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How Much Do Dog X-Rays Cost? Everything You Need to Know (2023)

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Your vet ordered x-rays for your dog, and you wonder what you can expect and how much do dog x-rays cost.

pet owner listening to the radiography results How Much Do Dog X-Rays CostX-rays are a handy tool for veterinary research. They have internal structures so that vets can quickly diagnose many conditions they cannot see, just by looking at an animal.

It is challenging to deal with a sick puppy, but seeing the vet’s bill afterward can be challenging. Although it is worth giving your dog the feeling that it is better, the treatment costs can send someone to the home of the poor.

Most owners are already willing to plunder a pile of money when they visit the vet, but when your vet calls the word x-ray, you must be ready to dig a little deeper than usual.

We will discuss below a few factors responsible for this wide range of prices, and we will give you a few suggestions to keep the dog x-ray cost low. But first, we will discuss some of the most common reasons your dog may need an X-ray.

Which X-rays Can Help Diagnose Dogs

Female Veterinary Surgeon Examining X Ray of a dog. How Much Do Dog X-Rays Cost

Dog’s x rays of the abdomen are a valuable tool for diagnosing various conditions.

  • Allows a veterinarian to place a foreign object in the stomach or abdomen to see and determine the cause of bowel obstruction.
    They show a bladder stone to a veterinarian.
  • The shapes and contours of organs can indicate the causes of problems.
  • Dog’s x rays can detect tumors in the chest or abdomen.
  • They can show pregnancy (once the mother dog is six weeks pregnant) and even allow a vet to estimate the number of puppies.
  • dog’s x-ray of the breast is beneficial for checking for signs of cancer spreading to the lungs or other organs.
  • They can help diagnose suspected heart or lung diseases.
  • They are also a must for pets suffering from severe trauma, such as hitting a car to prevent rib fractures or the presence of air in the chest cavity.
  • X-rays also help diagnose many animal orthopedic problems: fractures and bone abnormalities are usually easy to see.
  • Dog’s x-ray reveals hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and many other orthopedic conditions, some of which are inherited.
  • Breeders often resort to such imaging results to have OFA certify their dogs as breeding specimens. When my dog was
  • diagnosed with fall fever, X-rays showed that the disease was lesions in the bones of the dog’s paw.

X-rays of the chest and abdomen can often be done without anesthesia.

The use of barium can make the inner part of the esophagus and stomach more visible.

As soon as the dog absorbs the barium milkshake, it moves through the intestinal tract, covering the surfaces, making them look white and more comfortable to detect on a series of X-rays.

Tumors, ulcers, and polyps can become visible. Barium also helps to determine if there are mobility problems.

How Much Do Dog X-rays Cost?

X-ray dogs can average cost from $ 80 to $ 400. Many different factors can influence the price. For example, if your puppy needs to be anesthetized for the X-ray, you must expect an additional fee.

The location of the x-ray also changes the price. For example, German shepherds often have hip problems. An x-ray can cost up to $ 150.

Sometimes more than one X-ray is required, paid per visit and X-ray.

The location where you take your dog’s x-ray is also a cost factor.

In general, an X-ray in an emergency animal clinic costs twice as much as the same procedure performed at a local veterinarian.

The cost of living in a city will also play a role in the price because more prosperous cities often have lower x-rays.

Dog X-ray costs are also determined to a certain extent by the size of the dog if there is sedation or anesthesia. For larger dogs, you can expect the sedation price to fall from $ 50 to $ 200, while smaller dogs can set $ 40 to $ 180 again.

You may want to touch the basics with your local vet to get a better grain for this specific price.

Reasons Why Your Dog May Need An X-ray

Vet examining a dog. How Much Do Dog X-Rays CostX-rays are one of the best ways to get your veterinarian to look into your pet’s body. Still, they are more effective at visualizing some parts of the body – especially bones and others dense structures – than others.

These are some of the most common reasons a vet orders an X-ray.

Broken bone

If your vet suspects your dog has suffered a fracture, they will probably order an x-ray. This allows the veterinarian and their staff to visually inspect the bone for damage.

Other orthopedic problems

It will often be necessary to take an X-ray to diagnose hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems in dogs. In the case of hip dysplasia, the X-ray image allows your veterinarian to visualize the hip cup and upper leg and analyze how they fit together.

Swallow Object / Foreign Object

Non-edible items can cause problems for dogs that they swallow, and veterinarians often order X-rays to determine the object’s location. Your veterinarian can devise a treatment strategy and, if necessary, go to the item.

X-rays can also help find deep fragments or other objects that have invaded your dog’s skin.

Surgical Follow-up

Dog MRI how much do dog x-rays costX-rays are sometimes required after surgical procedures so that the vet can inspect the work and ensure that your dog heals well.

For example, if your dog has a broken leg that requires pins, screws, or plates to be repaired, the vet must visualize the bone and hardware to make sure everything is set up correctly.


Calcified stones appear fairly well on X-rays, whether they appear in the gallbladder, kidneys, or bladder. After verifying the presence of the rocks and determining their location, your veterinarian can go inside and remove them without hunting blindly (if necessary – sometimes stones must pass independently).


X-rays can help detect and identify some types of tumors. Not all tumors appear well on x-rays, and some tend to fuse with the surrounding tissues. However, radiographs remain one of the most critical ways veterinarians examine when cancer is suspected.


An ultrasound is usually the best imaging technique to confirm that a dog is pregnant or that the puppies are developing in the early stages of pregnancy.

However, on the 45th day of pregnancy, the puppies can be seen on an X-ray because their skeletons have finally solidified to be visible.

With an X-ray, your veterinarian can determine the many puppies your dog has with him.

Some Things That X-rays Are Not Good For

As helpful as X-rays are, they are not perfect.

  • Some tumors may not be seen because their colors fuse with other tissue, and plastic items that are swallowed and trapped in the stomach may sometimes become invisible.
  • Also, some parts of the dog’s body cannot be adequately seen with X-rays. According to VCA Animal Hospital, for example, the brain, the inner structure of the heart, the lungs, the bladder, various joints, and some abdominal organs can be better seen with the help of computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) or ultrasound.

And, of course, if your dog needs emergency animal clinic treatment, that treatment must take precedence over any X-ray.

Can Dietary Supplements Minimize The Negative Effects Of Dog X-rays?

Some suggest that dietary supplements for your dog can minimize the effects of x-rays. Dogs Naturally Magazine suggests homeopathic remedies, such as Cadmium sulphuricum 30C or homeopathic radiograph 30C, before and after radiographs. Other options are foods rich in carotenoids and seaweed. The website also suggests bentonite clay but states that it is not safe for pregnant or lactating dams. Always consult a holistic veterinarian before administering supplements.

Personal Experience With The X-ray Dog

I have had dogs all my life, so I can identify a lot with the father of the pet, who says that they spend a large part of the vet’s bills. The bigger the dog, the more trips they have to make to the vet. It is advisable to perform a wellness check at least once a year.

However, the unexpected happens. One day you could find your nine-pound puppy with an ear of corn in his mouth. And that’s dangerous!

So with an emergency hospital of $ 200, I broke all my bills, went to the vet with my lazy dog, and all my emotional mess.

First of all, they need blood tests. Then they took the X-ray because they could not see well enough. He gave him some moisture to get his levels back to normal. The vet was waiting in the room with news about my puppy.

He echoed to see parts of the dish and then told him to wait. And, of course, come back in the morning for another X-ray to check if everything is going well.

I almost had my medical problem when I saw the bill for $ 1000 + and the ear that $ 35 is paid per month does not cover such emergencies. I felt robbed, and worst of all, my baby did nothing definitive.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of An X-ray Of A Dog

Below view of a bulldog with an owner at vetAs mentioned earlier, the dog x-ray cost varies enormously, making it difficult to predict the cost of an X-ray for your puppy. But most price differences are related to the factors below.

By examining how these factors apply to your situation, you may determine whether your dog’s x-rays are at the top or bottom of the price range.


Your dog must remain silent when the X-ray is taken to ensure clear x-ray images. Although most dogs sit still enough for the X-ray, those nervous or in pain are unwilling or unable to do so.

In such cases, your vet is likely to anesthetize your dog to calm him down and keep him still.

Sedation can dramatically increase the price of the X-ray, but it is not much you can do to prevent it when needed.

Injury Location

Some parts of the body are more accessible to X-rays than others.

For example, it is rarely tough to take X-rays of a dog’s leg or lower leg. On the other hand, it can be difficult to x-ray a dog’s head, and the tail can also be tricky without anesthesia, so they instruct the staff to take various X-rays from multiple points of view.

As you would expect, all the necessary aspects will increase the dog x-ray cost of the overall procedure.

Geographical Location

Like most other veterinary services, x-rays are more expensive in places with a high average income than in areas where the average citizen earns slightly less money.

In some cases, it may be helpful to drive a bit out of the way to find a vet in an area with lower incomes, where the dog x-ray cost will probably be more economical.

Individual Differences Between Veterinarians

Even if you have found two veterinary practices in the same building, there is a good chance that their prices will differ slightly. Although the veterinary services are virtually identical in each case, there are many other ways the two companies can vary. These differences will almost certainly be reflected on your invoice.


Veterinarians sometimes use substances that are easily visible on an X-ray to make different body structures and tissues appear more active. For example, x-rays of the intestine often work best when dogs receive a barium milkshake shortly before the procedure. Such contrast enhancers will slightly increase the dog x-ray cost.

X-ray Dog Vs Human X-rays

Female Veterinary Surgeon Examining X Ray how much do dog x-rays cost

Separating the costs of an X-ray plate from the comparison still does not necessarily remove all fear from the procedure. This is especially true if you have a newbie dog and have never had x-rays for dogs. After all, you love your little friend, so it makes sense that you worry about your well-being because your interior is photographed.

From a purely technological point of view, X-rays are the same for dogs and people. However, it should be noted that there are some differences in how technology is applied. There are also some variations in the way the results of the imaging techniques are deciphered.

An X-ray machine has various settings – these parameters determine the number of rays fired by the device and penetrate the target, making the x-ray images as bright as possible.

At dentist X-ray Dog Versus Human X-rayBecause dogs can be thicker than humans due to factors ranging from skin to tissue density, veterinarians may need to use a higher setting to properly penetrate the dog for accurate measurement. This adjustment can vary depending on which part of your dog is being examined.

The reason why x-rays for dogs read differently than human x rays is not necessarily a by-product of imaging techniques is that it reflects the vet’s training.

Unlike a doctor, a veterinarian is trained to be familiar with the complexity and problems of a wide range of animals outside the dog domain.

That is why vets can be a little more deliberate in their approach to reading x-rays.

Tips And Tricks To Adjust Your Dog’s X-rays To Your Budget

Dog having ultrasound scan in vet office how much do dog x-rays costSome owners may experience budgetary problems if they discover that their pet needs an x-ray. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can try to reduce your dog x-ray cost somewhat.

Consider Health Insurance For Pets

Most pet health insurance is like a cross between conventional health insurance and a discount plan for bulk purchases. Many offer substantial discounts for items such as x-rays, and some can cover most dog x-ray costs. However, most of them have mandatory waiting times before they become active, so you must have a policy long before you need one.

Find Academic Hospitals

Many colleges with active veterinary programs have teaching clinics or teaching hospitals where veterinary students learn and practice procedures under the supervision of their supervisors. The prices in these clinics are often lower than in conventional veterinary clinics and offices.

Ask Your Vet For A Break

If you can’t find another way to reduce your dog’s x-rays, you can always contact your vet and ask for a discount. Most vets understand that people sometimes struggle to provide their services, and many will do what they can to help. If they cannot merely lower the price, they may be willing to let you pay the bill over time.

Final Words

While paying a bill from the vet is a walk in the park for us humans, taking our puppies to the vet is a way to relieve our stressful minds. Knowing that your baby is in good hands on the road to recovery is better than any price tag.

Has your dog ever needed an X-ray? Let us know how much it is and the associated costs.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.