Radiology is a diagnostic technique that creates an image of a patient by transmitting radiation through a patient. Veterinarians might use x-rays to detect size and shape changes in organs, diagnose gastrointestinal foreign bodies, detect soft tissue or bony masses, or to evaluate for fractures or soft tissue injuries. Sometimes contrast media such as barium or even air might be used to highlight a particular organ system or area to improve the chances of seeing a lesion.
Because the x-ray technique creates a flat two dimensional image, two orthagonal views of the patients must be taken to determine the location of structures. Most commonly veterinarians will take a lateral view, with the patient laying on its side and a ventrodorsal view, the patient positioned on its back.