As a dog parent, it can be concerning when your furry friend is experiencing symptoms of an illness or injury, especially when the issue isn’t clear to you or even to the vet. In such cases, a CT scan is the ultimate diagnostic tool to detect the underlying issue of your pet’s condition.
Computed Tomography (CT) uses advanced imaging technology similar to X-rays to produce detailed 3D images of your dog’s organs, tissues, and bones. The entire process takes 10 to 15 minutes and helps doctors identify the problem instantly. But how much does a CT scan cost?
On average, a dog CT scan can cost anywhere between $500 to $2,500, but it may exceed $10,000. The price varies depending on the vet, place, and complexity of the issue. The cost can add up further if your canine needs multiple CT scans.
In this article, we’ll break down different factors that can affect a dog’s CT scan cost and other crucial details you should know before opting for a CT scan. Keep reading for more.
Factors That Affect The Cost Of A CT Scan For Dogs
Finding out the exact cost of a CT scan is not simple, as multiple variables affect the price range. Following are all the factors that change the price of a dog CT scan:
Location is a significant factor in pet CT scan charges. The price hugely depends on where you live. For example, a rural veterinary hospital will charge a lot less for a dog CT scan than an urban hospital. This is because, in urban areas, the administration uses more advanced machinery and experienced vets, which adds up to the final cost.
For instance, if a rural veterinarian charges you $500 for the CT scan, an urban veterinarian would charge $800 to $1000. As mentioned, the machinery and operational costs are higher in urban areas; hence, the higher cost.
The Area Where CT Scan Is Performed
The area where the CT scan is performed also affects the cost. Following are the average cost for CT scans for different parts of the body:
- Full body CT scan: $3000 to $12000.
- Skull to mid-thigh: $3,500 to $12,700
- Brain: $2,200 to $12,700
- Heart: $2,800 to $24,200
- Chest to neck: $3000 to $10,700
Size Of Your Dog
Sometimes the dog’s size may affect the CT scan price. Larger dogs need more anesthesia than smaller ones, and their imaging time may be longer. These add up to the cost of the procedure.
Reason For The CT Scan
The reason your dog needs a CT scan is another price-determining factor. CT scan for a serious illness or injury would be a lot more expensive than for a minor issue. A cancer diagnosis CT scan would be more expensive than a preoperative one. Therefore, inquire about the price before you reach the hospital.
Veterinary Hospital Or Clinic
Similar to location, the size and reputation of the veterinary hospital will make the procedure cheaper or more expensive. Hospitals with advanced specialized facilities and experienced doctors would cost more than those with limited facilities.
But expensive does not always mean the best, nor does cheaper mean safe. Choose a reliable hospital with good reviews and experience in performing CT scans.
Apart from these factors, your dog may need follow-up care like medications, vet visits, special dietary needs, etc. These are additional costs followed by a CT scan.
Please note that if you have comprehensive pet insurance, you’ll save a lot of money on the CT scan. A good pet insurance package covers all diagnostic tastes, including MRIs, CT scans, etc.
Related: Dog ACL Surgery Cost and Treatment
Average Cost Of A CT Scan For Dogs
The average cost of a dog CT scan varies from country to country. Some countries may offer the procedure at an affordable price, while others may be more expensive. It all boils down to how the health service department is organized in different countries.
Here is how much you’ll pay for a dog CT scan in different countries:
Cost Of A CT Scan For Dogs In The United States
In the United States, dog CT scan costs may range from $1500 to $2500. But considering the factors mentioned above, the cost can go higher. You should expect to pay more when your dog has a major issue, such as cancer or a tumor.
Healthcare is anyway very expensive in the US. Dog CT scans are, in fact, the most expensive in America compared to any other country.
Cost Of A CT Scan For Dogs In Other Countries
A dog CT scan in Canada usually starts from $800, and the price goes up according to the severity of the issue. CT scan costs in the UK start from £700 to 800, and the average cost in other countries like the Netherlands and Australia is within the $500 to $1000 range and is cheaper than the CT scan cost in the United States.
Financing Options For A CT Scan For Dogs
There are different financing options when it comes to paying for your pet’s CT scan, such as insured and uninsured payments, paying in installments, etc. Let’s explore all these options.
There are usually three types of pet insurance: accidents & illness, accidents only, and wellness coverage. The coverage and services vary depending on the package you choose. For instance, buying the accidents-only package won’t get coverage for diagnostic tests like CT scans or MRIs.
Besides, the monthly cost of the insurance also depends on multiple variables like pet species, gender, age, breed, location, coverage, and deductibles. Some companies offer customizable pet insurance packages, while some only have a one-size fit for all. Besides, some insurance companies don’t accept pet insurance after a certain age.
Before opting for pet insurance for your dog, make sure to enquire about all these things with the insurance company and pick the best package for your dog.
Some common types of pet insurance payment plans include:
- Monthly premiums: You pay a fixed monthly amount.
- Annual premiums: You pay a fixed annual amount.
- Deductibles: This is the amount before the insurance coverage kicks in.
- Co-payments: This is the percentage of the total cost of the treatment you must pay after the deductible has been met.
- Reimbursement: Some insurance policies require you to pay for the treatment expenses, and once you submit the bills, they will reimburse you the promised percentage.
It’s essential to consider different payment options before signing up for pet insurance. Consider the pros and cons of each plan, and pick the one that suits you the best.
Comparison Of CT Scan Cost To Other Diagnostic Tests For Dogs
The cost of other diagnostic tests depends on multiple variables that we mentioned before. However, here is a general comparison of CT to other diagnostic tests for dogs:
X-rays are typically less expensive than CT scans. Basic X-ray cost ranges between $75 to $250, while more complex tests can cost up to $400.
Ultrasound is another non-invasive diagnostic test that may cost around $300 to $350 when done by a general practitioner. But a sonogram specialist can charge up to $600.
MRI is a more advanced imaging technique, costing more than more diagnostic tests. An MRI for a dog usually costs around $2000 to $4000, including a vet visit and anesthesia.
Please note that these are general estimates and not fixed numbers. The charges vary from hospital to hospital, vet experience, location, and facilities available at the hospital.
Dog CT Scan Cost: FAQs
Q: Why Would a Dog Need a CT Scan?
A: A vet may suggest a CT scan to diagnose various medical conditions to detect cancer, neurological conditions, orthopedic abnormalities, chronic disease, traumatic or accident injury, etc.
Q: Does a Dog Need to Be Sedated Before a CT Scan?
A: Yes, dogs need to be sedated using anesthesia before a CT scan to keep them stable.
Q: How Much Does a Veterinary Cat Scan Cost?
A: A veterinary cat scan can cost $800 to $1200. But the cost may increase if there are any serious complications.
That was everything you needed to know about CT dog cost, factors that affect the final price, and other crucial information related to it. The cost of a CT scan may seem daunting, but this is a powerful diagnostic test for the early detection of major injury or illness.