X-Rays For Dogs

If you've scheduled an X-ray appointment for your dog, you might be curious about the process. In the following article, our Sharpsburg vets outline what to expect when you bring your dog in for an X-ray.

What can dog X-rays help vets diagnose?

X-rays are one of the most helpful and frequently used tools in healthcare. X-rays can help vets get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues like broken bones, bladder stones, swallowed foreign objects, and more.  X-ray images can also help vets to spot some tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs which may lead to a diagnosis such as heart disease or cancer. The veterinary diagnostic laboratory at East Coweta Veterinary Hospital in Sharpsburg is fully equipped with the technology needed to diagnose your pet.

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.

How can I prepare for my dog's X-ray appointment?

An x-ray is usually done when a pet parent brings their dog in for an examination of an issue. Due to this situation, there isn't any specific prep you need to do for your pup to undergo an X-ray. When you and your pet arrive at the veterinary clinic, your vet will conduct a physical exam of your dog, determine if an X-ray is required to make a diagnosis, and then walk you through the steps of the procedure. 

How long does a dog X-ray take?

If you are a busy pet parent, you probably need to know how long an X-ray for dogs can take so you can plan it into your weekly schedule. The good news is that X-rays for dogs usually take around 10 minutes. It could take longer, depending on the amount of time it takes to get the imaging or the amount of repositioning of your dog that is needed. The images from X-rays are instantly visible so you can see the results from the scan right away.

Types of X-rays for Dogs

X-rays for dogs have been used throughout the medical community for decades. Dog X-rays are by far the most regularly used form of diagnostic imaging in the veterinary industry because they are cost effective. X-rays can accurately diagnose the state of skeletal structure and composition, large body cavities, and the presence of many foreign objects. 

Once your dog has had their physical examination and it is determined an X-ray is required, your vet will conduct the X-ray. There are many types of X-rays that dogs can get, depending on the site of their injury. The most common types of X-rays for dogs include:

  • Abdominal X-rays
  • X-rays of the limbs
  • Dental X-rays
  • Chest X-rays
  • Joint X-rays

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

Dog X-rays are painless, however, some dogs can benefit from sedation to reduce anxiety and stress. Your dog will be taken into the X-ray area, where a team member will place your pet for the best possible view. Positioning is important for a clear and precise image. Sedation is sometimes required 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 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 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?

Our professional veterinarians use X-rays because they are reasonably easy and affordable screening instruments that diagnose a wide range of conditions. 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 examined, 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.

If you need to schedule an X-ray for your dog, contact us right away. At East Coweta Veterinary Hospital we are equipped with the technology needed to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your dog's issue.