There are many cases where pets suffer from various injuries or illnesses that have very objective symptoms. When this is the case, your veterinarian may have very little troubling in ascertaining the source of the problem for a diagnosis and treatment plan. However, there are also instances where pets suffer from various injuries or illnesses and there are few objective symptoms. Such is the case when a pet simply isn’t acting like their normal self, but there is no clear indication of why. When this occurs, your veterinarian may turn to radiology.
There are unfortunately quite a few complicated diseases that can affect our pets without exhibiting clearly discernable symptoms. Unfortunately, a failure to properly diagnose these diseases accurately and early on can cause them to exacerbate unchecked until they are a significant health crisis. Fortunately, radiology and animal x-rays can help.
Just as is the case with human radiology, veterinary radiology allows for a more complete understanding of a pet’s health condition so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and treatment planned. Some types of veterinary radiology include Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, scans, Computed Tomography, or CT, scans, ultrasound scans, nuclear medicine scans, and radiographs. The images produced through these various methods can be absolutely essential in determining what is ailing the pet and therefore what can be done to help. Furthermore, with the introduction of digital technology and x-ray enhancement, vets can get more information more quickly than ever.
Traditional x-ray film can provide vets with a lot of valuable information that they cannot obtain with the naked eye, but they can also leave a lot to be desired. Poor exposure or the incorrect blend of developing chemicals can make the films unclear or even impossible to read. In some cases, this necessitates that another x-ray is taken, increasing the discomfort and radiation exposure for the pet. On the other hand, digital x-rays can be processed in a few seconds without the need for developing chemicals. Even better, digital x-rays can be enhanced if needed or desired in order to make the image larger, lighter or clearer. This means that not only does the pet have a calmer experience and less radiation exposure, but the vet is better able to diagnose and treat their condition so that they can recover more rapidly and thoroughly. More specifically, these are some of the key benefits of digital radiology:
- Fewer retakes. The sensors that are used for digital radiology have greater exposure latitude than traditional x-ray films. What this essentially means is that they are less likely to be adversely affected by errors in technique when taking them. Images that are too dark when produced can be computer enhanced as needed in order to be more easily read, as opposed to traditional x-ray films that are too dark and have to be resolved through retakes.
- Faster images. With traditional x-rays, time must be taken to develop the films, and while this isn’t necessarily an incredibly lengthy amount of time, it can be difficult to cope with when one has an ill or injured pet. Digital radiology can produce images within seconds, allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment.
- Teleradiology. Traditional x-ray films must be physically shared if there is a need for a specialist’s opinion. However, digital x-rays can be shared through teleradiology, allowing for faster sharing and faster turnaround time.
- Less expensive. Since digital x-rays do not require film or the chemicals necessary to process this film, they can be less expensive to produce. This can allow more pet owners to partake of this important service.
- Less radiation exposure. Digital radiology requires less radiation exposure than traditional radiology, and this is further reduced through the lower incidence of retakes.
For more information about radiology and digital x-ray enhancement, contact us today.