Radiographs are routinely used as a diagnostic tool. They provide valuable information about animal’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). They can be used alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to help the Veterinarian create a list of possible causes for an animal’s condition, to identify the exact cause of a problem, and/or to rule out possible problems.
As an X-Ray beam passes through a patient’s body, different types of tissues absorb the beams in different quantities. Images on radiographic film appear as various shades of grey and reflect the anatomy of the animal. Areas that appear lighter such as bones absorb more X-Rays than areas that appear darker such as the lungs. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.