Are you old school with radiographs?

Are you old school with radiographs?

If you tend toward fewer views, then yes. See how you're likely missing the complete picture.
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Dec 07, 2015

You did it! You purchased that digital radiography system. You’re delivering top-notch veterinary care. But are you getting the complete picture? Anthony Pease, DVM, MS, DACVR, says one question he commonly gets from veterinarians is how many views to take.

“A lot of people end up trying to go down this path of saying, ‘Oh, you know, I’m going to take one radiograph,’” says Pease. He likes to equate this to opening up a book and reading just the first few pages and then having to decipher what you think the ending will be. You know how many twists and turns books can take. How often is disease diagnosis completely straightforward?

Think of that coughing or vomiting patient. You want to noninvasively peek into the abdomen and thorax to get a clue as to the cause, which are numerous. Just getting one view won’t give you the whole picture, says Pease. In his practice in such cases, he always takes three views.

“The more data that you have to try and interpret, the easier it is to read radiographs of the abdomen and so the more likely you are going to be able to find the reason why the dog is vomiting or coughing,” he says.

The bottom line: Just like the books you read for fun, you want all of your cases to have a happy ending. If you’ve invested in a digital radiography unit—even if you use standard films—you have the right tool to help you arrive at the right diagnosis. All you have to do is snap a few more pics, which only takes a few more seconds when you have a digital system. Hear Pease’s plea for three-view radiography in the video clip below.