How Much Does a Dog CT Scan Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A dog CT scan can help look at different parts of the body such as the brain and the spine, similar to that of an x-ray.  But the main difference will rely on the advanced technology that’s able to capture a three-dimensional view rather than a simple two-dimensional view as seen via an x-ray.

During this scan, it will send fine x-ray beams through the body, which will then send the signals to the computer that processes the images.  With the final images, tissue images will show in either a white, black or shades of gray, known as the gray scale.  The number of gray colors will show the ability of the tissue to absorb the x-ray beam and will help identify tissues that are either normal or abnormal.

A dog CT scan is often ordered for a dog that suffers from seizures, disorders, behavior changes or problems walking.

How much does a dog CT scan cost?

The cost of a dog CT scan will depend on the vet you use, where you live and the complexity of the study.  On average, plan on spending anywhere from $500 to more than $2,200 for a full CT scan.  The costs associated with the scan may be a bit expensive since the machine needed for the procedure is priced quite high as well.  In fact, some CT units cost over than $100,000.

According to Petsbest.com, the cost for a CT scan can range anywhere from $800 to $1,200 for each diagnostic screening.  The total cost may be more than this if multiple scans may be needed.

TuftsYourDog.com says the costs can be in the $500 to $1,200 range, depending on the complexity of the study.

PetMD.com also states the costs will depend on the complexity of the scan and the study.  If, for example, your dog required an injection of iodine, the costs could be close to $1,000.  The website states that you shouldn’t be surprised if you were to see a bill as high as $1,500 to $2,500 in New York City.

This Healthy Paws Pet Insurance guide said the average CT scan could cost $1,000 to $3,000, depending on how long your dog is under anesthesia.

Dog CT scan overview

During the procedure, your dog will be given a shot with general anesthesia to help it remain completely still during the scan.  Once relaxed, your dog 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 360 degrees 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.

In some rare cases, your dog may have to go through the machine twice.  The first scan will be done as a normal scan, and the second scan will be done with an injection of iodine, which allows the radiologist to observe an abnormal intake that can indicate tumors or inflammation.

A CT scan for a dog usually won’t be performed at your local vet’s office due to the cost of the machine. Instead, you will often be referred to a local animal hospital with the proper equipment.

The entire procedure, from the start to the end, will take about 45 minutes to an hour.

What are the extra costs?

Before anesthesia can be administered, your vet will want to take bloodwork to make sure your dog doesn’t have any underlying diseases.

The anesthesia, which is usually required, except for in rare circumstances, it will often be another few extra hundred dollars on top of the estimates mentioned above.

If the scan proved that there is something wrong with your dog, then you need to ask the vet about the best course of action in terms of treatment.  These future treatment sessions, of course, will need to be budgeted for.

Tips to know:

A CT scan is often recommended for dogs with neurological disorders such as a seizure, behavior changes, or problems walking.

With no known side effects, vets will only warn you about the side effects of the anesthesia administered.  Your dog may appear dizzy or clumsy while the anesthesia is wearing off.

How can I save money?

Even if you’re loyal to your vet, talk with a few other offices to see what they charge.  It also doesn’t hurt to receive a second opinion to ensure this is the best step to take.


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Average Reported Cost: $2000

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Krista (New york,  New york) paid $2200 and said:

    After what seems like thousands of other tests, also costing thousands of dollars, we were told to try a cat scan and see if it helps offer a diagnosis. After being told our pup likely doesn’t have cancer and may have a benign tumor that is bothering him, we asked the cost. 2200! It is just not possible right now, especially by they told us it is very unlikely there is anything terminal going on. After blood tests and other examinations.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Jason (Downers grove,  Illinois) paid $ and said:

    3300 on the low end and 5200+ on high end.
    Going to have this done just a matter of when

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Willard (Pittsburgh,  Pennsylvania) paid $2500 and said:

    2500/2016

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Stephen (davis,  California) paid $3300 and said:

    I was quoted a whopping $3300 for a ct scan for my dog to determine if he has cancer due to his enlarged adrenal gland. He is scheduled for the next day as I write this, I asked for a needle guided biopsy for the adrenal gland to determine if it’s cancerous but they said it’s not possible. None of the doctors have given me any clear answers if the tumor was cancerous, but the usual message to bring him in for a recheck and do ultrasounds, xrays and blood test that resulted in costs of $2500 each time! So to me, I think doing a ct scan is worth it, you get the answers if the cancer has metastasize and just let your dog enjoy the days he has left instead of being pricked and prodded by vets who wants more money.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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