Radiography (x-ray) allows evaluation for respiratory (e.g. lungs), gastrointestinal (e.g. foreign bodies) or urinary tract abnormalities (e.g. kidney or bladder stones). It is also used for evaluating bones.

Radiography is performed with the patient sedated or under anaesthesia as it is important for us to keep our staff protected from exposure to x-rays.

For cats with breathing problems, performing investigations such as radiography can cause their breathing effort to deteriorate if they become distressed. We sometimes need to perform investigations very slowly to ensure that they do not become too anxious.

We will contact you once your cat has had their radiography performed to discuss results, however this may be a few hours after admission.



What is an x-ray?

An x-ray is radiation used to create a picture.  As x-ray beams pass through tissues of the body they are absorbed differently by various structures such as bones and soft tissues. These differences produce an image in shades of grey. X-ray imaging is also known as radiography.

Why perform an x-ray and not some other sort of test?

X-rays can be used to diagnose disease and injury, including:

  • bone conditions e.g. fractures, dislocations, infection, arthritis and bone cancers
  • lung conditions e.g. asthma, pneumonia, cancer
  • congestive heart failure
  • stomach or intestinal obstructions e.g. foreign bodies (objects eaten that get stuck - in cats commonly string, hair ties, bits of plastic toy etc)

Different testing methods such as CT or ultrasound give different types of information and maybe complimented by additional x-rays. Ultrasound is not very good at evaluating bones or gas filled structures so also performing x-rays may help identify a foreign body that is metallic (easily seen on x-rays). We will discuss with you which test would be best and explain why.

Are there any risks to my cat from the x-rays?

  • Technically, an x-ray machine uses a small amount of radiation to create the image. Some types of x-ray, such as CT scanning use higher doses of radiation than plain x-rays.
  • The amount of radiation used in both x-ray and CT is unlikely to cause any serious problems to your cat.
  • Generally, the benefit of the x-ray in diagnosing a health condition is greater than the risk of the radiation.



This x-ray shows a cat who ate a stamp which caused neurological symptoms, the chewed up pieces of stamp are the white material within the stomach 


Address 1-15 Lexington Rd,
Underwood, QLD, AU, 4119

PhonePh: 1300 228 377

Veterinary Specialist Services