Many dog owners feel that their dog is too expensive to see a doctor or pay extra fees for tests, so they decide not to have the test done. This can be very frustrating as a owner, but it is important to understand why these exams are necessary and how much they cost.
It is very common for many dogs to develop symptoms of disease such as lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and/or blood in stool. These signs and symptoms may go unnoticed because unfortunately, some senior dogs do not seem quite right.
A lot of times, older dogs suffer from health issues that are more difficult to identify due to them being less active. Sometimes seniors get sick just because they are exposed to a wide variety of diseases than young adults.
Fortunately, there are ways to determine if your dog is suffering from a serious illness such as cancer. There are several different types of diagnostic testing that can be done at various costs depending on the type and what information you want to gather.
This article will talk about one of those tests which is called an x-ray! Read on to learn more about this test, what it can tell us and how much it costs.
Find out what your dog is really suffering from
Many veterinary hospitals offer a test to see if your dog has severe internal inflammation caused by eating or swallowing irritants. This diagnostic tool is called an esophageography (or endoscopy) because it uses advanced technology to view the inner lining of the stomach, intestines, and throat.
During this procedure, the doctor will inject liquid into your dog’s mouth so that he/she can swallow. The fluid contains a radioactive material that gives off x rays as it moves through the body, allowing us to determine whether there are any areas in the digestive tract where food is not being completely broken down due to irritation.
It is very important to note that most dogs do not need this testing unless they suffer from persistent vomiting, weight loss, or excessive crying after meals. These symptoms indicate that something may be wrong with their digestion system and require further investigation.
However, many vets overdiagnose this condition and put too much stress on owners when none exist. It is extremely expensive for the hospital to run the tests, and only about half of all cases prove necessary! As such, there is a large amount of money to make or break for some clinics.
Some have even been known to simply tell patients that their dog does not need the test until it costs them money, which is unfortunately common.
X rays can damage your dog
While most pet owners enjoy learning about their dog’s teeth, some veterinarians feel that too many x-rays are being done to determine if a tooth is healthy or not.
Many large veterinary hospitals will perform up to eight radiographs (x-ray images) per oral exam of a given area of the mouth. This can include looking at the tongue, lips, cheeks, jaw, and underlying bone.
This overuse of diagnostic imaging tests is troubling because it increases the risk of radiation exposure for your dog.
Radiation exposure comes with potential health risks such as cancer. Because dogs are born larger than average, children are more sensitive to radiation exposures and may suffer greater health effects from limited exposure scenarios like medical procedures or everyday activities.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to radiography when needed. Your veterinarian may be able to do an oral examination without using radiology equipment, or they may suggest other less intrusive ways to assess dental conditions.
These alternative methods reduce your dog’s risk of exposure while still providing adequate information.
There are many other tests that your vet can perform
Certain things require more advanced technology to determine if your dog has cancer or not. These include blood testing, urinalysis, radiographs (x-rays), biopsies, and endoscopy.
Many of these diagnostic procedures can be expensive!
It is very important that you look out for signs and symptoms of cancer in your dog as early as possible to help reduce how much treatment he/she needs.
Sadly, some diseases never truly go away completely without intervention. However, with appropriate treatments, most dogs survive longer than those who do not receive proper care.
They can be costly
Even though there are many brands that market their products as “x-ray for dogs”, most aren’t actually x-rays at all! Some claim to use low energy radiation technology but none of these work like true diagnostic radiographs.
Most radiological devices used in veterinary medicine require high levels of radiation to produce an image. The intensity of the beam needed is so strong that it exposes not only the area being checked, but also surrounding tissue due to overexposure. This often results in blurred or even totally black and white images which cannot be interpreted properly.
Furthermore, some equipment uses a cone shape detector instead of a flat one. A cone shaped detector does not have parallel lines running through it, instead it curves around the object being examined. Therefore, it takes longer to acquire the picture making the dog exposed for longer than normal and potentially causing more health problems.
They can reveal problems that aren’t necessarily bad
Even though there are no medical uses for x-rays in dogs, some veterinarians still use them to check for certain conditions. These include checking for signs of tooth decay or gum disease, looking for bone fractures, determining if your dog has pneumonia, and checking for heart conditions.
However, even these diagnostic tests pose risks for your pet. The exposure to radiation from x rays is harmful to living cells in animals, including exposed skin and internal organs.
Too much radio waves may cause cancer in humans as well as in pets. As such, veterinary organizations recommend using only necessary radiographs and avoiding overexposure where possible.
It is important to discuss potential benefits and risk with your veterinarian before having an x ray done.
They can be hard on your dog
Only perform a treatment if you have to! Even though some claim that they are more effective than traditional treatments, x-rays still require careful monitoring and maintenance of the dose to ensure effectiveness. Too much exposure could actually do more harm than good.
Some studies show that lower energy levels may not work as well. Therefore, it is important to know how many exposures an average patient will get from different types of radiographs. More frequent visits may be needed in order to obtain adequate results!
It is also important to remember that most dogs’s skin becomes sensitized to radiation after just a few doses. This means that even small amounts of exposure can cause problems later when using this test to determine if your pooch has cancer or not.
Sadly, too many veterinarians overuse diagnostic x-ray tests such as DEXIS for cost savings. Sometimes these tests are necessary to confirm the presence of disease, but too often they are done because radiology staff cannot afford to spend time performing other checks.
DEXIS should only be used when there is no alternative method available to diagnose a condition.
They can cause cancer
Recent studies have shown that x-rays for dogs are very expensive and may even contribute to higher health costs in the future. Not only do they cost more, but there is also an increasing risk of cancers developing from repeated exposure to radiation.
Many dog owners feel that their pet needs or deserves an x-ray scan to determine if it is well enough to go home. Some veterinary clinics use the most advanced technology available which is often two dimensional (2D) x rays. These are typically referred to as “frontal” x rays because they are limited to just looking at the front part of the animal's body.
These 2D images cannot tell how much radioactivity is present so they must be paired with a blood test or other diagnostic tests to get a complete picture. Unfortunately, many dogs are being scanned using these newer technologies which increase the potential harm to your pooch.
Get your dog checked by a vet
Even if you are very careful with how many treatments you give your pet, there is still an unknown risk when it comes to x-rays. Radiation can cause long term health problems in humans and animals.
Some of these potential risks include:
Death of tissue or organs
Long term mental impairment
In some cases, exposure to radiation can lead to death. Because of this, veterinary radiologists have specific limits on the amount of exposure they will perform per day.
These exposure limits vary between individuals and departments, but most hospitals aim to stay under 50 mSv (millisievert) per week. A svedja typically ranges from 10 to 25 mSv per scan, depending on the length of time needed to complete the test.”
This means that even frequent scans like x rays to check internal organ function or bone growth may reach the limit before too much damage has occurred. Fortunately, most dogs are able to survive exposures well below the limit given above.
If you notice any symptoms such as lightheadedness, tingling, burning pain, hair loss, weight gain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or other changes in behavior or appearance after a radiology exam, seek urgent care right away!
You could also talk to your doctor about having your own exams done at a lower dose than normal to see what kind of protection they offer.
Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.
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