GVH has a direct digital radiology system (DDR or sometimes just called DR). DR systems offer direct capture technology. This means that we can eliminate the time consuming process of shooting and processing traditional X-rays using film and cassettes. This can help minimize time to reach a diagnosis and initiate treatment. The system is paired with imaging software that provides staff with valuable diagnostic tools.
X-rays (radiographs) are one of the most common diagnostic tools used by veterinarians and are by far the most readily available and affordable form of diagnostic imaging. X-rays allow staff to evaluate the musculo-skeletal, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems of the patient. When used in conjunction with a physical exam, X-rays provide valuable information that can help your veterinarian diagnose health problems in your pet. X-rays enable us to do a variety of things including evaluate fractures, detect a dislocated joint, detect fluid accumulation, locate stones, identify foreign objects, locate masses, screen for some forms of cancer, evaluate the size and shape of organs, and more.
Sometimes a sub-category of X-ray studies are used to highlight certain anatomical structures by using a contrast substance like dyes. This type of X-ray will allow us to detect something that isn’t visible on a typical X-ray. An example of this would be a barium series, which is used to evaluate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In a barium series, a liquid or paste containing barium is given orally and a series of X-rays are taken at different time intervals. Barium shows up bright white on an X-ray. Therefore, the progression of barium can be tracked as it moves throughout the GI tract. A blockage or obstruction not otherwise visible will become detectable if the barium stops or it creates irregular/abnormal shapes.
X-rays are critical in making a definitive diagnosis of many diseases and conditions. As such, we routinely take X-rays to provide your pet with the best medical care we possibly can. When you bring your pet in for a sickness or injury exam, it is very likely the doctor will recommend X-rays.