A Pug CT Scan: Discover What It Is and 5 Important Reasons Why A Dog Needs One

Can your pet get a Pug CT scan? We all heard about a CT scan for people: a special kind of medical device aimed at helping diagnose different ailments in our body such as bone fractures, kidney stones, blood clots, and tumors. It is very similar to a standard X-ray, but a more sophisticated version so to speak. Believe it or not, dogs can get one too and we are going to discuss why your wrinkled pet needs a Pug cat scan one day. 

Don’t worry, cat scans are completely harmless and usually performed under anesthesia. As all Pug owners know, flat-faced buds have numerous skeletal problems from an early age. This is because they are considered brachycephalic and have a very complex, peculiar bone structure. 

The weird spinal deviation often becomes a problem in the way Pugs move and causes seizures as the spine directly connects to the brain. Or you may notice that your pal starts to develop a wobbly walk, and you wouldn’t know exactly what the reason might be. That’s when you need a thorough Pug cat scan to find out the true root of the problem. Speaking of which: let’s mention some of the most common causes your pooch may require one. 

pug ct scan
Pug CT Scan

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Reasons Why Your Pet Might Need a CT Scan

Spine Problems

As we briefly mentioned above, Pugs are quite notorious for having back problems caused by abnormally-shaped vertebrae. Sometimes that same abnormality will be the reason why a Pug’s tail will coil very tight, putting extra pressure on the backbone. This condition is medically known as hemivertebrae

Potential Tumors

A vet would normally order a Pug CT scan if he suspects that your fluffy pooch might have a tumor. Some “prerequisites” for the latter are weakness, loss of appetite, whining, vomiting, continuous coughing, and distancing/isolating behavior. A scan will be able to examine your fur baby’s body from all angles to spot any issues immediately. On some occasions, a doctor may order a second CT scan of a particular organ if he/she suspects any abnormal activity there.

Head Injury

Has your mischievous button-nosed friend fallen recently and hit his head? If so, you might want to bring him for a Pug cat scan to make sure no serious damage was done to the brain. A vet will have to see your Pug first to determine if the procedure is going to be necessary. Then he/she will be able to give you a referral to do one or conduct an examination right there in the vet’s office. This scan equipment is very pricey, therefore not all offices have the option to perform CT scans within the clinic’s walls.   

Lung Issues

Pugs are known for having breathing problems. This is because they are brachycephalic and have a somewhat abnormal face structure, impeding normal breathing patterns. Their smushy faces, flat noses, and abundant facial wrinkles create obstacles for an accurate inhaling/exhaling cycle. Thus, causing your pal to “wheeze,” pant heavily (even if it’s not hot out), and cough excessively. As a result of an obstructed airflow, the lungs are forced to work double to get the oxygenated blood to all the organs and eventually wear out.

Dental Disease

Make it a habit to brush your pooch’s teeth regularly. The fang-brushing routine may help prevent various dental issues down the road. However, if your Pug still has tooth decay, gum disease, and enamel erosion, it might need a CT scan to see how deep the infection went into the gums. After the procedure, an animal health specialist will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe suitable medications to treat it right. 

ct scan on a pug dog
CT Scan on a Pug Dog


We have just looked at what the CT scan is and the most common reasons why a little bundle of joy might need a Pug cat scan to determine what is wrong with it. The procedure doesn’t have any side effects and is recommended for some diagnoses in question. A doctor will be able to see a 3-D image of a mutt’s body and point out any problem spots. If you noticed that your pet has some difficulties breathing, walks funny, has recently fallen on its head, and has no energy all the time, it might be a good plan to bring it into the clinic to order a complete, thorough scan of its internal organs.

Related Reading: Dog’s Eye Gunk Removal: 7 Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Get Rid Of Annoying Boogers


How much does a CT scan for a dog cost?

Since the actual CT machines are quite pricey, a charge for a cat scan can vary from $500 to $2000 depending on whether a pet needs a partial or full examination. Also, a vet may want to administer some bloodwork prior to the procedure and the cost of anesthesia is usually included in the bill.

Why would a dog need a CT scan?

If your pooch has an issue with the spine, joints, or a recent injury, a CT might be necessary to find out the root of the problem and the correct treatment plan might be prescribed for your pet. For example, a breed like Pug is seizure-prone, and sometimes it is hard to determine the cause of the problem without a thorough CT scan. Just doing a physical examination and/or blood tests may not be sufficient enough for an accurate diagnosis.

How is a CT scan done on a dog?

First and foremost, a mutt has to be sedated, otherwise this procedure is going to be impeded. Of course, who would want to lay still for an extended period of time while there are interesting things like weird-looking devices, posters on the walls, and doggie treats in jars are inviting to be explored? Any pooch would be super curious in a new environment, that’s why mild anesthesia is necessary.

Secondly, your pooch will be placed on the table that will enter into an opening looking like a plate with a cavity inside of it. A vet’s assistant will be able to take images from all the angles, 360 degrees basically. On some occasions, a hound might require two CTs: one standard and the other one with the iodine solution to specifically target a problem area in question.

When it is all said and done, your fur baby might be still out of it from being sedated, so you will have to carry it into the car. You might want to bring a blanket or two to wrap your precious bundle of joy and let it sleep in the back of the car.

How long does a CT scan take for a dog?

A normal CT scan procedure will take about 45 minutes on average. Sometimes if a more extensive examination is needed, the whole thing might take up to an hour. It all depends on what the vet needs to look at: the whole body or a particular organ.

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.