Ultrasound and X-ray for Pets
An ultrasound uses soundwaves to create a detailed image of an organ or body part. They allow veterinarians to evaluate soft tissues and inner parts of the organ. An X-ray (another term for radiograph) uses electromagnetic radiation to visualize the inside of your pet’s body and see the size, shape and angle of denser organs that need medical attention. A radiograph is less meticulous than an ultrasound, so it may not be able to pick up smaller articles, but it’s used on a daily basis. If you believe your pet may be experiencing obstruction or discomfort internally that needs closer inspection, schedule an appointment with us at 403.982.8387.
When would my pet need an ultrasound or X-ray?
Ultrasounds and X-rays are used during pre-surgical examinations, to find abnormalities and to search for foreign objects swallowed by your pet. Below is a list of some conditions and parts of their body we explore:
Depending on the tool we use, we may find swelling, a dislodged joint or a toy they were playing with a few days ago that just disappeared.
How are ultrasounds and X-rays like for pets?
Ultrasound: Our veterinarians start by shaving your pet’s fur to get closer to the area we need to explore. A handheld probe is waved over their skin and images are transported to a computer. Sometimes, if your pet is fidgety or too curious, we provide a sedative to calm them down. The overall process is not harmful and the only feeling they will have is gentle pressure on their skin from the probe.
X-ray: We have a special room where we do our X-rays. Since X-rays use radiation to penetrate thicker tissues, owners will not be allowed in the room. However, our veterinarians wear protective gear and provide your pet with covers that shield the parts of their body that are not our focus. The radiograph shines light rays on the targeted region, which is absorbed by the hard organs or bones. This produces a clear monochrome image, where the denser objects/parts appear white, the empty spaces are black and any obstructions or abnormalities are visible.