Radiography is painless, safe, and completely non-invasive, and it uses only very low doses of radiation. Because the level of radiation exposure needed to perform radiography is very low, even pregnant females and very young pets can undergo radiography. Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions—such as kidney, heart, or liver disease—can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected using radiography. Radiography can also be used to diagnose bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions.
At DeLand Animal Hospital we use digital radiography. The images are captured on a digital recording device and displayed on a computer screen. No x-ray film is used. These images are easy to store as well as to transmit to other hospitals, or to copy to send home with pet owners. Digital images can be adjusted for contrast and enlarged. Often this leads to few radiographs being taken and less radiation for your pet.
Radiographs are an important tool that can help us make a correct diagnosis for your pet. If, by chance, there are still questions after an x-ray is performed, we will move on to our newest form of radiology, the CT Scan.