Radiography is one of the most commonly used diagnostic tools in small animal veterinary practice. It provides a large amount of information, is non-invasive and economical. Radiography itself is painless, however sedation is often required to reduce anxiety and stress associated with the procedure, as well as to minimise pain if they are suffering from painful disorders, such as fractures and arthritis when we have to manipulate animals into the necessary position. For some cases general anaesthesia is required in order to restrain & position the animal adequately to get the appropriate view and an image of the highest quality. At Wharfedale Veterinary Centre we have a digital X-ray machine, where an image is taken on a plate and then immediately transferred onto a computer. In this way it can be edited and examined immediately to help the veterinary surgeon reach the most accurate diagnosis for your pet.
Ultrasonography is the second most commonly used imaging technique in veterinary practice. Ultrasonic sound waves are used to create images of body structures produced using the pattern of echoes reflected back from whatever is being imaged. Unlike radiography, ultrasonography cannot be used to scan gas-filled or bony structures, as these totally reflect or absorb the sound waves. Other organs can also become ‘shadowed’ by gas or bone if lying between the scanner & the organ in question. For example the heart cannot be viewed if the sound beam has to pass through the lungs, and some abdominal organs cannot be visualised due to bowel gas blocking the way! In the clinic ultrasound is most commonly used to visualise the bladder (to help obtain a sterile urine sample or identify disease), the liver, kidneys and spleen (for identifying disease), the abdomen (for detecting fluid or visualising organs/detecting disease) and the reproductive tract in females (for pregnancy detection, litter size estimation, during whelping/queening or identifying disease)
At Wharfedale Veterinary Centre we have a flexible endoscope, which is a long tube with a video camera & light at the end. It can be used to visualise the digestive tract from the pharynx (throat) to the duodenum (the 1st part of the small intestine), and from the anus to the caecum (the junction of the large and small intestines), occasionally further in some patients. To aid in diagnosis endoscopy can be used to collect samples from the digestive tract, although in some cases the veterinary surgeon may prefer to obtain the sample directly, through surgery. Endoscopy is most commonly used as therapy in cases of foreign bodies, which require identification and removal. Endoscopy has a higher cost and always required sedation, or general anaesthesia, in order to be both safe and effective. However, it has the potential to combine both diagnosis and therapy in one procedure, offering a distinct advantage over other imaging methods.
Physiological Imaging, commonly known as thermography is now available for patients at the Wharfedale Veterinary Centre. The service is provided by the small animal team from SyncThermology, who pride themselves as leading specialists in the clinical application of physiological imaging.