How much does a dog X-ray cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a dog X-ray cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a dog X-ray cost?

$150 – $250 average cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$150 – $250 average cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tara Farmer

Average cost of dog X-rays

Dog X-rays cost $150 to $250 on average, depending on the type. Dental X-rays for dogs cost $40 to $125 per image, while abdominal and chest X-rays cost $150 to $250 each. The total cost also depends on the dog size and breed, sedation requirements, and the veterinary clinic type and location.

Dog X-ray costs
Type Average cost Purpose
Dental X-ray $40 – $125 Used to examine the teeth, jawbones, and associated structures in the mouth to diagnose dental issues like periodontal disease
Chest X-ray $150 – $250 Used to evaluate the lungs, heart, trachea, ribs, esophagus, and diaphragm to diagnose conditions like pneumonia, heart disease, or lung cancer
Abdominal X-ray $150 – $250 Images the gastrointestinal tract, spleen, liver, kidneys, bladder, and diaphragm to identify issues like foreign objects, bladder stones, or organ abnormalities
Spinal X-ray $150 – $250 Examines the bones and joints of the spine to identify spinal issues like arthritis or intervertebral disc disease
Broken bone X-ray $150 – $400 Used to diagnose and evaluate fractures or other skeletal injuries to determine if surgery is necessary
Emergency X-ray $150 – $500 Performed in urgent situations to quickly diagnose and treat injuries or acute conditions. May include any of the above X-ray types

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Dog X-ray cost

Dog X-rays and other imaging techniques play a crucial role in identifying illnesses or injuries and guiding treatment plans. The following table details the different types of diagnostic imaging available in veterinary medicine and the costs involved.

Dog X-ray and other imaging costs
Imaging type Average cost* Description and purpose
Standard X-rays $150 – $250 Film images of the body's internal structures, such as bones, joints, organs, and soft tissues used to diagnose fractures, arthritis, tumors, foreign bodies, etc.
Digital radiography $150 – $250 Utilizes digital X-ray sensors for faster image acquisition, improved quality, and easier manipulation
Contrast radiography $200 – $500 Uses contrast agents to highlight specific areas or structures within the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract or blood vessels
Fluoroscopy $300 – $800 Provides real-time X-ray imaging of moving internal structures during procedures or examinations
CT scan $500 – $1,500 Creates detailed cross-sectional images of the body, useful for brain, spine, organ, and soft tissue imaging
Dog ultrasound cost $300 – $600+ Not technically an X-ray, this imaging procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to produce real-time images of internal structures, useful for evaluating soft tissues, organs, and blood flow.

*Per image or procedure

What affects the cost of a dog X-ray?

Several factors affect the cost of a dog X-ray, including:

  • Number of images: The more images needed or areas the vet needs to examine, the higher the overall cost.

  • Sedation or anesthesia: Some X-rays require sedation to keep the dog still or to allow proper positioning without causing the dog pain, which adds to the total expense.

  • Dog’s size: Larger dogs may require more sedation or anesthesia during X-rays, leading to higher costs.

  • Complexity of the Injury: Certain injuries may require specialized techniques or additional imaging procedures, such as contrast X-rays or CT scans, which can be more expensive than standard X-rays.

  • Location and clinic type: Veterinarians and clinics in urban areas with a higher cost of living typically charge higher fees. Also, emergency clinics typically charge more than regular veterinary offices.

Additional costs and services

When getting X-rays for your dog, it's important to prepare for any extra services and costs you might face. A vet visit costs $40 to $80 in addition to the imaging costs. In some cases, you may also need to pay for sedation, additional diagnostic testing, and interpretation of the test results.

Dog X-ray cost breakdown
Treatment Average cost Purpose
Vet office visit $40 – $80 Covers the overhead costs of running the veterinary practice, including the equipment and administrative costs.
Consultation fee $50 – $150+ Separate from the office visit, this covers the time and expertise of the veterinarian in discussing the results of the diagnostic tests, explaining treatment options, and providing recommendations for the dog’s care.
Sedation / anesthesia $50 – $200 Covers the anesthesia costs to sedate a dog during the imaging procedure, to keep the dog still or prevent pain during painful positioning.
Blood work $80 – $300 Blood work can reveal internal issues that may not be visible on X-rays, such as infections or organ abnormalities.

How do X-rays for dogs work?

Veterinarians use X-rays to confirm a diagnosis or plan your dog's treatment. When a dog gets an X-ray, a machine sends rays of electromagnetic radiation through the dog. These rays hit a special film or digital sensor on the other side to create an image.

  • Dense structures like bones or metal objects absorb a lot of the X-ray beams, letting very little radiation actually pass through. This results in a white appearance on the X-ray image.

  • Soft tissues like muscles and organs allow more radiation to pass through, creating a gray appearance on the film or detector.

  • Air-filled spaces, such as in the lungs, allow the majority of the X-ray radiation to pass through unobstructed. This results in areas appearing black on the image.

Are X-rays safe for dogs?

X-rays on dogs are generally considered safe. The radiation from a standard X-ray is minimal and unlikely to cause any harm. However, frequent or repeated X-rays over time could potentially be harmful. The following table details the benefits and limitations of dog X-rays.

X-ray benefits and limitations
Benefits Limitations
  • Provides detailed images of bone structure and alignment
  • Useful for diagnosing fractures, joint problems, and bone diseases
  • Can detect foreign objects swallowed by the dog
  • Help identify tumors or masses in the body
  • Quick and non-invasive diagnostic tool
  • Limited view of soft tissues
  • May not detect certain types of injuries or conditions
  • Exposure to repeated radiation may pose health risks
  • May require anesthesia for proper positioning and to keep the dog still
  • Requires costly equipment and expertise for accurate imaging and interpretation

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A veterinarian looking at the x-ray for a Golden Retriever dog.
A veterinarian looking at the x-ray for a Golden Retriever dog.

Why would my dog need an X-ray?

X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine, helping vets accurately diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions in dogs. There are several reasons why your dog might need an X-ray:

  • Injury or trauma: If your dog has been in an accident, suffered a fall, or experienced any form of trauma, an X-ray can help assess the extent of internal injuries, such as broken bones, fractures, or internal bleeding.

  • Lameness or difficulty walking: X-rays can help identify issues such as joint problems, ligament or tendon injuries, arthritis, or bone abnormalities.

  • Chronic pain or discomfort: If your dog is experiencing chronic pain or discomfort, X-rays can detect potential underlying causes, such as degenerative joint disease, spinal issues, or tumors.

  • Monitoring health conditions: X-rays may be part of routine monitoring for certain health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disorders, or gastrointestinal issues. They can help veterinarians assess the progression of these conditions or detect any changes over time.

  • Swallowed objects: If your dog has ingested a foreign object, such as a toy, bone, or household item, X-rays can confirm the presence and location of the object within the digestive tract.

  • Breeding purposes: Some breeding programs use X-rays to evaluate the health and structure of breeding dogs, particularly for assessing hip dysplasia or other hereditary conditions.

Dog X-ray FAQs

Does pet insurance cover dog X-rays?

Pet insurance coverage for dog X-rays can vary depending on the policy and provider, but most pet insurance plans cover the costs of diagnostic tests like X-rays for unexpected injuries, accidents, and illnesses.

Pet insurance costs $35 to $75 per month on average for a dog, depending on the plan type, coverage, and the dog's age and breed.

How long does dog x-ray take?

X-rays for dogs usually take 15 to 30 minutes to complete. The actual X-ray exposure time is minimal, but the full process of positioning the pet and processing the image makes up the rest of the time. The process takes longer if the dog must be sedated.

Can you x-ray a dog without sedation?

X-rays can be performed without sedation if a dog is calm, not in too much pain, and able to lie in a comfortable position. Sedation may be necessary to x-ray specific areas like the skull, teeth, or spine, where the dog’s muscles need to be relaxed to get the clearest possible images.

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When should you x-ray a pregnant dog?

You should not x-ray a pregnant dog unless there is a specific medical need. X-rays during pregnancy can be harmful to the developing pups due to the potential risks associated with radiation exposure. In times when there is a critical medical reason for an X-ray, the veterinarian should use caution to minimize radiation exposure.

Questions to ask your vet about dog X-rays

Ask your veterinarian these important questions to ensure you understand the reason they are recommending dog X-rays, how the procedure works, and the costs involved:

  • How much will the X-rays cost?

  • Why do you need to take X-rays?

  • Is sedation or anesthesia required for the X-ray?

  • What body parts will be x-rayed?

  • Will additional imaging tests be required based on the X-ray results?

  • Does pet insurance cover dog X-rays?

  • How soon will I receive the results of the X-rays?

  • Do I need to schedule a consultation to discuss the results and treatment recommendations?

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