Many of the medical devices used in human medicine have been adopted by veterinary hospitals. Ultrasonography and radiology (X-rays) are two imaging diagnostic tools that can also be used to diagnose cats and dogs. To avoid exploratory surgery, we use imaging technology to provide a snapshot of the internal organs and systems. Together we can use X-rays and ultrasounds to diagnose arthritis, pregnancies, pneumonia, heart disease, bladder stones, tumours, cysts, foreign objects, and more. Imaging technology can also be used to monitor important organs such as the heart, lungs, bladder, prostate, and intestines.
How is an ultrasound performed?
The ultrasonographer applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and creates a more accurate visual image. The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and the amount of fluid present. The waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.
What is the difference between traditional X-rays and digital radiology?
Digital radiography provides a high-quality image that allows visualization of bones and soft tissue in great detail. After being taken, a digital radiograph can be enhanced, magnified, and manipulated in a number of different ways allowing visualization of images in ways not possible with film X-ray. These images are captured on a computer and can be shown to a pet owner on any screen throughout the hospital. They can also be sent immediately to a specialist if needed.
Is sedation or anesthesia necessary?
Yes. For both x-rays and ultrasounds, your loyal companion needs to remain completely still so the veterinarian will administer a sedative or short-acting anesthesia.
Are imaging diagnostics safe for my cat or dog?
Yes. Your pet will be safe during and after the procedure. There is a lot of fear around X-rays because of radiation, however, digital X-rays have up to 80% less exposure compared to traditional ones. To learn more about X-rays and ultrasounds, please call our team at 905-332-4014.