A radiograph, also known as an X-ray, is a type of photograph that reveals the body’s bones and internal organs. The procedure for obtaining a radiograph is called radiography. Radiography is a very useful diagnostic tool, and we use it at Eastown Veterinary Clinic because it helps us obtain information about almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, abdominal organs, and bones.
Radiography machines use very low doses of radiation delivered in a focused beam aimed at a photographic plate that contains digital sensors. Patients receiving X-rays are positioned between the X-ray beam and the photographic plate. When the X-ray beam passes through the patient, an image is created on the digital sensors and transmitted to a computer. Structures that are very thick or dense, such as bone, do not allow much of the beam to penetrate and expose the sensors, which is why they look very bright or white on a radiograph. In contrast, structures that are not dense, like air in the lungs, allow the beam to penetrate more completely and expose the sensors. As a result, these structures appear relatively dark on radiographs. Structures that are of medium density, such as fluid, appear in various shades of gray.
We use radiographs to obtain information about the size, shape, density, and location of internal organs. When your pet is ill, radiographs can help your Eastown veterinarian locate the problem.
Ultrasonography is a type of diagnostic technique known as an imaging study. Ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound waves—ultrasound—to create a picture of what is inside your pet’s body. They allow veterinarians to view a pet’s internal structures without an invasive procedure.
Ultrasounds are a completely painless way to diagnose and evaluate many common diseases. Ultrasonography is a particularly good method for evaluating fluid-filled structures, like the bladder, as well as organs like the liver, spleen, kidneys, and heart. It can also detect the presence of fluid, such as blood or urine. Ultrasound waves cannot penetrate bone, so ultrasonography cannot be used to see objects hidden behind bones, such as the brain.