X-Rays and Ultrasound
Ultrasound and radiology are essential components of any good veterinary hospital. At LCAH these two imaging methods are present ON-SITE and are frequently used on a daily basis. Radiology (X-ray) gives us information that ultrasound can’t give. Ultrasound renders information that radiology can’t give. They are often used together for these reasons as they complement each other. These imaging tools help us make accurate diagnosis by allowing us to identify any anatomical abnormalities and then focus on the diseased sites.
RELATED DIAGNOSES treated on a regular basis at LCAH
The potential uses of both X-ray & ON-SITE ultrasound are too long to list as they are an essential component of any good veterinary hospital.
EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE ON-SITE:
X-ray - X-ray technology uses electromagnetic radiation to make images. The image is recorded on a film, called a radiograph. The parts of your body appear light or dark due to the different rates that your tissues absorb the X-rays. Calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most, so bones look white on the radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. Air absorbs least, so lungs look black. At LCAH we have a board certified radiologist read all of our films monthly which helps keep us current and sharp at interpreting radiographs on a daily basis.
Echo Cardiography with Color Flow and Pulse Wave Doppler - Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the body without entering the body. It allows your veterinarian to view the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, liver and other organs. Unlike x-rays, ultrasound does not involve exposure to radiation. Our state of the art Ultrasound machine allows us to see blood flowing through arteries and veins by use of color flow Doppler. Additionally we can measure the amount of blood flow per second by use of the pulse wave Doppler. Both of these imaging capabilities allow us to accurately assess your pet’s heart and abdominal organs far better than just simple ultrasound alone. Our machine is also equipped with 3D image mode. Additionally, if the disease site is an abdominal site we often do ultrasound guided tissue aspirates or biopsies so we can evaluate the site microscopically to help make a definitive diagnosis. These imaging tools can also be used to help us remove fluid from around the heart, lungs and abdominal organs. Studies of this fluid help us make a diagnosis as well as often make your pet feel better.
EXAMPLE of the Uses of These Machines
Perhaps one of the more complicated cases where these imaging tools helped us save a dog’s life was a dog who had a pellet gun shot within the sack surrounding his heart. Once the diagnosis was confirmed by a combination of these two imaging tools a standard pericardiectomy was performed here to remove the pellet. If not for the use of these tools this dog would have died from an accumulation of fluid around the heart and suffered eventual heart failure.