Diagnostic imaging is a common part of caring for companion animals. It allows for valuable insight into the internal functions of your pet. Below, our Nashua vets talk about what we can see using diagnostic imaging and other important information about X-rays for dogs.
What can we learn from X-rays for dogs?
X-rays are a vital part of comprehensive veterinary care, allowing us to gain a view of the internal structures of pets. X-rays of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs allow the vet to diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowed foreign objects, and more.
Radiographs or 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.
If your vet requires a detailed view of the organs, tissues, and ligaments of your dog, they will likely use an MRI or ultrasound.
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.
Do I need to prepare my dog for an X-ray?
Preparation for X-rays is not needed. This is because the decision to take an X-ray is usually made when the vet is already evaluating the animal. 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 for diagnostic imaging?
If your dog needs an X-ray, your vet may likely opt to sedate your dog to keep them still. 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 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 so X-rays are typically used only occasionally and generally as a diagnostic tool. In certain cases, your vet may recommend an X-ray of a pregnant dog to gain insight into the pregnancy, although ultrasound is more likely to be used for this.
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.
What do X-rays cost for dogs in Nashua?
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.