Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

X-ray Definition

X-rays: X-rays are a form of electromagnetic energy, which can be used to take images of the interior of the body by projecting them onto a film sensitive to their wavelength. Because X-rays are flat, two-dimensional films and the body is three-dimensional, the area being imaged is usually X-rayed from two 90˚ angles. These two images are then compared, which allows for a more complete image of the interior of the body. When the chest is being imaged, however, two X-rays may not give a complete picture. In these cases, three-view X-rays are usually taken: one while the dog lies on her right side, another on her left side, and a third while lying on her back. Most veterinary hospitals have X-ray machines. Depending upon the area being filmed and the individual dog, dogs may need some sedation or anesthesia to get an X-ray.

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