Abdominal X-ray (Radiographs) on a Dog

Abdominal X-ray (Radiographs) on a Dog


Hi I’m Megan. Today we’re going to take some abdominal radiographs. Before you take any radiographs, you need to make sure that you’re wearing your personal protective equipment and for radiographs that includes a lead apron, a thyroid shield, I have my docimeter here and then I’ve got gloves, lead gloves that I’ll wear when we take the actual x-rays. It’s important to remove any harnesses or anything that’s going to obstruct the view of whatever body cavity you’re x-raying. So she’s not wearing a harness iI did leave her collar on because that’s not going to get in the way of our abdomen. Landmarks for an abdominal x-ray are in the caudal end, you want the greater trochanter of the hip, so that is where the femur locks into the pelvis, and then on the front end, you need to make sure that you get the entire diaphragm in the radiograph. Now in this dog, I don’t know exactly where her diaphragm is so, I’m going to set the caudal end at the greater trochanter and I’m going to go up, you know, probably to the middle of her ribs. She’s got a really long thorax and a really short abdomen, so, a lot of her abdominal contents are probably kind of hidden behind her ribs so you really want to make sure that you get cranial enough in these radiographs. If you need to, you can take two different radiographs, but you’ve got to make sure that you get the entire diaphragm and all the way back to the greater trochanter. So once I have the length set on this radiograph, it’s really important to collimate down. This is not only going to improve the diagnostic quality of this radiograph, but it’s also going to reduce the scatter radiation, so it’s going to be safer for us. If you can, use passive restraint sandbags, or velcro straps, white tape- that’s going to be safest for everybody so if you can do a radiograph with only one person or no people in the room that’s ideal. If you need people, just make sure that you’re covering, so our hands are covered with gloves, and then any body part that we can hide behind the the lead aprons we will do that. When you actually snap the radiographs- take the picture for abdominal, you want to make sure that you do it on exhalation. So I’m going to watch her for a minute, watch her breathing patterns, and when she exhales that’s when I’m going to take the picture. For complete abdominal series, you want to make sure to get both views, so not only the right lateral, but also a VD. So I’ve got this nice little couch out, and in a dog this size you know her spine sticks out a little bit she’s going to be hard to balance so we’re going to go ahead and get her into the trough. Again, we want to make sure that she stays straight. In this dog with the short hair it’s easy to see where her linea is, and so I just want to have a center line right down there on her linea. Again, back to the greater trochanter, so about mid-pelvis and then we’re going to make sure that we get her entire diaphragm in. Because here at DoveLewis, we have a digital radiography I can put my right and left markers in digitally, but if you don’t have that you need to be able to put those markers on the table. You also need to measure your patient and have your settings for KVP and MAS in your radiograph machine. Again, since we have digital, it makes it a little bit easier for us, but you should have a technique chart and make sure that you put those settings in, to have a good diagnostic radiograph. My name is Dr. Alan Lipman. I’m staff radiologist at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, and today I’m reviewing two views of the abdomen. On the left we’ve got a lateral view of the abdomen. and a ventral dorsal view of the abdomen on the right side, and we’re evaluating this for technique and positioning. From a positioning standpoint, we always want to make sure we include the entire diaphragm- the entire curve of the diaphragm- on both views. If not, we’re not certain that we’re getting the entire liver and the entire cranial abdomen. Typically, the radiograph should also extend all the way to the level of the pelvis to make sure that we get the entire urinary bladder. In this case, on the ventral dorsal projection, we’re really not including the caudal abdomen and you really do have to make certain, especially if there’s urinary tract signs of disease, that we include that part of the abdomen. In this case with the medium to large sized dog, in order to do that we would have to make two radiographs, one more cranial and one more caudal. Also from positioning standpoint, we want to make sure that we get the entire abdomen and a portion of the spine, and ventral abdomen as well. We can see we have proper film marking, here on the lateral view, and as well as the ventral dorsal projection. From a technique standpoint, we want to make sure that we are able to see the spine very well, but also see all of the abdominal viscera, such as the liver, and the spleen, and the stomach, and the small intestine. In general, we like a film that we consider to be relatively low contrast, so there’s many shades of grey, to be able to differentiate the different organs within the abdominal cavity. And these radiographs look quite good. There’s also no evidence of patient motion, no evidence of patient rotation.

6 thoughts on “Abdominal X-ray (Radiographs) on a Dog

  1. I wish I could afford the membership price for full access to your learning suite, but the videos that DoveLewis DOES release for general viewing have helped improve my knowledge and abilities as a technician.

  2. Thanks for your shear. It is so useful for me, I am still not improver, how take of the expiration and inspiration. Please let teach by video show, if possible for you. Thanks you

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