How Much Are X Rays For A Dog?

Does your dog fell and gotten some serious injury or is your dog ailing something and you cannot seem to detect what is it? You may want to get your dog an x-ray to check if something bad happened to your little fellow. You might also wonder how much are x rays for a dog? There are still some price ranges according to the intensity and the location of the x-ray.
Also, there is a tendency that a vet will ask you to take examine your dog with an x-ray to see the real outcome of the dog’s condition.

In this article, I will lay out the details and further specificity in regards to the cost of x rays for a dog and also some factors regarding having a dog undergo an x-ray examination. So, stay for a while and just follow me on this.

Reasons Your Dog May Need an X-Ray

X-rays are extremely helpful in identifying several problems your dog might be experiencing. Dogs can’t fully express themselves. When they are feeling sick or something wrong with them, they will just act weird but deep inside you know there is something wrong with your dog. Sometimes, it is just the gut feeling you are feeling towards your dog’s hidden illness or ailing moments.

That is why x-rays are important in some cases. It will reveal something that your dog cannot even express or even the vet’s initial findings. Sometimes, x-rays will contradict the vet’s initial findings until fully examined.

Fractured Bone

When your dog had a serious injury for various reasons and you felt that something is not right with your dog’s injured area have a vet check up on your dog. If your vet suspects something serious or critical, the vet will probably take a further look and visually examine if the bone is in serious condition or dislocated. So, x-ray machines can detect any orthopedic issues of your dog.


X-ray scanning can also reveal if there are stones present in the canine’s bladder, gallbladder, and kidneys. These calcified stones can be easily detected once examined by an x-ray machine. The machine allows to specifically locate the area of the calcified stones for accurate findings and to mark it if the operation is necessary, so the vet can easily identify and take out the stones on the dog’s kidneys or others else that may affect the dog’s health.


This powerful device can show the puppies in the womb of the mother dog once it reached six weeks of pregnancy. It will also accurately estimate the number of puppies residing in the mother dog’s tummy. By the time their skeletons solidified and visible enough, the x-ray machine allows it to check for developing puppies or any abnormalities during the gestation period.

Ingested Foreign Object

Foreign objects swallowed by a dog is precisely detected with the help of an x-ray machine. X-rays will determine the specific location of the swallowed object. After an x-ray examination, your vet can now undergo treatment and operate if necessary, in order to get the object if things become worst and depending on the severity.

Detects Unusual Shape and Outlines of Organ

Through x-ray examination, this can detect the unusual shape and outlines of any organs of the dog. It will be a great help for the vet if there is a visual image of the dog’s organ which will give clues and further investigate the organs that caused the problem. This can predict the dog’s illness and can even save the dog’s life if examined early.

Surgical Follow-up

After some operation, your dog might be scheduled for another checkup. This time, the vet will examine if there are some improvements in the affected organ or if the fractured bone has healed. This will also allow to examine and pinpoint the area needed for surgery or other similar treatment.

For Cancer Detection

Chest x-rays will help to find the signs of cancer spreading from organs to organs. This will be very helpful as it can detect the early signs of cancer which gives you more time and early treatment for your dog’s illness.

They are perfectly useful for spotting tumors. But the downside is that not all tumors show visibly enough on x-rays, some tumors are blending with surrounding tissues which can be difficult to examine. However, x-rays are one of the ways to see the spreading of cancer or even the potential spread of cancer around the area.

For Dental Care

When your dog has periodontal disease, vets will likely examine your pet by an x-ray machine. It will help the vet to see the root cause of the affected area. They will see the structure of the gum line, bones, and roots allowing them to identify the problem. Most vets use digital x-rays in examining your pet’s oral care it is much safer and the risk of radiation exposure is significantly slower than the traditional x-rays.

The Average Cost of X-Rays

So, how much are x rays for a dog? X-rays cost usually varies. Typically, it is about $90 and it can go up to $400 depending on the individual case.

Considering the number of shots that needed to take, the quality of the veterinary hospital, the anesthesia if necessary, and the urgency which can double the price. These are the factors that may affect why the price of x-ray examination tends to differ from others. There are times when a sedative is needed especially for a puppy when x-ray examination.

The location of the x-ray of the dog is a factor to consider for price changes. Some charged $110 for an X-ray of the hip for a large breed. There are times more than one x-ray is necessary which will increase the cost per visit and x-ray.

The reason being also, is that the size of the dog plays a vital part in cost increase. Smaller breeds require a smaller amount of sedative drugs while larger breeds require more, so they tend to increase the cost.

Normally, the procedure is inexpensive. Sometimes it requires the dog for re-examination and the consultation with an extension period, another slap on your bill.

In short, it ranges from $90 up to $400. The fact that there is much reason that affects the cost’s subject to change. It will also depend on the severity, diagnosis, size of a dog, amount of sedative needed, etc, so be sure to keep in mind that investing in some pet health insurance may be necessary.

Other Types of Diagnostic Imaging

Besides, X-rays there are other common types of diagnostic imaging for dogs. This is good if you want to explore more options on how you want your dog gets examined. The common denominator of dog diagnostic tests is that they show the visual image of the internal parts of your dog’s anatomy. These options have their advantages and it is up to you or the veterinarian to choose what type of diagnostic test needed.


Ultrasound is one of the common diagnostic tools. Ultrasounds have the ability to show a clearer image of soft tissues and organs than the x-ray machine. Especially, when your vet thinks your dog has a heart problem.
The ultrasound has a detector and a pulse detector. This device is pressed on a specific area which creates sound waves. Based on the sound waves reflected, this will enable the machine to show the dog’s tissues and organ projected on the monitor. Ultrasound can accurately tell the problem of the dog’s heart that able to tell the presence and even the type of heart disease.
There are common symptoms that ultrasound equipment can detect such as kidney impairment, blockage of blood veins, heart disease, vomiting, and weight loss. The decision is up to the vet if such symptoms appear.

CT Scans

A CT scan, or “PET CT scan” is also a type of x-ray but more advanced. Basically, the x-ray scans from multiple angles and stitches the images together to form a 3 dimensional image. This will allow the vet to see the dog’s anatomy for more vivid details in order to examine and analyze the dog’s affected organ, especially the soft tissues. This is one of the most advanced methods that your vet can offer to you but it will cost you more than the traditional x-ray machine. But if this will be for the life of your dear pet, it is actually okay to choose this option.


Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is actually the newest type of diagnostic tool by veterinarians. MRI is the most accurate machine among the diagnostic imaging. This device can create a detailed anatomic image from a generated magnetic field anywhere in the scanned dog’s body. MRI is extremely safe and no x-rays needed. If x-rays can detect some swelling tissues in the dog’s knee, an MRI can be very specific that can even show the precise location of the torn ligament or tendon.

Moreover, MRI for dogs is not often used like ultrasound and x-ray that are commonly used. The fact that the equipment is extremely expensive that it will require fully trained technicians to operate. That alone can be very costly at your end.

Old Yellow Lab sleeping on the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are X-Rays Bad for Dogs?

Generally No. For the practical reason that it might reveal some abnormalities in the dog’s internal body part. It can also detect some fractured bone or dislocation, even examine the puppies from the mother dog’s bump. I am sure that your veterinarian will explain it to you further before undergoing for X-ray examination.

However, x-rays remain controversial up to this day. Some believe that it is harmful because of radiation exposure, but others think that it is useful for diagnosing abnormalities inside the dog’s body. If you are still unsure, you can just consider other options such as ultrasound but it is much expensive than x-rays.

What are the things that the veterinarian will look for with X-Rays or other Diagnostic imaging tools?

The veterinarian will probably be looking at what is unusual and abnormal to your dog. Plain and simple. So, if your dog has some serious illness or a limp, your local vet will probably examine those through x-rays or other diagnostic imaging tools. It will depend on the severity and the disease process will be looked at. Usually, it can be a serious thing or a baby thing. 

Will My Dog Need Sedation or Anesthesia for an X-Ray?

Sometimes, yes. It actually varies on the situation and the dog’s temperament. The sedative can be applied usually when the dog is so aggressive or the dog is suffering from terrible pain. furthermore, sedation will be needed in PET CT scan and MRI because to reposition the dog if needed. In addition, the dog will be put in a big machine for a long period of time, so it is necessary.

Also, according to Andrew Gendler, it is important because it helps the dog to calm down and reduce the level of anxiety. Because the dog is not comfortable and unfamiliar with the surroundings sedatives might be advisable to them.

How can x-rays help my dog?

They can’t. But they can accurately help detect your dog’s unseen tumor or dislocated bone. This can be a great help and assistance for a vet so they will know what the appropriate treatment will be conducted so they can heal your dog and restore it to its normal condition.

Final Thoughts

Despite the average cost of an X-ray examination, it is actually extremely helpful when it comes to diagnosing the things unseen and abnormalities on your dog. By examining an x-ray, the vet will have more insight in regard to your dog’s illness or other reasons. But there may be a tendency to be costly or cheaply, depending on the level of severity and some factors wherein I mentioned earlier such as emergency, size of dog, location, to name a few. But x-rays and other diagnostic imaging tools are very useful. As to how much are x rays for a dog, it depends.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.