How Much Does a Dog CT Scan Cost?
A dog CT scan can help look at parts of the body such as the brain and spine. With this machine, it will send fine x-ray beams through the body, which will then send the signals to the computer that processes the image. With the final images, tissue images will show in either a white, black or shades of gray, known as the gray scale. The amount of gray colored will show the ability of the tissue to absorb the x-ray beam and will help identify tissues that are normal and abnormal. A dog CT scan is often ordered for dogs that suffer from seizures, behavior changes or problems walking.
How much does it cost?
- The costs associated for the dog CT-scan may vary according to the vet, geographical location and if any other procedures are need. As of 2006, the starting price of a CT scan is $450. However, this does not include the vet fee.
- According to Petsbest.com, the cost for a scan ranges from $800 to $1,200 for each diagnostic screening. The total cost may be more than this if multiple scans may be needed.
- The costs associated with the scan may be a bit expensive since the machine (scanner) needed for the procedure is priced quite high as well. In fact, some CT units cost over than $100,000.
- Another most recent and rapid advancement in veterinary medicine derived from a CT scan is the radiation program. In an article written by the New York Times, it is revealed that the costs for these scans depend on the how aggressive the therapy will be. A few sessions to relieve pain, rather than achieve a cure, cost about $1,500. A full program of radiation can cost about $6,000.
What is going to be included?
- If you think that there is something wrong with your dog that could not be tested by usual tests and diagnoses, a CT scan along with other sophisticated procedures may be needed. It must be a well-thought decision discussed with your vet in the best interest of your dog. Thus, consultation must be done first and foremost. Consult with your vet about what is the best option for your pet. If there is a need for second opinion, then do so.
- As for the procedure, the animal will be given a shot with general anesthesia to make it remain completely still. The animal will then be placed on a table that will be entered into a part of the machine that performs the scan. An x-ray tube will then rotate 360º around the animal’s body to record the x-rays from many angles. The number of images taken depends on the area and size of the suspected problem. The information processed from the scan will appear on a monitor as images which will be compared to the scans to be done later. For a complete and detailed procedure for the scan, you can visit Peteducation.com.
What are the extra costs?
- Vet’s fee. Basically, what you will pay is inclusive to all necessary procedures needed for the scan to be successful. This includes the general anesthesia that is needed to sedate the animal. However, the costs for pre-consultation are a different thing. As mentioned, you need to consult your vet beforehand. As usual, you need to pay the vet’s hourly rate, not to mention that there is a separate vet fee for the scan.
- Treatment needed. If the scan proved that there is something wrong with your dog, then you need to ask the vet about the best treatment for it. Should there be a need for operation or just a simple medication? Either way, this will not be included in the cost of the initial test.
Factors that influence the price:
- The number of scans needed. It is known that multiple screens are often necessary in order to achieve a very accurate result and diagnosis. Thus, this may mean that the costs may be doubled or multiplied as well.
- Location. The clinic and its location determine the price for the entire procedure. Some clinics and hospitals are known to offer cheaper vet services than the others.
- Veterinarian. The payment for the vet itself sometimes blows up the entire costs. Experienced vets who have been in the business for a very long time tend to charge their clients a bit higher than those less experienced ones.
Tips to know:
- Animals who are candidates for a CT scan include those with neurological disorders, such as seizures, behavior changes, or problems walking.
- Although it is small, a CT may pose the risk of irradiation to your pet.
- There are things to be considered before, during and after the scan. Thus, you should talk to your dog’s vet before letting your pet undergo the procedure.
Questions to ask:
- Is the scan painless for my pet?
- Should there be any dietary suggestions I should follow before I have my pet scanned?
- Is the dog CT scan covered by the insurance?
- Are there alternatives to a CT-scan?
- What type of cases benefit from CT scanning?
How can I save money?
- If you have a health insurance policy for your dog, then the costs associated with the procedure will not be an issue. Most health insurances cover the costs for CT-scan.
- Like any other procedure, there are differences in prices according to the location of the vet clinics. You can look around for the clinic that offers the lowest price for the procedure. However, you must not compromise quality over the price. After all, nothing is more precious than the overall health of your pet.