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View Full Version : What "Should" an MRI Cost for SM??



Zippy
20th January 2007, 02:13 AM
Just wondering what a "reasonable" amount would be to pay for an MRI, when there is no study going on??

There seems to be such a discrepancy in prices.

WoodHaven
20th January 2007, 02:34 AM
There is always a discrepancy in prices-- even in my own town. One place charges 25+ dollars for a 1year rabies- my vet charges 18-- (cost is under 2 dollars ).
MRI price depends on whether they are doing a full spine MRI or an SM one. Almost 2 years ago I paid 2200 for the whole spine and 1200 for the SM ones. There are lower prices -- there is somewhere in Ohio for less. Sandy

Karlin
20th January 2007, 02:38 AM
There is a big discrepancy that can be related to part of the country, whether there's some research funding, how old the machine is, etc.

The best price in the US right now is probably through Long Island Vet Services, www.livs.org. I understand Auburn University in Alabama charge circa $600-700 which is the lowest I know of for a standard MRI for diagnostic purposes, not as part of research, in N. America. They go quickly upwards from there, up towards $2,500.

In the UK four or five clinics now do low cost MRIs but these are generally not suitable for ongoing treatment and not suitable for using for surgery, as far as I know. At the time my boys were MRId it cost me about £350-375 in total to MRI both at Chestergates Vet Hospital in the UK. That included a longer consult than a lot of the places give for the low cost MRIs.

Zippy
20th January 2007, 02:39 AM
To be fair, if we were to compare the SM MRIs only, what would be reasonable??

Are the teaching Veterinarian Colleges cheaper than going private??

Shay
20th January 2007, 04:20 AM
Zippy....I'm not positive, but I believe as a rule the teaching hospital would be cheaper if you are using Vet students. However, if using a neurologist that is associated with the university, I'm not sure if it would be cheaper. For example, in Alabama, all of the neurologists are in Auburn or Opelika, which is a sub-burb if you will of Auburn. A couple are listed at the University and a couple aren't. I think there are only 4 or 5 neurologist in the entire state (all in Auburn) and my Vet has told me that one is 80 years old and retired that is still listed on the CKCS website. When my Vet told me $600.00, I was shocked. I'm not sure how long it has been since he referred a pt. to a neurologist. Based on what others have said the cost is where they live, it is hard to believe it is that cheap here. I had an MRI maybe a year ago, and it was $1100.00. Wonder what human MRI's are in the some of the places that are charging $2200.00 for dogs. I know that the dogs must be anestisized, so that could be a factor in the cost of people vs. animal MRI's. Just a thought.

Zippy
20th January 2007, 04:57 AM
I've heard that up here, it's $4 thousand ....private clinic in the Southern Ontario area.

It includes anaesthesia but not the blood work that is needed...that's approx. another $250.

Our gov. pays our medical bills through taxation, so I don't know what a "human" MRI costs. We don't see the billing.....just the tax bill!! :lol:

Shay
20th January 2007, 05:17 AM
I forget that you are in Canada and not the US. $4000 just seems ridiculously high. Gosh...I wonder what a people MRI would be if you had private health care? Health care in the US is becoming so outrageous. Every year the premiums go up, and coverage goes down. Seniors have to decide if they are going to eat or take their medicine. So sad. And then they don't want them to buy their prescriptions in Canada. What's wrong with that picture?

Karlin
20th January 2007, 02:10 PM
Many of the vet schools are far higher than going to private clinics. IMHO the best approach is to have the MRI done by e neurologist you would plan to use for treatment, if the diagnosis is positive. Unless I were strongly inclined to have surgery I would be quite happy with diagnosis from the low cost clinics, not least because almost all are run by some of the most experienced neurologists and researchers on the condition (only one that I know of refers clients to a neurologist for a reading rather than having a resident neurologist). Many neurologists will also work with a those MRIs. Many and perhaps most neurologists at this time do not do a full spinal MRI even on dogs that will have the surgery because in the majority cases you can tell what needs to be known from the head and neck area MRI and that is all that is relevant for the decompression surgery (at least in the opinion of some neurologists). This was commented upon by neurologists at the London meeting on SM.

Leo has been treated entirely from the head/neck MRI done at a low cost clinic (Chestergates) which has been sufficient for Mr Skerritt there, and also for guidance from Clare Rusbridge, who offered a second opinion on both the boys' MRIs and on treatment options for Leo.

Mr Skerritt made the point that further treatment might require further MRIs etc -- presumably referring to whether Leo would have the shunt surgery that he performs, which involves putting a drain into the spine (and hence a full spine MRI); and to track further development.

Leo's symptoms so far have not led me to want another MRI at this time as I still prefer medication rather than surgery. Clare Rusbridge has also supported this approach given his particular case. Remember that an MRI involved anaesthesia and is fairly involved from that point of view. I would not lightly decide to put a dog thru an MRI unless there are strong reasons for doing so -- eg strong clinical signs of SM or very uncomfortable PSOM.

That might give some perspective on how some people make decisions and what is best to do in some cases. :)

Zippy
20th January 2007, 03:22 PM
I agree....never put anyone or any animal through an anaesthetic unless absolutley necessary!!

When my daughters had to be put under, I was a wreck.... two tonsils and one appendectomy. Nothing out of the ordinary but still....scary stuff does happen once in a while.

We had a great ENT guy....thank heavens!!

Now, what to do about my doggie??? Questions and more questions......hmmm

WoodHaven
20th January 2007, 10:28 PM
I agree....never put anyone or any animal through an anaesthetic unless absolutley necessary!!

When my daughters had to be put under, I was a wreck.... two tonsils and one appendectomy. Nothing out of the ordinary but still....scary stuff does happen once in a while.

We had a great ENT guy....thank heavens!!

Now, what to do about my doggie??? Questions and more questions......hmmm

A reputable breeder just lost a 4.5 year old on the table. She went in for a spay and dental and she died. Breeder stated that she'd been healthy.

Zippy
20th January 2007, 11:34 PM
Yep, my friend lost a dog who bled out on the table last summer, totally unexpected.

I sure hope Mary Alice has been spayed...no scar though.

Time will tell....... :?

Jen
21st January 2007, 05:07 PM
You're not too far from Minnesota...the U of M is just under $800. If you'd like more information, pm me.