Swan Veterinary Hospital

PH: (08) 9274 1845

14 Runyon Road, Midvale


Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called x-rays) of your pet. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs. Radiographs are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving the bones, chest or abdomen.

What happens to my pet when they are booked in for radiographs? 

Most of our patients are admitted to hospital for the day to have radiographs taken — unless it is an emergency where they are required immediately. Sedation or a general anaesthetic (GA) are required for us to take the best quality radiographs possible. If your pet is booked in for radiographs, please read our pre-operative information here.

Once the radiographs have been taken, and your pet has recovered from their sedation or GA, we will give you a call. An appointment will be organised for one of our veterinarians to show you the images. During the appointment, the veterinarian will 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 (x-rays) taken, the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still — often in unnatural positions. Most pets would never lie still enough for long enough, and in the correct position, for us to take suitable radiographs. High-quality radiographs are essential to accurately diagnose your pet's condition. Sedation and general anaesthesia allow us to obtain the most useful radiographs possible.

How are radiographs made?

Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use x-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based on 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, which is why it appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues — such as lungs or organs — absorb some, but not all, of the x-rays, and will appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey.

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