Our clinic uses ultrasounds and X-rays to examine your cat or dog's internal organs. Sometimes, diagnostic imaging is used as part of your pet's routine wellness exam to get a comprehensive look at their overall health. Other times, we use these tools to confirm a specific injury or illness, as well as support us in creating a treatment plan for your pet.
Do ultrasounds and X-rays use the same technology?
Radiology or X-rays are performed in-house using our digital radiology system. They provide us with clear pictures of your dog or cat's muscular-skeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems. Ultrasounds provide images of your dog or cat's abdominal organs like the spleen, liver, gall bladder, and kidneys, as well as assess their heart. X-rays have a long-standing reputation for providing accurate images of your dog or cat's internal structures. Though ultrasounds are the newer technology in comparison, they are just as safe and effective at diagnosing your cat or dog's health issues. The major difference between these two types of technology is ultrasounds use soundwaves to generate images whereas X-rays use a small amount of radiation.
Why would my cat or dog need both?
Both types of technology have different strengths that could be useful in some scenarios. For example, an X-ray only allows us to view the silhouette of specific structures whereas we can see the insides of different organs with an ultrasound. If your pet has suspected cardiovascular issues, we'll use an ultrasound to examine their heart. However, an ultrasound does not allow us to examine the surrounding bone structures. An X-ray can be used to give us a more detailed picture to help us provide the most accurate diagnosis.
Will my cat or dog need to be restrained?
Dogs and cats need to be perfectly still for us to capture the most accurate images. For ultrasounds, unless your dog or cat has a lot of difficulty remaining in one spot, we generally only need to gently restrain them. The area we're examining may also need to be shaved since your dog or cat's hair can impact the quality of the image in some cases. For X-rays, your pet may need to be sedated if they don't respond well to gentle restraints. The sedative we use is fast-acting so it wears off soon after your pet has had their picture tasking. Needless to say, methods vary per patient. If you have questions about our X-rays and ultrasounds, please contact us at 709-256-3891.