Radiographs are routinely used as a diagnostic tool. They provide valuable information about animal’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). They can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to provide a list of possible causes for an animal’s condition, to identify the exact cause of a problem, and/or to rule out possible problems. As an x-ray beam passes through a patients body, the beams are absorbed in different quantities by different types of tissues. Images on radiographic film appear as various shades of grey and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Light areas such as bones absorb more x-rays than darker areas such as the lungs.
We recently invested in an automatic x-ray processor which helps keep our x-ray developing consistent and decreases the staff’s contact with the chemicals used in processing. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.