How Do I Know If My Pet Needs an X-ray?

How Do I Know If My Pet Needs an X-ray?

The last thing any pet owner wants is for their canine companion to get injured or sick. But some things are inevitable, so you should prepare financially and emotionally in advance. It is important to take your pet for regular checkups. During these checkups, your veterinarian may have to conduct a series of tests to ensure your pet is healthy.

Some of the tests the vet may carry out include stool sample tests, blood work, or diagnostic tests. X-rays are also valuable options for diagnosing injury and illness in both cats and dogs. If your pet has an injury, your vet may recommend a radiograph (X-ray for pets) to determine if they have any broken bones.

X-ray is not just done to check for broken bones. It is also done to check the internal images of your pet’s blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs for accurate diagnosis.


 

Health Problems an X-ray Could Reveal


If your pet is unwell, the vet first conducts a comprehensive physical exam. Pets cannot talk or say where it hurts. Hence, it falls on the veterinarian to find out what the problem is and where it lies. Your vet may decide to perform an X-ray if your pet has an underlying problem that is persistent.


For example, you may find that your pet has stomach issues. Your vet may have to perform an X-ray to check your pet’s stomach for objects like chew toys or any other foreign object that may cause the stomach issue. Other conditions X-rays can reveal include:

  • Bone cancer.
  • Dental decay.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bone infections.
  • Breathing conditions.
  • Heart diseases.


Knowing the exact nature and location of your pet’s problem can help your vet administer more appropriate treatment. In case of a broken bone, your vet will not only see the extent of damage caused but also make a prognosis for how long it will take for your pet to fully recover.


 

Difference Between an X-ray and an Ultrasound


These two procedures are different. An X-ray uses electromagnetic radiation to produce images of a pet’s body structure that highlights any objects within. On the other hand, an ultrasound generates sound waves that bounce back and forth to create an image of your pet’s internal systems.


Both are important for providing an accurate diagnosis. There are several things that your vet needs to consider before choosing one tool over the other. Your pet’s behavior, health, and symptoms may determine which tool the doctor will use to get an accurate diagnosis. Your vet may also decide to use both tools.


For example, if your vet suspects that your pet may have ingested a foreign object, they will perform an X-ray first. In the process, they may also opt to perform an ultrasound to acquire a better image if they confirm that your pet has an enlarged spleen.


 

Are X-rays Safe for Pets?


Yes, X-rays are safe for pets. In most cases, pets do not require sedation when getting an X-ray if they relax and remain calm during the process. However, puppies and very young and active pets may need sedation to calm them down.



To know if your pet needs an X-ray, visit 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital at our office in Duffield, Virginia. You can also call (276) 431-4838 to book an appointment today.

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Dr. Cortney Jessee