If your cat or dog is booked to have an X-ray (radiograph) you may be wondering how it will help and what your vet will learn from it. Our Torrance vets share the purpose and necessity of taking X-rays of your cat or dog.
What Can Cat and Dog X-Rays Help The Vets Diagnose?
X-rays are one of the most helpful, and frequently used tools in both human healthcare and veterinary healthcare. X-rays can help vets to get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowing foreign objects, and more.
X-ray images can help vets to spot some tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs which may lead to a diagnosis such as heart disease or cancer.
A detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments cannot be obtained using X-ray technology. In these cases, other diagnostic imaging such as MRI and Ultrasound is more beneficial.
An X-ray of a pregnant cat can also help you to prepare for the birth of kittens or puppies by allowing you to know how many kittens your cat or dog is expecting, and whether a c-section may be required for whatever reason.
How Much Will My Cat's Or Dog's X-rays Cost?
There is a range of factors that will dictate the cost of your dog's or cat's x-rays including the size of your pet, the area being x-rayed, whether sedation was used, the type of clinic, where your veterinary clinic is located, and more. If you are concerned about the cost of your cat's or dog's x-rays, ask your vet for an estimate before proceeding.
How Can I Prepare For My Cat or Dog's X-ray Appointment?
Often an X-ray is done when the animal is brought in to have an issue looked at by the vet. For that reason, no preparation is required. Your vet will examine your pet, then if an X-ray is required, they will take some time to explain the procedure and what they will be looking for.
Will My Dog or Cat Be Sedated When They Have Their X-ray?
Sedation is sometimes required to get a clear X-ray. If your dog and cat are calm, not in too much pain, and able to lay in a comfortable position while the X-ray is being taken, sedation will not be necessary.
On the other hand, if your dog and cat are squirmy, edgy, or in pain sedation will be recommended. Other reasons why sedation may be used during your cat or pup's X-ray include if the dog and cat's muscles need to be relaxed to get a clear image, or when the X-ray is of the skull, teeth, or spine.
Some vets may recommend sedation regardless to reduce any stress or anxiety your kitty or puppy may have.
Are X-rays Safe For Dogs and Cats?
While the use of x-rays is generally considered safe for dogs and cats, radiation is involved and so x-rays are typically used only occasionally and generally as a diagnostic tool. In some cases, vets will use X-ray technology to glean information about a dog and cat's pregnancy however other forms of imaging such as ultrasound could be used in that case.
If you're concerned about the use of X-ray technology and your dog and cat's health, speak to your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to give you an understanding of the risks versus the benefits in your dog and cat's particular case so that you can decide whether you want your dog and cat to have an X-ray.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.