Radiology (x-rays) 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.
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.
Ragiographs can be enhanced with special techniques. A barium swallow is a common technique that allows better visualization of the esophagus and intestinal tract.
Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian. We will be sure to advise you if this test is a necessary part of a work-up for your pet.