Radiographs are routinely used as a diagnostic tool. They provide valuable information about animal’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). They can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for an animal’s condition, to identify the exact cause of a problem, and/or to rule out possible problems.
As an x-ray beam passes through a patient’s body, the beams are absorbed in different quantities by different types of tissues. Radiographic images appear as various shades of grey and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Light areas such as bones absorb more x-rays than darker areas such as the lungs. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
At Blue Cross Animal Hospital, we use a digital radiography system which allows us to obtain images quickly in an electronic format These images are displayed on a computer screen and can be enhanced and/or magnified to aid us in examining fine details. It also allows us to have images directly available in the exam rooms immediately after they are taken so that our veterinarians can show them to you and point out any areas of concern. We are able to copy these radiographic images onto a disc so that we can have them reviewed by a radiologist or forwarded to a specialist for a referral appointment if necessary. We can also provide you with a copy of the x-rays.