Radiographs (x-rays) are one of the many diagnostic tool’s veterinarians can use to see what is happening inside your pet. Performing radiographs on an animal is a non-invasive way to diagnose or monitor a number of different conditions which your pet may be suffering. However, there are limitations. Radiographs are best used to look at two types of tissues within the body – bones and soft tissue.
Bone conditions which may need radiographing include:
- Spinal problems
- Bone cancers
Soft tissue conditions that may need radiographing include:
- Heart enlargement
- Chest or lung conditions such as pneumonia or asthma
- Stomach or intestinal foreign bodies
- Kidney disease
- Bladder stones
Most pets require only sedation for x-ray procedures as they need to lie still to enable an image that is diagnostic. If the radiograph requires the animal to be in an uncomfortable position, such as for hip x-rays, or if there is a fractured bone, then pets are placed under general anaesthetic to reduce pain.
X-ray technology is rapidly improving in the veterinary world which allows for much clearer images and better diagnostics. Majority of x-ray machines are now digital and images can be obtained within seconds, which reduces the amount of time your pet needs to be sedated or anesthetised. It has also made sending radiographs for referrals a lot easier as digital images are easily emailed to specialists.
Ultrasonography is also another common method of examining a patient without the need for invasive procedures. The hardest part of an ultrasound is having the patient lie still, so again in some circumstances, sedation or anaesthesia is necessary to be able to gain a thorough examination.
Ultrasounds themselves are painless. A probe is placed on the animal which emits waves of sound through different tissues. Sound is then reflected back and is turned into a picture on a monitor. The thickness and type of tissue will determine what sound is reflected back. It is through this technology that we are able to see the size, shape and texture of different organs within an animal to allow examination and assessment of any medical conditions.
How can an ultrasound help my pet?
Ultrasounds can be used to examine many internal organs including liver, kidneys, bowel, spleen, bladder, prostate, uterus, and heart. The ultrasound may also be used to guide a minimally invasive biopsy probe that enables the collection of tissue samples without the need for large abdominal incisions. Ultrasounds provide the most reliable form of pregnancy diagnosis for dogs and cats.
In addition to our in-house ultrasound machine, we also have a specialist who travels to our clinic regularly to perform in-depth specialised ultrasounds. This is very helpful for complicated cases.
Veterinary care for exotics, dogs & cats in Hervey Bay
Our fear-free approach ensures your pet and you have a stress-free experience with keeping your animals healthy.