The ultrasound is a crucial diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. It gives real-time imaging to help a vet determine what’s happening inside a dog. 

Since this scan can take a while, it’s more expensive than other types, like an X-Ray. If you want to know the ultrasound cost for a dog and how the procedure works, keep reading. 

Pet owners should be responsible and well-informed. Let’s see what you can expect:

What Is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound’s medical name is ultrasonography. It’s an imaging technique that’s entirely non-invasive, unlike other types. 

Ultrasounds record reflections through sound waves at a high frequency. These reflections then make up echoes that build the images you see on the screen

While we usually associate ultrasound with pregnancy, imaging is incredibly helpful in identifying other medical issues. 

How Long Does a Dog Ultrasound Take: What To Expect 

If you’ve ever had an ultrasound, you know it involves a cold, slimy gel that aids the wand to glide over the skin. But gel and fur aren’t the best combo, so your pup will most likely need a shave before the procedure.

The vet or imaging tech will maneuver the wand around the area and look at a screen to get an idea of the problem. It’s not painful or harmful in any way, so your doggo should be A-okay to sit and relax while its belly gets a good rub.

Note that if you have an aggressive dog, you might need a muzzle or a sedative to keep the ultrasound conductor safe. That could increase the vet ultrasound cost. 

Ultrasounds vs. X-Rays

While these are both imaging techniques, they have a significant difference. Ultrasound doesn’t use any radiation, making it a safer alternative to an X-Ray.

An X-Ray works with electromagnetic transverse waves that produce a small amount of radiation. It may not be a safe option for newly pregnant dogs, which is why vets use ultrasound in this case. 

But, in some instances, an X-Ray is more suitable. A broken bone won’t show up on an ultrasound, while an X-Ray will show it quickly and cheaply.

When Should I Get an Ultrasound for My Dog?

You should get an ultrasound if there’s an emergency with your puppy’s stomach, a blockage, or if you suspect your pet may be pregnant. 

Before an ultrasound, the vet will do a complete workup of your dog and possibly some other tests, like bloodwork and a physical exam. 

Pregnancy

An ultrasound is a good option for early pregnancy as it doesn’t use radiation. 

Dog pregnancy lasts anywhere between 52–72 days, depending on ovulation. While the ultrasound may not be great for counting pups, it’s a helpful tool in confirming the condition. The dog pregnancy ultrasound cost ranges from $300–$500.

X-ray is better further along with the pregnancy as the radiation is less likely to cause developmental issues. Plus, it can help count the puppies.

Abnormal Test Results

Your vet will likely do a test battery before any scan takes place. If the results are abnormal in any way, a scan is next on the list to confirm and aid diagnosis. For example, if your dog’s urine sample is a cause for concern, an ultrasound will show any potential bladder or kidney issues

But can ultrasound detect cancer in dogs? Yes! It’s one of the main ways to identify it. 

Ingestion of a Foreign Object

Dogs do some pretty strange things, including eating objects that can hurt them. While we may try our best, we can’t watch them 24/7. They could easily get into the dreaded box you hide for pup safety. If you see your dog ingest something or suspect it may have, a trip to the vet is in order. And knowing the average dog abdominal ultrasound cost can help.

Making a dog throw up is a risky business. You shouldn’t induce vomiting with acidic or caustic products, so it’s best to check with your vet. An ultrasound can help see any blockages or foreign objects in your dog’s system.

We highly recommend probiotic support for dogs to keep your puppy’s stomach and gastrointestinal tract in tip-top shape.

Injury

An ultrasound can help identify physical injury to muscles and ligaments that an X-ray may not pick up. That’s necessary to ensure your dog can heal properly. Many injuries go unnoticed at the start but can cause a problem further down the line. No matter the average cost of ultrasound for a dog, it could save you money in the long run. 

If your dog has an extensive injury, it’ll need time to heal. You can speed the process with the healthiest canned dog food on the market.

Heart Problems

If your vet suspects a heart problem, they may recommend an echocardiogram. That’s a special heart ultrasound.

The dog echocardiogram cost varies, but it’s usually around $500–$600 if done by a vet cardiologist. 

Dog having ultrasound scan in vet office

How Much Does an Ultrasound Cost for a Dog?

The price depends on many factors. Firstly, a scan with a general practice vet will set you back anywhere between $300–$350. But if your pup’s at a specialist, the dog sonogram cost will increase from $400–$500

Veterinary price lists differ, but a regular check-up will typically cost $100–$300, depending on where you stay and what the vet needs to do. 

Factors That Impact The Ultrasound Cost For a Dog

Vet specialists will cost more than a regular check-up. It works the same way for us.

Another price factor is location. For example, taking your pup to a renowned vet practice in the city will likely cost more than a small-town vet. 

The cost of canine ultrasound can also vary based on your pup’s specific needs. If it requires sedation, you can expect to pay more. 

Another factor is the area that needs scanning. If the vet is looking for something specific, like how many puppies to expect, it may cost less than searching for a torn ligament, which take a bit longer.  

Does Pet Insurance Cover the Ultrasound Cost?

It depends on the type of coverage you pick. But pet insurance is an absolute must. If your dog gets sick or injured, the last thing you’d want to worry about is how much a puppy sonogram will set you back.

Pet insurance usually has two components. The accidents-only cover is for the costs if your dog unexpectedly gets hurt and needs emergency care. It’s just a basic cover that doesn’t include regular vet checks or routine care.

You may also opt for a wellness cover. That includes everything from routine care to accidents. There are specific clauses for each cover, so ensure you read everything before choosing.

The average dog insurance is about $48 per month. 

So how much does an ultrasound cost for a dog? Considering it can go up to $500, insurance is well worth it.

Preparing Your Dog for the Procedure

In some instances, you may need to withhold food and drink for 8–12 hours before the scan so that the vet has a clear view. Also, if you have a high-energy or aggressive pup, it may need sedation. 

Keep your dog as calm as possible by creating a safe space and giving it a massage. 

Costs of Other Common Dog Procedures

An ultrasound cost for a dog isn’t the only diagnostic tool you should know about.

Dog Endoscopy Cost

An endoscope is a flexible scope that goes through the mouth and down into the stomach to help diagnose any gastrointestinal issues

Sedation is necessary. That increases the cost, which is around $800–$2,000. But don’t worry. The vet will recommend this procedure only in specific circumstances.

CT Scan Dog Cost

A computed tomography scan can be a real lifesaver if a vet needs to have a closer look inside your dog. While the dog liver ultrasound cost is less, it may not display the issues clearly enough to diagnose. 

For general issues, an X-ray or an ultrasound will suffice. In more extreme conditions, like cancers and tumors, a vet needs a detailed view of the area for a better assessment. That’s where a CT scan comes in. It takes up close and detailed images, but it’s also more pricey than a dog ultrasound cost. 

The scan itself is about $1,000, but all the other tests and sedation can increase that upward of $2,000.

Rhinoscopy Dog Cost

If your puppy has an issue inside the nose, your vet may insert a small tube to inspect the cause of nasal congestion, sneezing, or heavy breathing. It’s called a rhinoscopy and requires anesthesia to keep your pet safe. The cost varies but is usually around $500–$1,500.

Dog Sedation Cost

The cost depends on many factors, starting with the sedation type. But over-the-counter sedatives will set you back between $10 and $90, so the ultrasound cost for a dog won’t increase dramatically.

If your dog needs sedating at the vet, that depends on its size. A small dog needs far less medication than giant breeds. Vets calculate the cost of sedation every 30 minutes, with prices ranging between $60–$100 per half hour.

Pet Ultrasound Cost — Wrap Up

An ultrasound is a super useful tool for diagnosing conditions like gastrointestinal upset, identifying a foreign object, and establishing dog pregnancy. The scan doesn’t use radiation, so it’s a safer X-ray alternative, particularly if your dog is at the start of its pregnancy. 

The ultrasound cost for a dog varies based on vet and location, but it’ll generally cost around $300–$500.

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