Radiology and Ultrasound Diagnotics
When your pet’s insides need to be examined, the quickest and easiest way to do so is to get pictures. Here at Carlsbad Animal Hospital, our veterinary team has access to sophisticated radiology and ultrasound equipment, enabling prompt, accurate diagnoses of a wide range of issues. Let’s take a closer look at what these methods are and how they’re used.
Radiology is the use of x-rays to view and photograph images of your pet’s internal structures, particularly harder structures such as bone tissue. X-rays are a form of radiation that passes through softer tissues bounces off of harder ones. Since x-rays are harmful in large quantities, the veterinarian uses the briefest exposure possible. Radiology is extremely helpful for viewing bones and teeth (which appear solid white due to their density) in detail, and for getting more general, less detailed images of internal organs. Tendons, spinal cord tissue and lung tissue, however, won’t be visible on an x-ray.
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves instead of x-rays to create images of your pet’s internal organs and other soft tissues. Some of the sound waves are absorbed, while other bounce off of soft tissues. Unlike radiology, ultrasound allows us to get a detailed view of internal organs and soft tissue structures, from the thickness of the heart wall to fetal development inside the uterus. Many of the structures that are delicate to be picked up on an x-ray can be viewed quite easily through ultrasound.
State-of-the-Art Services at Carlsbad Animal Hospital
When you bring your dog or cat to Carlsbad Animal Hospital, you can rest assured that your veterinarian (Dr. Dennis Derieg, Dr. Rachel Kagan, Dr. Tom Livezey, Dr. Candace Runyan or Dr. Nicole Stanclift) will be using the most advanced diagnostic technologies to obtain an accurate picture of what’s happening inside your pet’s body. One particularly noteworthy example is our use of digital radiology. Digital radiology has many advantages over the traditional method film-based x-ray imaging, including:
- Less exposure to radiation for your pet
- Greater image detail
- No need to wait for film to develop (allowing for quicker diagnosis and treatment)
- Digital image files that can be easily and immediately relayed to other practitioners
An ultrasound session usually takes less than 30 minutes. The area on your dog or cat that receives the applicator may need to be shaved so we can get a clear image. If we discover a mass, don’t panic; many such internal masses turn out to be completely benign, although we will want to make sure. Soft tissues injuries that appear on the ultrasound will give us a clear idea of how we need to treat that injury. If your dog or cat is pregnant, you may be able to watch the litter as it grows.