Delatite Veterinary Services is fully equipped to take digital x-rays of your pet. X-rays are not always required so one of our veterinarians will always firstly discuss your pet’s problems and perform a thorough physical examination to determine if they are required. Radiographs (or x-rays) are a very important diagnostic tool that help by highlighting changes in your pets bones, chest and/or abdomen that may/may not have been found on a physical examination.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Depending on the urgency or your pet's condition and that of our other patients we may book you in the following day (or at a suitable time for both you and us), ask you to leave your animal with us for a few hours or take radiographs while you wait. Other factors influencing this decision include the temperament of your pet, area being radiographed and when your pet last ate. We assess on a case by case basis the need for sedation and or general anaesthesia in order to take x-rays.
Once the radiographs have been taken we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When people have radiographs taken the radiographer often asks us to keep perfectly still, often in unnatural positions. Our pets would not understand us if we were to give similar directions and most pets would not lie still enough, in the correct position, for long enough to enable us to take good quality, well positioned radiographs required. Sedation and general anaesthesia allow us to get the most useful radiographs possible, exposing everyone, your pet included, to less radiation, with a great deal less stress on your pet (because we aren't forcing them to do something they aren't sure about).
How are radiographs made?
Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. A "picture" is formed due to the ability of the x-rays to pass through different tissue. X-rays have the greatest difficulty passing through bone which is why they appear white on an radiograph. As the density of soft tissue structures (eg. muscles and organs) they appear on a radiograph as varying shades of grey. Once we have taken the radiograph, we insert the x-ray plate into a reader (that looks like a big printer) and this develops a digital image that is then displayed on our computer. We can then assess the radiograph, before we explain the changes seen and what they mean to you.