Taking X-rays is almost the most important basic examination procedure for the diagnosis of small-animal bone and joint and chest and stomach cavity illnesses. X-rays are also used to clarify internal injuries of accident victims. Nose cavity, teeth and inner ear structure X-raying are routinely done at our clinic. The so-called official hip and elbow joint X-rays are done on dogs to find disorders in hip and elbow joints which developed while the animal was growing up.
Mostly we take X-rays of dogs and cats, but it is also possible to take X-rays of rabbits, guinea pigs and turtles. For taking X-rays of the chest and stomach cavities the animal is usually not sedated or anesthetized, but for bones and joints (also the official hip and elbow joint) X-rays it is necessary to anesthetize it in order to get as high quality pictures as possible. Because of the narcosis the animal cannot eat for 12 hours and should be taken out for a really long walk before coming to the clinic.
The equipment used for the X-rays is identical to the ones used for humans, and the same rules apply for the procedure. All the people who help to take the pictures must wear a lead vest and a thyroid protector. Pregnant women and people under 18 years of age are not allowed to help. The digital X-ray we use shows the pictures on the screen almost immediately and the treating veterinarian can comment on the findings. When necessary we use the expertise of other veterinary medicine specialists, for example to help evaluate joint and back pictures.
Official hip and elbow joint pictures are sent to the Finnish Kennel Club for their opinion. Their results will be sent COD directly to the owners’ home in a couple of weeks.