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Exploring Veterinary Radiography: Cat, Dog, and Digital Advances in Care

Advancements in technology have led to many improved diagnostic capabilities, including digital imaging. In this blog post, our vets in Ankeny discuss how veterinary radiography aids in diagnosing and treating health conditions in pets, as well as the benefits of digital X-rays for cats and dogs.

Veterinary Radiography for Cats & Dogs

Radiography refers to the use of electromagnetic radiation to produce an image. X-rays produce energy that is absorbed by many hard materials or mineralized tissues in the body, such as bones and teeth, making them appear white in the radiographic images.

To perform an X-ray, your vet will use the machine to direct a beam of photons at the target area on your pet's body. A digital sensor (or film cassette for traditional X-rays) will be placed behind your pet to capture any X-rays that aren't absorbed by bones or tissue, creating the image that we see.

For example, if your cat or dog has an injured leg, radiography can be used to obtain an image displaying the damage. The X-rays will be absorbed by the bones, while soft tissues will only partially absorb them. This will result in an image where the bones appear white, the soft tissues appear as shades of grey, and all other space will remain black."

Dental Radiographs for Veterinary Care

Dental radiographs, or X-rays, performed in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory can aid in diagnosing and monitoring various dental conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed, as they are located beneath the surface of the teeth or gums. These high-resolution images depict the tooth pulp, roots, crown, and surrounding bone of each of your pet's teeth.

This technology facilitates the detection of issues such as tooth abscesses, cavities, and fractures. Many pets do not exhibit signs of pain or discomfort and may continue to eat and function normally even while experiencing discomfort. Once identified through dental X-rays, your pet can undergo treatment using other available procedures, technologies, and medications at our veterinary laboratory.

These radiographs are utilized similarly to those in human dentistry, with X-ray machines employing a minimal amount of radiation to generate images of your pet's internal structures.

One distinction between digital dental radiographs for pets and those for humans is that pets typically require sedation for successful imaging. Your pet will be safely placed under general anesthesia, with vital signs monitored throughout the procedure. Pre-anesthetic blood work is necessary to ensure your pet's health and safety."

The Benefits of Digital Advancements in Veterinary Radiography

Veterinary digital radiography has quickly become the standard with veterinarians exploring new ways of using technology. These digital X-rays offer several benefits including:

  • Enhanced image quality: Digital X-rays offer better image quality along with the ability to manipulate the images.
  • Lesser radiation exposure: There is less exposure to radiation with digital radiographs due to the use of a digital detector for capturing images.
  • Reduced space requirement: Digital X-ray machines take up less compared to their traditional counterparts. With the images being digital, there is also no need for physical film storage.
  • Faster processing time: The images produced can be viewed immediately allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment planning.

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.

Do have more questions about X-rays or any other technology offered at our animal hospital? Contact our veterinary team in Ankeny today to request a consultation.

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Creature Comforts Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our Ankeny vets take the time to get to know our clients and treat every pet as if it were our own. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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