A radiograph (sometimes called an x-ray) is a type of photograph that can look inside the body and reveal information that may not be discernable from the outside. Radiography can be used to evaluate almost any organ in the body, including the heart, lungs, and abdominal organs, as well as the bones. Often times, we like to couple a comprehensive blood panel with some images (x-rays) to fully evaluate a body system that is in question.
Radiography is painless, safe, and completely non-invasive, and it uses only very low doses of radiation. Because the level of radiation exposure needed to perform radiography is very low, even pregnant females and very young kittens can undergo radiography.
Radiographs can be used to evaluate bones as well as the size, shape, and position of many of the body’s organs. The size of organs is important because some medical conditions—such as kidney, heart, or liver disease—can alter the size of these organs. The shape and position of organs can be altered or distorted by certain medical conditions, including intestinal blockage or cancer. Tumors, depending on their size and location, can also sometimes be detected using radiography. Radiography can also be used to diagnose bladder stones, broken bones, chronic arthritis, certain spinal cord diseases, and a variety of other conditions.
This non-invasive diagnostic tool allows us to image your cat’s internal organs to give us specific and detailed information on an internal organ. Often times, radiographs (x-rays) and ultrasound are taken together to obtain a complete picture of your cat. Radiographs (x-rays) allow us to view all of the internal organs together in one picture. An ultrasound allows us to specifically focus on one organ at a time and obtain very detailed information on that organ. Organs that are evaluated include the liver, gall bladder, digestive tract (stomach, intestines, colon), spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, lymph nodes and urinary bladder. Together with a comprehensive blood panel, a great deal of information is obtained to formulate a more specific and appropriate medical plan for your cat.