Our Daleside Surgery in Birkdale and our Formby Surgery house our digital radiography machines.
An X-ray can be necessary in the treatment of your pet for many different reasons, you will be advised on this by your vet.
What is Radiography?
An X-ray (radiograph) test is a quick and painless method used to diagnose many health conditions. The procedure involves exposing part of your body to a small dose of ionising radiation (X-rays). The X-rays travel through your body where they are absorbed at different levels by different tissues such as bones, muscles and organs. When the X-rays come out on the other side of your body they hit a photographic film and make a pattern of light and shade. The images produced are black, white and grey.
Why Might My Pet Need An X-ray?
There are many reasons why your pet may need an x-ray at some point during his or her life. The most obvious reason would be after a trauma such as being in a road traffic accident where we want to check for any broken bones. Other reasons include:
Bone x-rays to look for deformities, growth problems, infection, fractures and to plan fracture repairs
Joint x-rays to look for damage, inflammation or arthritic changes
Abdominal x-rays to look at the soft tissues and organs for signs of disease
Chest x-rays to look for signs of heart or lung disease
Hip and elbow scoring for breeding purposes
What Happens When My Pet Has An X-ray?
In most cases, a general anaesthetic or heavy sedation is required to perform an accurate x-ray in animals. This is because most pets, however well behaved, will not sit completely still in the required positions to obtain high quality diagnostic x-rays. In some situations (for example a cat which has difficulty breathing), we may take a survey x-ray with the animal fully conscious to remove the additional risk associated with an anaesthetic in these cases.
Animals are not allowed to be manually restrained for x-ray under the guidelines set down by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for health and safety reasons.
Once your pet is stable under the anaesthetic or sedation, the vet will position your animal appropriately for the x-ray. It is usually necessary to take different views of the same part of the body - for example if we were taking x-rays of the knee joint we would need a "lateral" view (left to right) and a front to back view as a minimum. With limb x-rays we also usually need to take images from the opposite leg to use as a comparison.
Once the vet is happy with the x-ray positioning, they will adjust the exposure settings to obtain a good quality image. Once the x-ray has been taken it is developed in an x-ray processor. The final films can then be examined and evaluated.
Daleside Veterinary Surgery
309-311 Liverpool Road
Tel: 01704 575606
Churchside Veterinary Surgery
5a Preston New Road
Tel: 01704 225105
Formby Veterinary Surgery
113 Church Road
Tel: 01704 877145
Maghull Veterinary Surgery
55 Liverpool Road South
Tel: 0151 531 7719
Out of Hours Emergency Cover
Barn Lodge Veterinary Hospital
54a Southport Road
01695 572 837