Feline Imaging, Xray Machine Our most commonly used imaging technique is the x-ray. Radiographs or x-rays provide us with great detail about many of the internal organs for example lungs, kidneys, bladder, heart, colon etc. The one major drawback of x-rays is that most often a cat has to be anesthetized for this procedure. If a cat moves while an x-ray is being taken, we usually end up with a blurry image and no useful information obtained. Therefore unless a cat is actually ill or very compliant (laying in various positions and not moving) general anesthesia is required for x-rays to be taken.
Ultrasound is another imaging technique. It involves using a probe to bounce sound waves off your cat’s organs and then having a computer create an image of the organ examined. Ultrasound is the method of choice for imaging the heart. Great detail can be obtained by ultrasound about the functioning of the heart, about the valves and the muscles of the heart. Ultrasound also can give us an overview of all the organs in the abdomen, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, kidneys, bladder etc. One of the great advantages of ultrasound is that anesthesia is not necessary. All we need to do is shave the hair around the area that is being ultra sounded.
Endoscopy is a technique that allows us via a fiber optic instrument to look inside the gastrointestinal tract of your cat. Endoscopy can be performed on the upper GI tract, that is the esophagus (food tube), the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). A lower GI endoscopy involves an examination of the colon (commonly called the large intestine). To perform endoscopy on a cat general anesthesia is required. The great advantages of endoscopy are that if something abnormal is noted during the procedure, a biopsy can be obtained or if perchance your cat has eaten some foreign material or object, oftentimes it can be removed via the endoscope without requiring surgery.