Echocardiography (ECG) is a type of ultrasound that is performed on the heart. When a pet exhibits signs that might lead to a cardiac issue, a veterinarian will need to perform echocardiography on the dog (i.e. heart murmur).
The ultrasound examination will be carried out at the chest level, and its purpose is to determine whether or not there is a problem with the structure or function of the heart valves and chambers of the dog.
The process involves using sound waves, giving the veterinarian a distinct picture of the animal’s heart that can be viewed on a computer screen. The entire process will take between 20 and 30 minutes, and after the test has been carried out, the veterinarian can provide a diagnosis immediately.
As the test will solely concentrate on the heart, it will not be utilized to detect any problems in the lungs.
Price of an echocardiography on dogs
The price of echocardiography for pets typically ranges from $300 to $400, although there are some regions of the country in which patients may anticipate paying much more.
You should also be aware that this is the fee of the procedure itself and that it does not include the examination performed by the veterinary cardiologist from the local vet clinics. Depending on the facility and the veterinarian, the additional cost for the veterinary inspection might be anywhere from $50 to $100.
Some extra costs
Sedation won’t be necessary if your dog is cooperative and unruffled by the experience. However, additional expenses will be levied if the dog has to be sedated for whatever reason, as this involves more time from the veterinarians working at the clinics.
If additional tests are required due to an emergency, the prices might rise by more than triple the amount. A local veterinarian may only be able to do this test a few times each month if they do not have the necessary equipment for it.
Factors that Influence the ECG Cost in dogs
The following are some of the elements that might affect the total cost of the echocardiogram:
- Your specific geographic location; for example, if you are a resident of Manhattan or another major city, the price may be higher for you. On the other hand, if you reside in an area where dog ultrasonography technology is not accessible on-site in all veterinary clinics, you may also wind up spending more. This is because veterinary clinics in those areas tend to charge more for their services.
- The costs are usually associated with the vet’s credibility and experience.
- The sorts of equipment that are used also affect the ECG cost. The cost of ECG can be marginally increased if the devices are of a more recent origin.
- In most situations, anesthesia is not required; however, if the dog is not helpful and is too stressed to sit during the test, the veterinarian may choose to provide a tranquil or anesthesia in order to be able to do the ultrasounds.
- If the general inspection is necessary urgently, there is a possibility that the fees will be adjusted upwards as well.
- You might also go to a local animal shelter and inquire about the cost of getting echocardiography done on your pet. If they have an ultrasound device on-site and are able to do the test when you need it, the charges may be cheaper, or they may even perform it for free. This, of course, depends on whether they can carry out the test when you need it.
A few helpful hints
- Find out if your pup has to fast before the procedure from your veterinarian by consulting with them. Most clinics will provide you with a document to take home with you to assist you in preparing.
- The procedure does not cause any discomfort, and most pets do not need to take any medication after having the test done.
- It is impossible to do a lung diagnostic examination using echocardiography.
Where can you get your dog checked out with an echocardiogram?
If you are a resident of the United States, you may go to the office of your neighborhood veterinarian and inquire about getting one done. The majority of vets are able to do this test on their own; however, some may suggest that you see a cardiologist or another expert who is qualified to carry out the examination instead.
You always have the option of going to an animal clinic or seeing a veterinary specialist if you don’t feel entirely at ease having your regular veterinarian do this test. They will most certainly charge you more than your typical veterinarian would; if there is anything wrong with your dog’s heart that requires immediate care, it might be well worth the money.
How can you save some money?
Get in touch with a few of the local vets in the area and inquire about their prices and services. The majority ought should be able to provide a straightforward estimate over the phone.
How long does it take to do echocardiography on a canine patient?
When performing the eco, sound waves are directed toward the patient’s heart, where they reflect off of the organ’s soft tissue and provide a clear image. The average examination takes between 20 and 30 minutes to finish.
Do doctors sedate the canines before they perform echocardiograms?
While most dogs maintain their composure during the entire process, a few may start to grow apprehensive. A handful of them will require sedation or general anesthesia.
Even though the echocardiography does not involve any pain, some discomfort may be experienced if the probe is positioned over a part of the chest that contains air. In order to ease this discomfort, the technician or the veterinarian may choose to apply pressure to that location or modify the probe’s position.
How much does the essential equipment for an ECG cost?
Two distinct varieties of ECG machines are utilized in canine patients.
- Portable ECG machines
- Specialized high-end ECG machines
1. Portable ECG machines
There is a diverse selection of portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, from tiny portable devices that can be purchased for less than $600 to ones that can connect to desktop computers and laptops that vary in price from around $1,500 to $2,000 in total. It all comes down to the usefulness and complexity of the machine, and more advanced ones might cost up to $3,500 depending on their level of sophistication. Portable ECG machines are best for toy breeds.
2. Specialized high-end ECG machines
These are also known as canine cardiac ultrasound machines. These machines work on the principle of ultrasound tests and use their own ultrasound equipment. The purpose of this equipment is to thoroughly evaluate how the pet patient’s heart reacts to being put through exercise. For this purpose, the patient will need either a treadmill on which they may run or walk or a stationary cycle on which they can pedal. By this, veterinary specialists can determine any heart disease (if present). The cost of a stress test treadmill by itself is around $5000, but the total cost of a complete package consisting of an ECG machine, treadmill, monitor, and the trolley is likely to range anywhere from $11,000 to $16,000.
Echocardiography is the most effective diagnostic technique for determining the severity of cardiac disease in canines. It offers a comprehensive analysis of both ventricles, as well as the atria, the interventricular septum, and the valves. The picture quality is excellent in the vast majority of patients. In many instances, it is superior to the image quality that may be acquired using radiographs or other non-invasive diagnostic methods. In addition to that, it can help guide procedures such as cardiac catheterization and heart surgery—the average cost of ECG in dogs is around $300 to $400.