Radiography / Ultrasonography

RADIOGRAPHY

Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (X-rays) of your pet. Our digital X-ray machine gives us the ability to take high definition radiographs of different body systems to help diagnose disease in your pet. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs.

How are radiographs made?

Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb X-rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all of the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. We will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.

What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?

Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have radiographs taken, unless it is an emergency and we’ll take them immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they will most likely be sedated or anaesthetised to allow us to take the best quality radiographs possible.

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 we have radiographs taken the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still. When we take radiographs, we need our patients to keep still too. Sometimes your pet may require sedation or anaesthesia to allow us to take diagnostic radiographs.

Hip and elbow scoring

Certain breeds of dogs and some cats are known to be prone to conditions known as 'hip dysplasia' and 'elbow dysplasia'. These conditions are where the hip and elbow structure, respectively, are abnormal in shape and can cause a dog/cat to be prone to arthritis and pain as they get older. 

Hip and elbow scoring is where radiographs are taken of the hips and/or elbows of the patient. These images are then sent off to a specialist radiologist for interpretation and grading on what the hip/elbow structure looks like. 

Hip and elbow scoring is commonly performed on pedigree animals owned by breeders who wish to know if that patient may be prone to hip/elbow disease and/or if they may pass this trait on to their offspring. 

Here at Kojonup Veterinary Hospital, we are able to take images and send off for specialist interpretation. 

If you wish to know more about hip and elbow scoring and what is involved, please feel free to contact our clinic

ULTRASONOGRAPHY

Our hospital is fully equipped with an ultrasound scanner to assist evaluation of your pet’s condition if required. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires an ultrasound examination. An ultrasound scan is a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving soft tissues, such as those found in the abdomen, or the heart.

What is an ultrasound scan?

Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. The images can be printed or recorded.

Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs, like the lungs.

Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images and several of our Veterinarians are able to perform ultrasound screening on site, and where required, send these images off for interpretation. 

What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?

Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have an ultrasound scan done, unless it is an emergency and we’ll do it immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they may need to be sedated to allow us to do the best scan possible.

The area to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look different when they come home.  No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam, however, discomfort from pressure may be experienced. Sedatives may be necessary for those animals that won’t stay still or are uncomfortable. During the scan a water-soluble gel is applied over the clipped area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.

Once the scan has been done 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.