Digital Radiology for Pets

What is a Digital X-Ray?

A digital X-ray is an updated way that a pet radiologist generates images of tissues and structures inside your pet’s body. A traditional X-ray machine needs to transfer the captured images to film, whereas a digital X-ray is connected to a computer so that the images captured are much clearer and more accurate. Since the image does not have to be transferred onto traditional film, the results from a digital X-ray can be received much quicker compared to the results from a traditional X-ray machine. Digital X-rays also produce less radiation than traditional X-ray machines, so not only are they more cost-effective than traditional X-rays, but they are also safer for your pet.

Pet Radiology

Veterinarian radiology is an advanced branch of veterinarian medicine that uses imaging machinery like CT scans, digital radiography imaging, MRIs, and ultrasounds to provide medical diagnostic images that are used to detect issues in pet’s bones, organs, and blood vessels. At Continental Animal Wellness Center, our Pet Radiologists use diagnostic imaging to identify complicated medical issues that are not visible or apparent through other diagnostic means and come up with the most effective treatment plan for your pet. Pet radiology has made it easier for veterinarian radiologists to diagnose and treat illnesses like arthritis, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and many forms of cancer in your pet. Veterinarian radiology has also expanded to dental care through pet dental X-rays. These X-rays inform your veterinarian of trouble areas while performing cat and dog dental cleaning procedures. Radiology is an important tool in modern healthcare for your cat or dog, allowing faster and more accurate diagnoses of complicated ailments that lead to more effective treatment plans for your pet. We at Continental Animal Wellness Center are proud to be the go-to choice for cat and dog radiology in Flagstaff, AZ.

 Digital Dental X-Rays for Pets

For many cats and dogs, the damage from a wide variety of dental diseases remains below the surface of their gumlines and is not easily detectable by owners or veterinarians just by eyesight. In this instance, your veterinarian will turn to the help of a cat or dog radiologist to take dental X-rays. Digital dental X-rays of your pets make it easier to detect and diagnose dental problems, ensuring that your pet’s primary veterinarian has the information necessary to assess your pet’s oral health and come up with the optimal treatment plan for your pet. Digital dental X-rays allow veterinarians to see the bone’s health, and structure inside each tooth, as well as the roots inside of the mouth of your pet. Dental X-rays are usually taken during a full oral exam during a dog or cat dental cleaning appointment. Digital X-rays are safer than traditional X-ray equipment as they have a much lower risk of radiation exposure. In addition to being safer, digital X-rays also offer the benefit of displaying the results much faster than a traditional X-ray, so appointment times involving dental X-rays have gotten shorter.

Advanced Diagnostic Imaging for Pets

There are many different kinds of advanced diagnostic imaging for pets. Each fulfills a different function in monitoring your pet’s health, detecting a wide range of health issues, and informing your veterinarian on what steps to take in treating your pet. Continental Animal Wellness Center has specialized equipment necessary to provide advanced diagnostic imaging and staff of expertly trained dog and cat radiologists to care for your pets. Pets can not tell us what is wrong or where they are hurt, so we have to rely on the many forms of diagnostic imaging to identify what is troubling them and to keep them healthy and happy.


Ultrasounds are an important diagnostic tool that utilizes sound waves that penetrate the body of your pet and create images allowing your veterinarian to see inside of your pet’s body without invasive surgery. Unlike X-rays, ultrasounds can evaluate the condition of soft tissues like organs. Common reasons for your dog or cat to need an ultrasound are heart conditions, pregnancy, and detection of foreign objects in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract that can’t show up on an X-ray and may cause digestion issues like cloth, plastics, or paper.



Echocardiography is a specific form of ultrasound used to view the size, shape, and function of your pet’s heart. An echocardiographic test uses high-frequency sound waves to construct the image of your pet’s heart and shows the heart’s motion in real-time. Echocardiography is used to observe the health and structure of the heart walls, chambers, and valves as well as the velocity and flow of blood to determine how well your pet’s heart is pumping. Echocardiography is a painless procedure and a vital part of detecting and treating your pet for any suspected heart issues.


Endoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your pet’s veterinarian to view inside and evaluate your pet’s organs. An endoscopy is accomplished by inserting an endoscope– a thin, flexible tube affixed with a camera and light– into an orifice or small incision. The most common reason for endoscopy in pets is to evaluate the gastrointestinal tract. An endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract evaluates the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An endoscopy of the lower gastrointestinal tract is used to evaluate the colon, cecum, and ileum. Both procedures allow the veterinarian to biopsy tissue without performing surgery as well as removing foreign objects your pet may have eaten.


Fluoroscopy is a type of advanced imaging technology that allows your pet’s veterinarian to see inside of your pet’s body, similar to an X-ray, but, instead of a singular static image, many images are produced to capture motion in real-time. This allows the veterinarian to observe the structure and function of organs to identify any issues. Because of this, veterinarians will often use fluoroscopy to look for abnormalities in the motion that occurs in functions like swallowing or breathing.


Gastroenterology is the specialized branch of veterinary science that focuses on your pet’s stomach and intestines. Gastrointestinal issues vary in severity, symptoms, and causes, so diagnostic testing is very important to properly identify any issues that may be affecting your pet as well as determine the best plan of action for treatment. To identify the gastrointestinal problems, your veterinarian may use any– or all– of the different forms of advanced diagnostic imaging methods to narrow down the cause and severity of your pet’s gastrointestinal issue.

The Benefits of Digital Radiology

Digital radiology offers many advantages over traditional forms of radiology. The results from digital X-rays are obtained much faster compared to a traditional X-ray since they do not need to be transferred onto film. Other forms of digital radiology like ultrasounds, echocardiography, endoscopy, and fluoroscopy offer real-time feedback. In addition to being faster than traditional radiology practices, digital radiology is considered safer for your pets. Digital X-rays reduce the amount of radiation exposure to your pet. Ultrasounds and endoscopy allow vets to observe the inside of your pets’ organs without the need for invasive surgeries. Contact us today if you believe that your pet is in need of our digital radiology services.

FAQs About Pet Deaths

How Much is a Radiograph for a Dog or Cat?

The cost of radiography for your pet can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors like whether sedation is required or the number of views required. On average you can expect the cost of an X-ray to fall somewhere between $100-$500.

How Much Does it Cost to Ultrasound a Pet?

The cost to have an ultrasound examination does not typically vary between cats and dogs, but the cost will depend on several factors. Depending on how in-depth the exam is will affect the cost of the test. Echocardiograms require several measurements and tend to cost more in comparison to simpler ultrasounds like pregnancy checks. Typically, costs range from $300-$500.

What Do Vets Test for in Blood Tests?

When conducting blood tests, veterinarians often perform a complete blood count which provides information on hydration, potential anemia, infections, blood clotting ability, and immune system response. Veterinarians also conduct blood chemistry tests that evaluate your pet’s organ health and hormone levels. These tests provide information used for the diagnosis of many diseases.

What Can a Vet Learn From a Pet's Urine Sample?

Urinalysis is an important screening tool that Veterinarians use to gain valuable insights about the health of your pet’s kidneys, bladder, liver, urinary tract, and other organs. Veterinarians examine the urine sample for blood, nitrites, ketones, glucose, and pH levels to look for any potential warning signs of health issues.

How Fresh Does a Stool Sample Need to Be for Testing?

For the most accurate results in your pet’s fecal examination, it is best to collect a fresh stool sample. It is recommended to bring the sample to your veterinarian within four to six hours after collecting it. Otherwise the sample will dry out and make it harder to diagnose any potential parasites that could be present.