The use of technology in veterinary care has been an important part of diagnosing your pets. One of the most important areas of this technology in diagnostic imaging. Today, our Hoquiam vets discuss what digital x-rays and ultrasound are used for when it comes to your pets and why they are important.
Digital Imaging for Pets
Digital diagnostic imaging is a critical part of veterinary medicine and important for the accurate and efficient diagnosis of pets. There are two main imaging options that are commonly used when it comes to diagnostic imaging, they are radiology (commonly referred to as x-rays) and ultrasound.
X-rays are by far the most common diagnostic tool used for both human and veterinary healthcare. Using x-rays your veterinarian is able to produce images of your pet's internal structures which is critical to diagnosing certain conditions that we would be unable to see without imaging.
Ultrasound is also commonly used for the diagnosis of various health conditions in pets. Ultrasound allows your vet to witness the function of various internal parts of your pet's body in real-time giving your vet the opportunity to diagnose potential internal conditions quickly.
What are digital radiology and ultrasound and what are they used for?
Ultrasound and Radiology are both digital imaging tools that are crucial for diagnosing your pet.
Radiology is used to show the internal structures of your pet such as their bones and joints. X-ray is typically done when your pet is already visiting the vet for a potential concern and your vet decides that using radiology to view the internal structures would be beneficial.
Ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that is commonly used by your vet in order to view possible issues with the internal systems of your pet. This form of diagnostic imaging allows your vet to view the internal functions of your pet in real-time in order to diagnose conditions quickly and efficiently.
Digital Radiology for Dogs and Cats
Digital radiology, or x-rays, are a safe, non-invasive form of diagnostic imaging that can be crucial to the proper diagnosis of your pet. If your pet requires an x-ray they most likely will not need to be sedated. Your vet will however choose to sedate pets that are in a large amount of pain or are unable to be calm and relaxed for the imaging process.
There are many reasons why your vet may perform digital radiology on your pet, some of the things they are able to see using this type of imaging are:
- Fractures or arthritic changes
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Detecting foreign objects
It’s quite common for veterinarians to choose radiographs as a first diagnostic imaging test. If they don’t reveal an abnormality, a different type of imaging study may be recommended.
Ultrasound for Dogs and Cats
Ultrasound is a form of diagnostic imaging that uses sound waves to view the internal structures of your pet. These sound waves are emitted from a handheld device and pass through the tissues of your pet's body and become electrical signals that are then interpreted by a computer and transformed into an image.
Some of the areas of your pet's body that ultrasound can help your vet to explore better are:
- Gall bladder
- Reproductive System
Why is Digital Diagnostic Imaging important?
Diagnostic imaging such as digital radiology and ultrasound provides your vet with the opportunity to explore the internal structures of your pet in a non-invasive way. This means that they will be able to diagnose your pet's conditions quickly and efficiently, allowing them to begin treatment as soon as they possibly can giving them the best chance at a full recovery.
While there may be occasions where additional diagnostic imaging is required, both x-rays and ultrasound are the most common forms of diagnostic imaging.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.