Showing posts with label why dogs need chest-xrays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label why dogs need chest-xrays. Show all posts
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Why You Should Get Chest X-Rays For Your Dog Or Cat

dog getting chest x-rays
If you have a senior pet, it's important to get chest X-rays, even if your pet seems fine. Chest xrays can be costly but they can provide invaluable life-saving information for your pet. Radiographs of the chest can help identify respiratory and heart conditions, collapsed trachea, asthma, and pneumonia. They are essential to help screen for cancer as it often metastasizes to the lungs.

In our case, chest X-rays gave us more time with our beloved senior dog Legend and finally provided us with the answer for why Legend wasn't acting like himself. Legend hadn't been eating well and we did bloodwork, urinary and GI tests but they weren't showing much of anything. It was a chest X-ray that saved his life. Dr. Gordon our veterinarian discovered a giant 4 pound mass in his chest and did surgery the next day. He was able to remove the mass and 13 year old Legend was able to make it another 1 1/2 years as a result. As you can see from the picture below, 14 1/2 year old was still with us in January 2023 because the chest X-ray showed the large tumor on his liver.

Author Susan Davis & her husky Legend who had chest x-rays
Pet Nutritionist Susan Davis With Her Husky Legend

What are chest X-rays? Chest X-rays, also known as thoracic radiographs, are an important diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine used to evaluate the heart, lungs, and surrounding structures in dogs and cats. These images provide valuable information about the size, shape, and position of organs within the chest cavity, as well as identifying abnormalities such as tumors, fluid accumulation, or signs of respiratory disease.
One significant reason why most veterinary pet care packages include chest X-rays for senior pets is the increased risk of cancer in older animals. The chest is a common area where cancer metastasizes, meaning cancer cells from primary tumors elsewhere in the body (e.g from the liver) can spread to the lungs. By performing routine chest X-rays, veterinarians can detect metastatic cancerous lesions early. Sometimes a pet may not have any outward signs of cancer yet, but the chest X-ray can help lead to the identification of the primary tumor outside of the lungs. Early detection of cancer can often improve treatment outcomes for your pet. One benefit of chest X-rays is that they are non-invasive and easy to do without anesthesia. When our dear Legend had liver cancer, it was a way for us to assess his progress without having to give him anesthesia for a CT-Scan. Regular monitoring of the chest with X-rays can help track the progression of existing conditions such as collapsed trachea or heart disease. Including chest X-rays in senior pet care packages is a proactive approach to managing the health of aging animals and addressing potential concerns before they become more advanced or difficult to treat. X-rays may seem like a big investment, but they are often the only way your vet can determine the right diagnosis and treatment for your pet.

Author: Susan Blake Davis, Pet Nutritionist
Published 3/27/2024