Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called X-rays) of your pet. We have state of the art digital processing of our X-rays which means we can place your pet's x-rays on a disk or USB for specialist opinions or for you to take home your own copy. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs. Radiographs are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or abdomen.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
If your pet requires radiographs to be taken you will likely start with a consult with one of our veterinarians, this way we can get a brief history of your pets illness/injury and give them a thorough examination before being admitted for the day.
A sedation or general anaesthetic will often be used to reduce stress for the patient as they will need to be held very still for the best quality results, this will also reduce the amount of x-rays needed to be taken and the amount of personnel used for the procedure. For a sedation or anaesthetic your pet will need to be fasted prior to the appointment.
Once the x-rays have been taken the vet will examine them very carefully before booking an appointment with you to discuss a diagnosis and plan.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When we, as humans, have radiographs (X-rays) taken the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still, often in postions that require us to bend or stretch in unnatural ways.
Most pets would not lie still enough, in the correct position, for us to take good quality radiographs required to diagnose their condition. Your pet may also be uncomfortable or have pain in the area we are taking an x-ray of, which makes staying still even harder!
Sedation and anaesthesia allow us to get the most useful radiographs possible.
How are radiographs made?
Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb X-rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all of the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. We will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.