CT Scans in Pets

Your dog can get a CT scan! When veterinarians need to get a closer look at a dog or cat’s organ, muscle, or bone, they might order a CT scan and refer your pet to a university vet hospital or specialty center where the procedures are performed. CT scans in pets are almost identical to those in people. The equipment is exactly the same, but most pets require anesthesia to keep them calm and still during the procedure. Many dog owners do not like their pets being “put under”. In this case, the anesthesia ensures that your dog is comfortable and does not experience anxiety. Your vet will conduct a blood test before your pet is administered anesthesia to check for any health issues that might cause a reaction to the anesthesia. Pets need CT scans for the same reasons humans do. The models assembled after a CT scan are used by vets to get a closer look at issues your pet is experiencing as well as check for any abnormalities. CT scans are often performed on pets to check for and diagnose cancer and to see if cancer has spread. CT scans are performed on pets the same reasons they are on humans. The most common reason pets need CT scans is to check for nasal diseases in dogs that cause chronic issues. Hip and elbow dysplasia are often diagnosed in pets with a CT scan. CT scans are also commonly used to diagnose the following conditions in pets:
  • Head trauma
  • Lung diseases
  • Middle and inner ear disorders
  • Tumors
  • Orthopedic conditions, such as joint degeneration
  • Brain or spinal conditions
  • Dental disease, such as abscess
The entire process of a pet CT scan takes about 45 minutes to an hour, not including anesthesia and can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. Pets experience no side effects from CT scans as they usually do not have to get more than 1-2 in their lifetime. Humans, however can experience an increased risk for radiation-induced cancer. Overall, CT scans are safe for pets and an effective way to diagnose many illnesses and conditions.

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