You Make The Diagnosis: Abnormal X-rays in a Dog

Pictured below  is the x-ray from a dog who was having accidents in the house.  The owner noticed blood in the urine as well.  Look closely at the film and then answer the following questions:  What is wrong with this dog?  What are the dark black areas in the middle of the dog’s abdomen? 

Diagnosis:  Kidney & bladder stones, intestinal gas 

See the bright white oval structure on the right side of the x-rays.  That is many little stones in the dog’s urinary bladder.  There are also a few small stones in the dog’s kidneys which are on the upper left side of the x-ray.  The black areas in the middle of the x-ray is gas in the intestines and colon.  On X-rays, minerals like calcium show up as white while gas or air is black.  Soft tissues like muscle and internal organs are represented by shades of gray.   


Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.