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X-Rays For Dogs

X-Rays For Dogs

Your vet may have recommended an X-ray to help with diagnosing your pet, but what will happen during the visit? Here, our St. Louis vets share what to expect when your dog needs an X-ray such as how long it takes and if they are safe.

What are X-rays for dogs used to show?

X-rays are one the most common forms of medical and veterinary diagnostics used today. X-rays can help vets get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs to diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowing 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.

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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Is there anything I should do to prepare for my dog's X-ray appointment?

If you bring your dog in for an injury or internal condition, it will be likely that the vet will recommend X-ray imaging. Due to the typically sudden nature of these requests, there is generally no preparation needed. Your vet will examine your pet, then if an x-ray is necessary, they will take some time to explain the procedure and what they will be looking for.

Are dogs awake or sedated when they have an X-ray taken?

For some dogs, sedation is necessary in order to get a clear image using an X-ray machine. For dogs that are not experiencing much pain and who are generally relaxed, the vet may go ahead and perform the X-ray without sedating them.

Some other situations where 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.

Is diagnostic imaging such as X-rays safe for dogs?

The radiation levels used for X-rays are so low that it is safe for dogs to undergo, even if they are young. 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 may be more useful for these cases.

If you have any concerns about the safety of diagnostic imaging such as X-rays, you should speak with 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 is the cost of X-ray imaging?

Like other types of diagnostic imaging or tests, the cost greatly varies based on a  number of different factors. These could be the location of the clinic, the size and breed of your dog and the part of their body being X-rayed.

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 your dog shows signs of joint or bone pain or internal discomfort then an X-ray may be in order. Contact our St. Louis vets to schedule a veterinary visit and diagnostic imaging.

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Animal Emergency Clinic is an after-hours emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs from St. Louis and surrounding areas. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

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