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Radiology & Ultrasounds

In order to properly examine and diagnose your pet’s illness or injury, our veterinarian uses radiology and ultrasounds. These diagnostic tools are only used when there is a problem that cannot be detected with a physical exam or blood test. They allow the vet to check what’s below the skin and see what’s wrong.

Here are a few common reasons why your pet may need medical imaging:

  • Broken bones
  • Ingestion of foreign body
  • Abdominal disease
  • Spinal cord abnormalities
  • Internal bleeding
  • Lung disorders
  • Heartworm
  • Tumors

These exams can give your vet more information about internal structures, such as bones, organs, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Not all of these tests work the same way, however, so your vet will decide which one will show the best results.

Radiology Exams Include:


An x-ray or radiograph uses electromagnetic rays to identify different types of tissue. It is often used to identify broken or fractured bones and foreign objects.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scans

A CT scan uses a motorized x-ray that rotates around the body to give images of the body in “slices” that are used to find tumors and other abnormalities.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

An MRI uses magnetic radio waves to create cross-sectional images of internal organs and structures.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scans

This imaging test utilizes a tracer, which is a special dye that is ingested or injected. After a day or two, the PET scanner looks at how well the body works to absorb or process the tracer, demonstrating the functionality of the organs and tissue.

Many pet owners are concerned about these tests because of the radiation used, but the animals are exposed to extremely small amounts of radiation that are highly unlikely to have any effect on their bodies. Our veterinarian uses a lead apron to absorb any waves before they can reach the animals. Your pet’s safety is very important to us and we will take every precaution to keep them safe. Taking x-rays can help us determine your pet’s medical condition and save their life, so we believe they are definitely worth conducting.

At Brookhurst Animal Medical Center, our vet uses digital imaging for quick, effective results. For certain procedures, your pet may need to prepare beforehand by fasting, but the vet will let you know before the appointment. If your animal has trouble relaxing, we can administer general anesthesia or sedation to complete the x-ray. We’re proud to offer high-quality, modern x-ray equipment for our patients, so they can have a positive experience.

Usually, the vet will only need an x-ray to see the problem, but if there are serious complications, other tests may need to be run. Our Anaheim veterinarian may refer your pet to an imaging specialty lab or hospital that has access to a complete arsenal of equipment and animal radiologists. For example, BrightCare Animal Neurology and Imaging is an animal hospital in Mission Viejo that specializes in helping animals with these diagnostic tools. We may send animals out if they need advanced imaging that our office does not provide.

If you have questions or concerns about the diagnostic process, feel free to call our veterinary office in Anaheim, CA.