In an effort to provide your pet with superior medical care, we perform diagnostic imaging. We are able to perform basic radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations on a variety of animals. By using digital radiology, we are able to capture better images that we can easily transmit to specialists and other clinics if needed.
Types of diagnostic imaging
Digital X-rays - Radiographs (X-rays) are usually the diagnostic imaging administered to evaluate your pet. Our office utilizes digital X-rays because they are more accurate and display a higher contrast. Because of their accuracy, technicians are able to take fewer images resulting in less pet discomfort. Digital X-rays also project less radiation than traditional X-rays which improves safety for our staff.
Ultrasound - Ultrasounds are another form of 3D imaging. This diagnostic is perfect for pets in sensitive situations (e.g. pregnancy), pets that might be suffering immense pain, or pets who are partially immobile. Ultrasounds are very gentle and are typically used to examine the abdominal region and chest cavity.
Reasons for radiographic imaging:
Soft tissue radiology: Allows examination of internal organs in 2 dimensions. Can facilitate diagnosis of enlarged or irregularly shaped organs. We can also assess the size and shape of the heart which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.
Orthopedic radiology: Allows examination of the bones for tumors, cysts, fractures, dislocations or arthritis. We may also detect evidence of bone infections using radiographs.
Dental radiology: Allows examination of oral swellings, possible tooth root abscesses, and jaw tumors.
Reproductive radiology: Allows detection of pregnancy as well as a means of determining how many fetuses are present and if their size will allow normal vaginal delivery.
Foreign body radiology: Allows examination for foreign bodies that a pet might have swallowed, as well as the visualization of stones that may be present in the bladder or kidneys. We can also identify some foreign objects that are imbedded in other areas of the body like between the toes or behind the pharynx.
Reasons for ultrasonographic imaging:
- Soft tissue ultrasonography: Allows examination of internal organs in 3 dimensions. Can facilitate diagnosis of enlarged or irregularly shaped organs. We can also assess the size and shape of the heart which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.
- Orthopedic ultrasonography: Mostly used to evaluate tendons for tears and swollen joints.
- Reproductive ultrasonography: Used for early detection of pregnancy in large animals. Also used in small animals for pregnancy diagnosis and assessment of fetal number and viability.
What does diagnostic imaging involve?
The process for taking radiographs of your pet depends on their temperament and their underlying medical condition. For animals that are calm, we can generally take diagnostic images with minimal manual restraint. We prefer this method for animals that are critically ill and may not handle sedatives well. If your pet is more excitable or in pain, we will generally use sedation to help facilitate quality imaging. Pets must lay very still for the images to be of high quality, so in many cases sedation is necessary.
Other forms of diagnostic imaging
If we believe that your pet would benefit from either a CT scan or MRI, we are happy to refer you to a specialty hospital where these services are available.
If you have any questions about digital imaging services, please feel free to contact our office.