Radiology (x-ray) is routinely used to provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). It can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for a pet’s condition, identify the exact cause of a problem or rule out possible problems. At our hospital, we also have a dental x-ray unit that provides us with excellent images of teeth and roots to help identify dental disease that may not be readily apparent.
When a pet is being radiographed, an x-ray beam passes through its body and hits a piece of radiographic film. Images on the film appear as various shades of gray and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Bones, which absorb more x-rays, appear as light gray structures. Soft tissues, such as the lungs, absorb fewer x-rays and appear as dark gray structures. Interpretation of radiographs requires skill and experience on the part of the veterinarian.
If your pet requires an x-ray, we provide that service right here at our hospital. In some cases, you may be required to leave your pet with us, as it can take time to achieve diagnostic quality images. Sometimes, we need to sedate our patients in order to make the pet more comfortable when positioning them properly for the x-rays. We always arrange a discharge appointment in which you can view the x-rays with one of our veterinarians. Images obtained with the dental x-ray unit are obtained only if patients are under a full general anesthetic for a dental procedure.