You may know someone who has needed to have a radiograph or "x-ray" taken to make sure they do not have a broken bone but did you know that radiographs are used to diagnose a number of other issues as well? They allow doctors to check for arthritis, urinary stones, tumors, gastro-intestinal blockages, heart or lung conditions, and much more! Since our pets are unable to tell us where they hurt, radiographs are extremely important in the diagnostic process.
In many hospitals, traditional radiography systems are still used. This is kind of like using a camera that requires film to be developed. The process is cumbersome and slow - film is placed in the system, developed with chemicals, and the patient must remain very still. At Highlands Pet Hospital, we have a digital radiography system which allows us to take an x-ray and immediately view it on a computer screen. In this case, if the pet has moved (making the image blurry!) we can re-take the x-ray right away. This also allows us to take radiographs without sedation in most cases and easily email images to a specialist veterinarian if necessary.