Cost of a CT Scan or MRI for a Dog

The price of a CT scan or MRI is difficult to estimate given the various factor influencing the final cost.

The key to costing is whether the CT scan or MRI can be conducted from the veterinary clinic or if the dog needs to be referred elsewhere.

Each veterinary clinic will charge its own fees for imaging and those in busy metropolitan areas are generally more expensive.

CT Scan vs MRI cost

A dog CT scan costs around $1000, but remember, you may need to factor the cost of additional treatment such as anesthesia and consultation fees.

On average, the cost in the UK for a CT scan is £780, but costs can range from £650 to £1000 inclusive of additional treatments.

Where CT scans are useful in detecting and monitoring tumors and orthopedic conditions, MRI scans are better suited for neurological conditions where CT scans would not be helpful.

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan uses magnets to manipulate the hydrogen molecules present in the dog’s body. Sound waves are then applied, which affect the hydrogen molecules. Disruptions in those waves will show on the imaging and indicate an affected area of the brain or spinal cord.

Like CT scans, dogs must be anesthetized before an MRI scan can be conducted – this is because the procedure requires the dog to lie completely still.

The cost of an MRI is ranging from $1000 to $2000. MRI scans can be used to detect the causes of seizures, sinus infections or growths, causes of paralysis, brain hemorrhage, and tumors on the brain or spinal cord.

What does a CT scan on a dog show?

A CT scan (short for computed tomography) is an imaging technique used to visualize internal organs, soft tissues, and bones.

Computed tomography (CT) scans are used to take internal images of a patient, slice by slice. Once the imaging is complete, the individual images form a 3D scan of the area of interest.

These scans are the same as those conducted on humans, but animals must be anesthetized before the procedure can begin.

CT scans are used to identify areas for treatment or surgery, for instance, a tumor. Surgeons will use CT scans to pinpoint their surgery sites and better plan their surgical procedures.

Veterinarians can also use CT imaging to detect cancerous tumors and determine if there has been any spread of the disease.

Additionally, CT scans may be used to monitor orthopedic disorders such as hip or elbow dysplasia. This aids in the planning of corrective procedures and suitable treatments.

How long does a CT scan for a dog take?

A dog’s CT scan takes 10-15 minutes to complete, but preparation time is required beforehand. Pets must be brought in at least one hour before their appointment time so they can be prepped by the technicians. It’s also necessary for dogs to fast for six hours before having a CT scan performed.

Why would a dog need a CT scan?

A CT scan can help veterinarians diagnose various conditions including bone injuries and advanced fractures, soft tissue tumors, orthopedic injuries (including cruciate disease, patella luxation, hip dysplasia, and total hip replacement)


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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