Cat Radiographs (X-Rays)

This is a page that touches on cat anatomy. I am presenting a couple of radiographic images of two cats. One shows a foreign body, a coin, in the stomach. The other is useful because it shows some of a cat’s internal anatomy. I have marked out some of the internal structures with the aid of The Encyclopedia Of The Cat by Dr Bruce Fogle.

Cat Radiographs (X-Rays)

Cat Radiographs (X-Rays)

A lot of initial diagnosis by veterinarians is done through palpation of the exterior of the cat. This is a process whereby the vet feels the insides of a cat. Through experience a veterinarian can build up a picture in their mind as to the condition of an internal organ. This might concern its size, shape, firmness and position. A considerable amount of diagnosis can be conducted through palpation.

It seems strange that a cat would willingly swallow a coin. The cat must have thought that it had some nutritional value. Apparently cats swallow all manner of small objects such as:

  • pins and needles – risk of perforating bowel;
  • splinters of wood – risk of perforating bowel;
  • rubber bands
  • cloth
  • tinsel
  • plastic
  • string

Most objects pass through the body. String should not be pulled out if you see some sticking out of the mouth as the other end may be caught in food and the tensioning of the string may cut the wall of the bowel. It makes sense to check cat toys for loose parts and the floor for easily swallowed items. The most common “foreign body” in the intestine is the hairball. I am not sure that you can call a hairball a ‘foreign’ body as it is made of parts of the cat.

Cats who compulsively eat non-food material may suffer from a condition called Pica. This may be due to early weaning. Another possible reason is stress bringing on an obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Cat Radiographs (X-Rays) — 1 Comment

  1. Everyone with cats simply needs to ‘think cat’ and make their home as safe as possible, with nothing lying around to tempt cats to play with, possibly swallow and get stuck.
    Most cats need an anaesthetic to lie still enough for an X Ray, which is of course always a risk, just a bit of thought can save cats from having to go through this procedure.

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