In animal medicine, ultrasounds and X-rays (radiology) are vital to accurately diagnose patients. At Island Veterinary Hospital, our patients can receive these services with a facility we have partnered with. Working with a third party means that the results will be sent directly to us so we can give a prompt diagnosis. If you have questions about ultrasounds and X-rays, please call us at 604-273-3158.
How does an ultrasound or X-ray work?
Ultrasounds use sound waves to create a visual of the patient’s internal organs and systems. If necessary the area to be examined is shaved and a gel is applied. The gel makes it easier for the transducer (wand connected to a computer) to glide. While the transducer is moved over the area it emits soundwaves that echo and provide images on the computer monitor.
Digital X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to show images on the computer. When the light passes through your cat or dog, it is absorbed and a snapshot is taken and shown on the computer.
When are X-rays and ultrasounds used?
Since both tools can detect different health problems, they may be used in conjunction with each other.
Ultrasounds are used to detect tumours, cysts, bladder stones, foreign objects and fetal development. The veterinarian may also recommend ultrasounds if the patient has breathing difficulty, vomiting, diarrhea or blood in their urine.
X-ray scans provide a visual of the bones, stomach, colon, heart, lungs, intestine, bladder and prostate. We use it to diagnose pneumonia, arthritis, fractures and broken bones, and to monitor heart disease.
Is the radiation safe for my cat or dog?
With digital X-rays, less radiation is used so your loyal companion will not experience any side effects. The process will go by fast because a mild sedative will be used to keep the patient in one position.