Our Gawler hospital clinic is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called X-rays) of your pet. Radiographs are a very important tool in helping to diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or the abdomen. Following a thorough physical examination, your veterinarian will discuss if your pet requires radiographs to help with diagnosis.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Most patients needing radiographs are admitted into hospital for the day to have radiographs taken, unless it is an emergency when you may be asked to wait while we take them immediately. Generally, you will be asked to bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they may need to be sedated or anaesthetised to allow for the best quality radiographs to be taken.
Once the radiographs have been taken, your veterinarian will give you a call or book an appointment to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When we have radiographs taken, the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still, often in unnatural positions. However, most pets won't lie still enough, in the correct position, for the radiographic views required to diagnose their condition. If this is the case, sedation or anaesthesia is required to get the most useful radiographs possible.
How are radiographs made?
Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except using X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb X-rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all of the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. Your veterinarian will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.