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. But how much does an echocardiogram for a dog cost?
How much does an echocardiogram cost for a dog?
The cost for a dog 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.
Where can I get an echocardiogram for my dog?
There are several options for getting an echocardiogram for your dog.
If you live in the United States, you can go to your local veterinarian and ask to have one done. Many veterinarians are able to do this test in-house, but some may refer you to a cardiologist or other specialist who can perform the test.
If you don’t feel comfortable having your vet do this test, you can always visit an animal hospital or veterinary specialist. They will likely be more expensive than your regular vet, but it may be worth it if there is something wrong with your dog’s heart that needs immediate attention.
What heart problems can an echocardiogram detect?
An echocardiogram is the best tool to detect heart problems in dogs. It can detect if your dog has an enlarged or weakened heart, blood clots, tumors, and heart defects.
How long does it take to do an echocardiogram on a dog?
The ultrasound is performed with sound waves that bounce off the soft tissue of the heart to give a clear image. A standard scan takes around 15-20 minutes to complete.
Do they sedate dogs for echocardiograms?
Most dogs remain calm throughout the exam, and some of them may become anxious. A few need to be sedated or anesthetized.
The echocardiogram is a painless procedure, although some discomfort may occur if the probe is placed over an area of the chest that contains air. The technician or veterinarian may apply pressure to that area or change the position of the probe to alleviate this discomfort.
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.
Which is better ECG or echocardiogram?
Since there are several imaging technologies used in veterinary medicine, it can be difficult to determine which is best for your pet’s diagnosis.
An echocardiogram is a special type of ultrasound that provides highly accurate information on heart structure and function. It can be used to identify leaky or tight heart valves, among other things. While electrocardiography (ECG) can provide some clues to these diagnoses, the echocardiogram is considered much more accurate.
Conclusion of echocardiogram for dogs
An echocardiogram is the best diagnostic tool for the evaluation of canine heart disease. It provides a detailed assessment of the left and right ventricles, atria, interventricular septum, and valves. The image quality is very good in most patients and in many cases is better than that obtained with radiography or other noninvasive diagnostic tools. It can also be used to guide cardiac catheterization and cardiac surgery.
An echocardiogram is a simple, painless procedure that can give you important information about the heart. The test may be done in a hospital or in an office.
The vet technician will apply gel to your chest and then press the transducer against your skin. The gel helps the sound waves move through your dog’s body more easily. A vet who specializes in this type of imaging, called a veterinary cardiologist, will read the pictures.
Your dog may need to change positions so the vet can look at the heart from different angles. The test may take 30 minutes or longer depending on what kinds of pictures are needed.
An echocardiogram also uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. This can help check for conditions such as:
- Enlarged chambers of the heart
- Problems with the valves in the heart
- Problems with the pumping action of the heart