Frequently Asked Questions | Diagnostic Imaging

  • What is a radiologist?  The rapid advancement of new techniques and applications in diagnostic imaging can make it difficult for veterinarians to remain current with all complex imaging techniques. Possessing the training, expertise and equipment to perform the latest state-of-the art procedures, the board certified radiologist can help the primary care veterinarian provide the best possible care to the patient.
  • Why does my pet need a radiograph (x-ray)?  A radiograph (x-ray) is a diagnostic test just as labwork is a diagnostic test.
  • Why do you have to take so many films?  The body is a three dimensional structure, but an x-ray is only two-dimensional. Thus, on a single x-ray the different parts of the body are superimposed on one another or may overlap one another. By taking more than one x-ray in different positions, we can better visualize the bones and soft tissues to detect an abnormality.
  • Does my pet need any special preparation for x-rays or ultrasound?  Generally it's best if you do not feed your pet the morning of the examination. Check with your veterinarian to make sure that this does not interfere with any of your pet's medical conditions.
  • Will my animal need to be sedated?  Many x-ray and ultrasound examinations can be done with gentle manual restraint. However, sedation or anesthesia is used for pets that are excitable, or for imaging studies that have to be very carefully positioned. Often the stress of an exam without sedation is more detrimental to the patient that the effects of sedation itself.
  • Will x-rays harm my pet?  The dose of radiation used to take x-rays or CT images, or perform a nuclear scintigraphy study, is very low, and will not cause harm to your pet.
  • Who will perform my pet's exam?  Our highly qualified technologists perform all examinations. Certain exams require the direct one-on-one contact with a radiologist as well as the technologist. All examinations are overseen by a radiologist or by a clinican.
  • Can I have a copy of my pet's images for my own veterinarian?  A CD of your animal's images can be made on request for a charge of $10.
  • Can I hold my pet during the examination?  Because of radiation safety regulations, owners cannot be present in protected areas during the study.