Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Exploring Veterinary Radiography: Cats, Dogs & Digital Advances in Care

Exploring Veterinary Radiography: Cats, Dogs & Digital Advances in Care

Technological advancements in the veterinary industry have led to improved diagnostic capabilities, including digital imaging. In today's post, our Upland vets discuss how veterinary radiography assists with the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in pets and the benefits of digital X-rays for cats and dogs. 

Veterinary Radiography for Cats & Dogs

Electromagnetic radiation is used to produce a radiograph, or image, of your pet's internal systems. X-rays produce energy that's absorbed by many hard materials or mineralized tissues in the body, such as bones and teeth, which will be white in radiographic images. 

To conduct an X-ray, your vet will use the machine to direct a beam of photons at the area of your pet's body that needs to be examined. 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 tissue or bones. Your veterinarian can then review the resulting image. 

For example, if your dog or cat has an injured leg, radiography can be used to capture an image that your vet can then review. Bones will absorb X-rays, while soft tissues will only partially absorb them. This will produce an image in which the bones appear white, the soft tissue appears in shades of grey, and all other space remains black. 

Dental Radiographs for Veterinary Care 

Dental radiographs (X-rays) are performed in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. They can help your vet diagnose and monitor several dental conditions, which may otherwise be left undetected due to the fact that they develop below the surface of the teeth or gumline. These high-resolution X-ray images display the tooth pulp, roots, crown, and the bone surrounding each of your pet's teeth. 

Some potential issues your vet may detect using this dental technology include cavities, tooth fractures, and dental abscesses. Many pets are notorious for not showing any external symptoms of pain or discomfort and will continue to eat and function normally, even if they are experiencing pain. 

Once your vet analyzes a dental X-ray and diagnoses the specific issue in your cat or dog's mouth, they can treat your pet using specific procedures, medications, and technologies. 

Veterinarians and human dentists use dental radiographs in similar ways. These X-ray machines use a small amount of radiation to produce an image of your pet's oral structures. 

One difference between digital dental radiographs for pets and those for humans is the fact that your pet will need to be sedated so an X-ray can be captured successfully. Before your pet is put under general anesthesia, they will undergo blood testing and other diagnostic tests to confirm that they are healthy enough to be sedated. Their vitals will also be monitored during the time they are under anesthesia. 

The Benefits of Digital Advancements in Veterinary Radiography 

With veterinarians exploring new ways of using technology, veterinary digital radiography has quickly become the standard. 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. Please make an appointment with your vet to diagnose your pet's condition accurately.

Do you have more questions about X-ray and other diagnostic technology offered at our animal hospital? Contact our Upland vets to request a consultation.

New Patients Welcome

Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center is accepting new patients! Our experienced veterinarians care passionately about the health and well-being of Upland companion animals. Get in touch today to book your cat or dog's first appointment.

Contact Us

Contact (909) 931-7871