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.
How much does a CT scan cost?
A dog CT scan costs around $1000, but remember, you may need to factor in 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.
How much does an MRI cost?
The cost of an MRI is ranging from $1000 to $2000 or more. Dogs must be anesthetized before an MRI scan can be conducted; this is because the procedure requires the dog to lie completely still.
MRI scans can be used to detect the causes of seizures, sinus infections, growths, paralysis, brain hemorrhage, and tumors on the brain or spinal cord.
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.
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.
What will an MRI show in a dog?
An MRI can provide information about any area including muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and internal organs such as the heart and kidneys. The images can reveal abnormal anatomy or function in these areas.
An MRI can detect tumors, cysts, and other growths inside the body, as well as pinpoint changes in organ size or shape. A veterinarian may recommend an MRI if your pet has symptoms that indicate possible damage to the brain or spinal cord.
An MRI is one of the best ways to detect brain tumors in dogs. It can produce detailed images of the brain, which allows your vet to diagnose abnormalities that can cause neurological symptoms in your dog.
Some common uses of an MRI in dogs include:
- The brain and spinal cord
- The ears, especially when a dog has chronic ear infections
- The joints, such as for a torn ligament or joint disease
- The abdomen, such as for abdominal masses or other problems that may not show up on x-rays
What can an MRI detect that a CT scan cannot?
An MRI can detect many conditions that a CT scan cannot, such as some cancers including prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and liver cancers. Also, certain areas in the brain and the inner ear. Metastases to the bone and brain also show up better on an MRI.
The MRI provides a much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than a CT scan does. This is because the MRI uses radio waves and a very strong magnetic field to create its images instead of x-rays.
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)
Conclusion of CT scan vs MRI for dogs
As you can see, there are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to both a CT scan and an MRI.
While the best course of action for your dog will depend on their specific condition, these scans can help a veterinarian determine what is going on inside your dog’s body.
If your dog has been diagnosed with a health condition that requires an MRI or CT scan for an accurate diagnosis, it is important that you seek treatment from a veterinarian who specializes in these conditions. This type of specialized medical care can greatly increase your pet’s chance of a favorable outcome. Both diagnostic imaging options are expensive, but they both offer exceptional quality images that can help your vet make a life-saving diagnosis.
If you have any questions about CT scans or MRIs for your dog, feel free to give your vet a call today!