Echocardiograms, commonly referred to as an “echo”, are used by vets to monitor the function of the heart. It is an ultrasound that will allow a vet to see the heart muscles and the blood vessels.
The ultrasound is performed with sound waves that bounce of the soft tissue of the heart to give a clear image. A standard scan takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.
How much does an echocardiogram cost for a dog?
The price of an echocardiogram is approximately $400-$500, however, vets may reduce the price if a second scan is needed.
There are several factors involved in the costing of such tests, including:
- The vet’s standard fees
- Your location (busy cities may be more expensive)
- If anesthesia is needed
- The device used (updated machinery is more costly)
You may be able to find cheaper testing at animal shelters or from animal charities that offer funding on a means-tested basis.
Should I get an echocardiogram for my dog?
An echocardiogram is recommended as a diagnostic tool if a dog is showing symptoms of a heart condition. Sometimes other tests may be performed first, such as x-rays or bloodwork.
Discuss other treatment options with your vet before agreeing to an echocardiogram. There may be cheaper alternatives depending on the severity of your dog’s case.
The scan takes a relatively short amount of time and the vet will have the results of the test immediately to discuss with you.
I can’t afford an echocardiogram for my dog
Most pet insurance policies will cover echocardiograms, so even if you have basic coverage, you should still be able to claim the full or partial cost of the scan.
If you do not have pet insurance, there are several other avenues available to you. If you are a low-income household, you can find financial support from various charities and non-profit organizations.
It would also be worthwhile discussing the costs with your vet and express your concerns over how you will pay. If you have always paid on time in the past, they may offer a grace period to allow you time to get the money together, or they may have payment plans in place.
Consider setting up a fundraising page or contact a company that will do this on your behalf. There are a whole host of organizations that will set up and monitor your fundraising and they will ensure all the money is sent directly to your vet’s surgery to cover your vet bills.
Never be ashamed or embarrassed to ask. The help is out there for those that need it to ensure all animals get the care they need.