What Is Radiology?
Radiology (x-ray) 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. Sedation is sometimes required in order to obtain a diagnostic x-ray.
When a pet is being radiographed, an x-ray beam passes through its body onto a 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. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
Some of the most dramatic examples of diagnostic x-rays are taken during the diagnosis of gastric foreign bodies. Click here to see example x-rays of patients who have ingested foreign bodies.
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