As we all know, healthcare has made great strides in the last few years, and pet medicine is no exception. There have been many significant strides in medicine for pets that we can be proud of, and that gives you peace of mind in knowing your pet will be treated with the care and medicine they deserve, should they become sick.
In fact, one test that has now become popular in pet care is the ultrasound. However, is it expensive to get an ultrasound for your dog? Does your pet insurance cover the cost? We’ll answer these questions and more in the guide below. Dog ultrasounds typically cost between $250 and $350.
The Importance of Ultrasounds
You might wonder why a dog ultrasound is essential, especially if your canine pal has never had health problems. An ultrasound can help your vet detect problems without invasive surgery, which could take your dog weeks or months to heal. While it might not seem like there’s much going on with the ultrasound, a professional sees things that the average pet owner doesn’t.
Ultrasounds can be used to determine various things, such as monitoring your dog’s pregnancy, detecting cancer, and identifying congenital disabilities. In many cases, they can also be used to find the reason your dog is bleeding internally without putting your dog at significant risk.
How Much Does a Dog Ultrasound Cost?
As with any other type of procedure, the vet you choose and your location will determine the cost of a dog ultrasound, but you can expect to pay $250 to $350 for the procedure.
In most cases, this price doesn’t cover the fees for the visit or any other tests that might need to be done. If you need to take the test results to a specialist, your vet may charge for that, but that isn’t as common anymore since the data can easily be sent through an email.
If you need to take your dog to the specialist for an ultrasound, you can expect it to run between $400 and $500. This is also highly unlikely to cover the visit’s fees or any other tests that might need to be completed.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
You can expect to pay for the office visit when taking your dog to have the ultrasound performed. This will usually cost you around $100 or more, depending on the vet or whether they’re specialists. If your dog panics, sedation may be required before the ultrasound is performed. This means you’ll have to cover fees for the sedation, pre-op blood work, and sedation monitoring. Again, these fees can vary.
Discussing the additional costs with your vet that you can expect after the initial examination will give you an idea of how much you’ll have to pay.
How Often Will My Dog Need an Ultrasound?
In most cases, a dog only needs an ultrasound once to determine what the problem is with its health. Many times, they don’t need to have the ultrasound performed again. However, this will depend on what is wrong with your furry friend and the diagnosis the dog gets.
For example, a pregnant dog might require ultrasounds at different stages of her pregnancy, and certain cancers may require repeat ultrasounds. Your vet should be able to tell you more when you get the diagnosis for your pet and let you know how many ultrasounds will need to be performed, as it’s different for every dog and every situation.
Does My Pet Insurance Cover Ultrasounds?
There are quite a few insurance agencies that will cover the cost of an ultrasound. The exception for most agencies is if the ultrasound is performed for a preexisting condition, as very few pet insurance companies cover preexisting conditions in pets.
Some pet insurance companies have exceptions to that rule, so it’s best to talk to your provider before scheduling an ultrasound for your dog and assuming your insurance will cover it.
If your dog’s ultrasound has nothing to do with a preexisting condition, the chances are the pet insurance provider will cover the cost, but you still need to check with customer service to be sure.
How Important Are Follow-Up Visits?
Once your dog has had the procedure and is diagnosed, it’s vital to attend any follow-up appointments your vet schedules. This is important if your canine pal has been determined to have a chronic or life-threatening illness. These follow-up appointments allow the vet to keep a close eye on your pet, monitor the dog’s bloodwork, and schedule follow-up ultrasounds if the vet feels they are needed.
If you’re on a strict budget and worried about additional visits or ultrasounds, be honest with your dog’s vet about the financial issues. Many vets accept forms of payment to help with the cost of caring for your furry friend, such as Care Credit. Some vets accept ScratchPay as well.
An ultrasound can be the difference between life and death for your furry friend and should be taken seriously if your vet recommends one be performed. Ultrasounds are used for several purposes, from keeping an eye on pregnancy to diagnosing cancer and organ defects.
Ultrasounds can be expensive, so call customer service to find out if your pet insurance covers the test before you have it done. Ensure that your vet gives you an estimated cost so that you can put aside the money for the examination and any additional charges that might come with it.