What’s The Difference Between An X-ray And Fluoroscopy At Pearland, TX?

What’s The Difference Between An X-ray And Fluoroscopy At Pearland, TX?

Fluoroscopy and X-ray are both imaging techniques for observing internal organs and systems of living things, especially animals. Though similar in many ways, Fluoroscopy vs Traditional X-rays is a subject of discussion that has gone for years. These are two techniques that actually have their differences. We will be discussing these differences shortly in this post.

Fluoroscopy is an advanced imaging technique that is used to diagnose malformation in the internal organs and systems of the body. Fluoroscopy leverages visual moving images to check out internal organ and system functionality. Placement of medical tools is also made easy through the use of fluoroscopy in the care and treatment of certain ailments in humans and animals.

About Fluoroscopy

While X-rays were discovered in 1895, the use of these rays for Fluoroscopy began a year later. By 1940, the first proper fluoroscopy machine was built by John Coltman. Over time, more advanced fluoroscopy equipment has been produced, both for human and veterinary fluoroscopy processes.

It must be noted that Fluoroscopy leverages the use of X-rays to create motion images. For veterinary fluoroscopy, there are 2 types of imaging units that can be used for imaging diagnostics.

They are:

  • C-arm fluoroscopy units

  • R and F fluoroscopy units

The C-Arm Fluoroscopy unit is more portable and efficiently easy to work with. This unit can be used for surgery procedures, placement of medical gadgets, and catheter insertion amongst other things. C-Arms are ideal for diagnosis and even surgery. It allows you to take photos of a specific body in motion using a process known as fluoroscopy.

If your veterinary center doesn’t have a C arm fluoroscopy machine, do not worry as this equipment isn’t expensive. There are numerous secondhand and refurbished C-Arms on the market that can help your practice become Mobile C-Arm capable. Even if you have limited room, there is almost certainly a C-Arm that will fit your space and needs.

Even a refurbished Mobile C-Arm will allow you to provide your animal patient’s with answers to the owner’s queries.

On the other hand, an R & F fluoroscopy unit is more robust and less mobile than the c-arm fluoroscopy unit. This imaging unit can be used for both radiography and fluoroscopy purposes. It’s more multi-purpose than the c-arm unit.

Types of Fluoroscopy

The beauty of fluoroscopy as an imaging technique is the fact that it leverages X-ray to provide images in motion or in video form so that medical or veterinary doctors can diagnose conditions accurately. As an Animal hospital in Pearland, TX, we have extensive experience in the use of these advanced imaging services.

There are several types of Fluoroscopy available for use, as described below:

  1. Upper Gastrointestinal Tract Radiography

    This method uses barium-based contrast material to take images of the esophagus, stomach, and proximal small intestine. It is used to help diagnose stomach pain causes like ulcers, foreign bodies, or masses. After coating the upper GI tract with barium-based contrast (which the patient drinks), the radiologist can examine and assess the anatomy and function of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (proximal small intestine).

  2. Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Radiography

    This method generates images of the large intestine’s inner lining to help detect disease and abnormalities. When the lower gastrointestinal tract is filled with barium-based contrast (given to the patient by a tube in the rectum/anus), the radiologist can examine and assess the anatomy and function of the rectum, colon, and occasionally parts of the lower small intestine with ease.

  3. Myelography

    A myelogram is a fluoroscopic investigation of the spine to check for anomalies. It assists the doctor in assessing changes or anomalies in the spinal cord, subarachnoid space, intervertebral disc, and other tissues.

  4. Hysterosalpingography or HSG

    This is a fluoroscopy-based therapy that examines the uterus and fallopian tubes of a woman who is having difficulty conceiving. It can detect and evaluate the presence and severity of adhesions, uterine fibroids, and tumor masses. A catheter is used to administer contrast material.

When Can Fluoroscopy Be Used?

Between Fluoroscopy vs. Traditional X-rays, there are often the question of when should the former be used rather than the latter. Below are situations where fluoroscopy should be the preferred choice.

  • Angiograms – Fluoroscopy is used to get pictures of the heart and its structures to identify the cause of poor blood flow.

  • Gastrointestinal diagnosis – Fluoroscopy can be used to examine anomalies in the gastrointestinal structure of the body of pets.

  • Veterinary Fluoroscopy is necessary when combined with a catheter insertion using a contrast dye to view internal organs.

  • Fluoroscopy is used by orthopedic animal surgeons to decide whether surgery on certain bones in your pet’s body is necessary. This is accomplished by obtaining x-rays of the injured joint while it is in motion to see how well it moves in comparison to other joints in the pet’s body.

Precautions that Comes from Veterinary Fluoroscopy

  1. Exposure to x-rays must be minimized as much as possible as such radiation is unhealthy for the body in large doses.

  2. Use of safety and protective equipment is a must. Proper personal equipment also known as PPE must be worn throughout the fluoroscopy session. Typical PPEs include a lead apron, lead goggles and lead gloves.

  3. Contrast agents must be applied according to specific requirements and needs. All contrast agents have different functionality timelines.

  4. Only a properly trained team should handle fluoroscopy in any animal hospital in Pearland. All individuals must be knowledgeable on best practices to ensure there are no accidents or failures.

About X-rays

X-ray service is an advanced imaging service that uses electromagnetic radiation to generate images of the internal organs of the body for further diagnosis by medical and veterinary doctors. X-ray imaging is effective for viewing internal injuries that aren’t visible to the human eye.

X-ray is a safe form of imaging which is generally used by orthopedic doctors, radiologists, veterinary doctors, etc to view and monitor the visual look of skeletal damage and injury. Risk of injury from exposure to radiation is minimal.

X-ray reveals static images of the internal skeletal system of a living body using gamma rays. If your pet has an internal bone injury, an X-ray will provide a still black-and-white shot of its body while highlighting the bone structure. X-ray sends a radiation through the living body which captures this beam. Dense matter like bones can’t absorb x-rays and therefore show up on the image shot.

Difference between X-ray and Fluoroscopy

Both advanced imaging services are part of veterinary imaging used at Safari Veterinary Care Centers. The common factor between the 2 is the use of radiation energy on the body to get internal images.

  1. X-ray has less risk while Fluoroscopy causes more exposure to gamma rays due to more imaging required.

  2. X-ray is effective for hard matter in the body like bones and metal inserts. Fluoroscopy captures internal imaging of soft organs in detail.

  3. X-ray provides still shots while fluoroscopy provides motion images that reveal activity in the affected area. For instance, fluoroscopy is one imaging procedure used to view motion of a new fetus in the womb.


Your veterinarian will advise you if your pet requires an X-ray or a Fluoroscopy. Consult a veterinarian service if you have any concerns about the risks involved with the method of getting pictures or the logistics of using these advanced imaging services.

We are one of the most reputable Animal hospitals in Pearland, TX. When you hire us for your pet care service, your furry child is certain to receive proper care that improves its life. Safari Veterinary Care Centers offer both X-ray and Fluoroscopy services aimed at accurately diagnosing and treating your pets.

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