Animal Medical Hospital

2459 Bellevue Avenue
West Vancouver, BC V7V 1E1


Some abnormal abdomen stuff

There are an awful lot of things that can be seen in the abdomen that are abnormal. A lot of them, unfortunately, are pretty subtle and don't translate well to the medium of a web page without taking up enormous amounts of memory. In order to have these pages load in under 7 hours we need to decrease the resolution of the graphics, meaning that you will not be able to see fine detail. Therefore, I am putting up some images that I hope will be interesting, but also pretty obvious.

Some of these radiographs will have 2 views. The standard views are a right lateral (animal is lying flat on the right side) and ventro-dorsal or VD, where the pet is lying on his back, arms in the air. I have put both views in the picture when they are interesting.

Barium    One of mankind's burning questions has always been, "What is a barium swallow and why do I have to drink this chalk?"

Here's the answer. This dog had a barium swallow. As you can imagine, it was actually a barium syringe-feed. For some reason he didn't want to drink the stuff out of a bowl. Go figure.

west vancouver veterinarian Barium is a very dense mineral. If you remember Introduction to Radiology Fun, dense things block x-rays from reaching the film, and the film does not turn black when developed. The barium has gone through this dog's stomach (large, less barium-filled bag on the left of the picture) and into his intestines. The small intestines are the narrower bits. The barium is already in his large intestine or colon. You can just see it wanting to exit the body on the right hand edge of the picture. There are traces of it in the end of the colon over there.

Barium radiographs give us a good look at the course of the gastrointestinal tract. If there was an obstruction here (like a toy, corncob, or piece of cloth), the barium would just stop. We usually do a series of radiographs over a 2 or 3 hour period to watch the barium go through and assess.

Bladder stones are another favorite item. Look back at the normal abdomen pictures to remember where the bladder lies.

In both of these cases the bladder is pretty empty and so is further back in the pelvis than in the cat picture. I have outlined the stones for you. The large, round stone was made up of magnesium ammonium phosphate (struvite) and was dissolved away when we controlled this dog's urinary infection. The multiple smaller stones (different dog)were made of calcium oxalate and needed to be removed surgically.

west vancouver veterinarian

west vancouver veterinarian

excretory urogramExcretory urogram is a fancy term for a kind of contrast that makes the kidneys show up. The dye is injected intravenously and almost immediately excreted through the kidneys and into the urine. It makes the kidneys show up well, and you can see the tiny ureters that connect the kidneys up by the ribcage to the bladder down in the pelvis. Normally these are invisible on a radiograph, so we need special contrast to be able to study them if we suspect problems.

Foreign objects are relatively uncommon in adult animals, but pretty common in puppies, who will eat just about anything. Here are a few radiographs from dogs who have eaten different items. You can see that dense objects made of metal or glass show up clearly on radiographs, while cloth items do not. The first radiograph shows a little dog that ate a piece of cloth, which had to be surgically removed later. Can you see it? We knew it was there, but it sure doesn't show up like a dense material would. The other rads are far more obvious - spoon, kitchen knife, and a marble. The spoon was ingested when the owner was spoon-feeding the puppy chili. The puppy got very excited and ate the spoon as well as the chili. We still don't know the whole story behind the knife! (All of these items were successfully removed, by the way, and patients did well).

And just for something completely different, here is a SNAKE. This fellow escaped one day and was found under the couch. The owners also had a number of cats, who in turn had a number of cat toys. The snake, when found, has a number of strange bulges in its abdomen. These turned out to be five fake fur mice that the cats had batted under the furniture. The poor snake must have thought he hit the jackpot under there!snake radiograph





Animal Medical Hospital

2459 Bellevue Avenue

West Vancouver, BC
V7V 1E1
Tel: 604-926-8654
Fax: 604-926-6839

Animal Medical Clinic on Georgia

1338 West Georgia Street

Vancouver, BC
V6E 4S2
Tel: 604-628-9699
Fax: 604-926-6839

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