If your cat is booked to have an x-ray (radiograph) you may be wondering how it will help and what your vet will learn from it. Our Lithia Springs vets share the purpose and necessity of taking X-rays of your cat.
What Can Cat X-Rays Help Vets Diagnose?
X-rays are one of the most helpful, and frequently used tools in both human healthcare and veterinary healthcare. X-rays can help vets to get a view of your pet's bones, tissues, and internal organs so that they can diagnose issues such as broken bones, bladder stones, swallowed foreign objects, and more.
X-ray images can help vets to spot some tumors, pregnancy, and enlarged organs which may lead to a diagnosis such as heart disease or cancer.
A detailed view of organs, tissues, and ligaments cannot be obtained using x-ray technology. In these cases, other diagnostic imaging such as MRI and Ultrasound is more beneficial.
An x-ray of a pregnant cat can also help you to prepare for the birth of kittens by allowing you to know how many kittens your cat is expecting, and whether a c-section may be required for whatever reason.
How Can I Prepare for My cat's X-Ray Appointment?
Often an x-ray is done when the animal is brought in to have an issue looked at by the vet. For that reason, no preparation is required. Your vet will examine your pet, then if an x-ray is required, they will take some time to explain the procedure and what they will be looking for.
Will My Cat Be Sedated When They Have Their X-Ray?
Sedation is sometimes required in order to get a clear x-ray. If your cat is calm, not in too much pain, and able to lay in a comfortable position while the x-ray is being taken, sedation will not be necessary.
On the other hand, if your cat is squirmy, edgy, or in pain sedation will be recommended. Other reasons why sedation may be used during your cat's x-ray include if the cat's muscles need to be relaxed in order to get a clear image, or when the x-ray is of the skull, teeth or spine.
Some vets may recommend sedation regardless in order to reduce any stress or anxiety your kitty may have.
Are X-Rays Safe for Cats?
While the use of x-rays is generally considered safe for cats, radiation is involved and so x-rays are typically used only occasionally and usually only as a diagnostic tool. In some cases vets will use x-ray technology to extract information about a cat's pregnancy, although other forms of imaging such as ultrasound could be used in that scenario.
If you're concerned about the use of x-ray technology and your cat's health, speak to your vet. Your veterinarian will be able to give you an understanding of the risks versus the benefits in your cat's particular case so that you can decide whether you want your cat to have an x-ray.
How Much Will My cat's X-Rays Cost?
There are a range of factors that will dictate the cost of your cat's x-rays including the size of your pet, the area being x-rayed, whether sedation was used, the type of clinic, where your veterinary clinic is located, and more. If you are concerned about the cost of your cat's x-rays, ask your vet for an estimate before proceeding.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.