Looking into animal health

By Susan Aiello • Published: April 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Superman was envied for his X-ray vision, but modern medicine is improving on the Man of Steel.

Since their discovery in 1895, X-rays have been a valuable tool that lets doctors look inside their patients, be they human or animal. Today, medical imaging has expanded to include technologies that are safer and more informative than ever.

Like sonar, echograms use sound waves to plumb the body’s depths. CT scans combine multiple low-dose X-rays with computers to generate three-dimensional images of internal structures. MRIs use magnetic fields to look inside soft tissues, such as the heart and brain. Nuclear imaging combines radiographic techniques and special dyes to test how organs function.

Pioneered in human medicine, these advances are now available in veterinary medicine, a boon for animals … and the people who care for them.