computed tomography is an X-ray imaging technique that uses a special scanner to create sectional images of the body. The procedure allows you to diagnose a lot of different medical issues when pathological changes of organs (bone structures, brain, organs in the chest or abdomen) can not be detected by other methods.
CT examination allows the doctor to view images of the inside of the body from any desired angle. This investigation provides accurate and fast information, without the need for more invasive explorations. Also, preoperative CT examination allows better planning of the operation. The procedure is painless, of short duration, non-invasive, providing particularly valuable details for diagnosis.
Pets, and dogs in particular, need anesthesia to go through the CT scan. The images are made in a few minutes and the procedure together with the anesthesia can take 30-45 minutes.
How much does a dog CT scan cost?
The price of a dog CT depends on many factors like the place you are living in, the vet you are going to, and the complexity of the test. However, you should budget anywhere between $550 and $2,500 for this procedure. The prices are so high because the costs associated with the scan are considerable – some CT units being sold for more than $105,000.
From the Petsbest.com website we found out that the cost of a dog CT scan is somewhere between $900 and $1,300 for each diagnostic screening, but it can be much more if multiple scans are necessary.
Depending on the complexity of the study, TuftsYourDog.com says that the price is $550 to $1,300.
Also, PetMD.com states that the cost is influenced by the complexity of the test. For instance, the price could be almost $1,000 if your dog needs an injection of iodine. The website says that this price shouldn’t scare us, as some bigger cities see costs as high as $3,000 for this particular procedure.
According to the Healthy Paws Insurance guide, the expenses are also influenced by the time your dog is under anesthesia. So, the cost could be anywhere between $1,100 and $3,200.
Dog CT scan details
In order to perform a scan on a dog, the veterinarian will need to perform general anesthesia on the animal so that it remains fairly still throughout the examination.
Once asleep, the animal is placed on the bed on its back or on its stomach, depending on the area that the veterinarian wants to explore. He can hold it in place using ties and belts.
The exam usually takes a few minutes. It is not painful in any way for the animal.
During the examination, the veterinarian may use the injection of contrast agents to better visualize an organ.
The use of the scanner in veterinary medicine can help in particular to explore:
- dog skull especially in chronic ear infections, runny nose, repeated sneezing, dental problems, neurological problems;
- the spine and spinal cord of the dog in the case of walking disorders;
- joints in case of lameness;
- abdomen in the presence of a mass, vascular malformations, or even urinary incontinence,
- bones in the case of complex fractures or bone tumors,
- chest in case of breathing problems, cough, shortness of breath.
What are the extra costs?
Usually, before the anesthesia, the vet will require bloodwork and other tests to check if the dog does not have any other diseases.
You should plan on paying another few extra hundred dollars for the anesthesia that is necessary in most cases.
If the CT scan reveals that your dog suffers from any illness, that additional tests may be done. Also, you will have to budget for future treatment sessions, if needed.
Important things to consider
If your dog is suffering from a neurological disorder such as walking problems, seizures, or behavior changes then a CT scan is recommended.
The only known side effects of this procedure are the ones that could appear due to anesthesia. As the anesthesia is wearing off your dog may look clumsy or dizzy.
How can I save money?
In order to save money, it is recommended to ask for prices at more vet clinics and compare them.