How Much Does A Dog X-Ray Cost?

Has your dog been injured, and your vet is ordering an X-ray? What can you expect, and just how much does a dog X-ray cost? X-rays are important medical tools that help doctors and veterinarians diagnose a number of conditions, including broken bones. X-rays can also offer an insight as to what is going on with tissues and organs as well as detect foreign objects your dog may have swallowed.

While a visit to your vet to get an X-ray may be necessary, you may be curious about how much an X-ray for your dog is going to cost. Fortunately, the price of your vet’s X-ray isn’t nearly as much as you’re expecting. Read on to learn the average cost of dog X-rays and how much you should expect to pay based on several factors.

How Dog X-Rays Work

Understanding the costs associated with a dog X-ray ultimately means knowing how the process works. When setting up for an X-ray, a plastic film canister is placed beneath the area to be X-rayed. This canister keeps the film from becoming scratched, and prevents image distortion. There are a variety of canister or cassette sizes, depending on the size and shape of the area to be examined.

The X-ray machine is placed on a mechanical arm, which is then moved over the area. When the button is pushed, a ray is emitted, and this creates the image on the film. The densest tissues will look white on the film (the images are basically different shades of gray).

It may be necessary to move the dog in order to get pictures from a variety of angles, as the problem may not be visible from certain angles. It takes about five to 10 minutes to complete the X-ray process, depending on the number of images. The film is then processed, which takes up to 30 minutes. It is then reviewed by the vet, who is then able to diagnose the problem and come up with the best course of treatment.

In most cases, there is no need for sedation or anesthesia if the X-rays are for the abdomen. But, if there are fractures, and the dog is in a lot of pain and unable to sit still, sedation may be necessary in order to keep him comfortable. Sedation also sometimes helps to create better images, as the muscles are more relaxed.

Cost of Dog X-Rays

There are a number of factors that play into the total cost of X-rays for dogs. If sedation is necessary, this is going to be an additional charge. Other factors to consider include:

  • Number of photos needed
  • Type of X-rays (traditional or digital)
  • The type of facility (less expensive at the vet’s office than at an emergency clinic)
  • Your location (some vets may not have access to X-ray equipment)
  • The part of your dog’s body being X-rayed

Generally, you can expect an X-ray for your dog to cost between $75 and $300, and if additional photos are necessary, tack on an extra $20 to $75.

For example, German Shepherds, Pitbulls, and other large breeds are more likely to experience hip issues. A hip X-ray can cost $150 or more.

Similarly, where you get your dog’s X-ray will also determine how expensive it will be. An X-ray at an emergency animal clinic will likely cost twice as much as the same procedure at your vet’s office.

Vet X-Ray Cost

You can expect a bill of at least $100 in most cases for dog X-rays, and for larger dogs, it could cost more than $200. These are just estimates of cost. The final bill will depend on the above-mentioned factors, and these prices do not include the cost of the office visit, which usually runs around $50 to $100. If you don’t have a specific vet that you deal with, you may want to shop around for the best price.