TIME FOR PET'S X-RAYS
Our records indicate that it is time to take some radiographic images of your pet. The most common reasons we need to do xrays of your pet are: follow-up xrays to track healing of a fracture, survey xrays of hips and/or elbows to screen for dysplasia, and late pregnancy xrays to assess the number and size of puppies or kittens in the upcoming litter. Since Windmill Animal Hospital has a complete digital xray system, your pet's xray images will be clear, detailed, and available for viewing within 2 minutes of the exposure. In addition, we provide a cd-rom to go home with you, with your pet's radiographic images burned onto it.
Fractured bones take 6-8 weeks to heal properly, sometimes longer. The only way to verify a pet's bone has healed adequately to allow removal of a splint or resumption of normal activities is doing an xray. The usual tracking interval to assess fracture healing is every 2-4 weeks, depending on the type and extent of the fracture. If the healing progress is unsatisfactory, the management of the fracture can be changed before irreparable damage has occurred. If the fracture heals faster than expected, any external fixator devices or splints can be removed in a timely manner, before THEY cause long-term harm.
We highly encourage all clients who own large-breed puppies to have survey xrays done of their pups' hips and elbows between 6 and 12 months of age; commonly, these imaging studies are timed for when the puppy is under anesthesia to be spayed or neutered. If a pup is affected with hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, the sooner we know, the sooner management can be started to help slow down or prevent joint damage. Again, the only reliable method of assessing the conformation of a puppy's hips or elbows is through xray imaging.
Taking an xray of your dog or cat when late in pregnancy will indicate how many little ones to expect, and help reveal if there are any obvious problems, such as over-sized puppies or an abnormally small pelvic canal. Knowing how many puppies/kittens are coming, and if there are any size concerns, can help your Windmill Animal Hospital doctor and you make decisions about whether to allow your dog or cat to go into labor, or to consider an electvie cesarean section.