Often, we see our pets acting funny or strange and worry immediately that something is wrong. That’s a great instinct and we encourage you to bring your pet in anytime you notice something off about their behavior. Dogs and cats can’t tell us what hurts like a child can – so it is vital that we quickly assess and diagnose the issue before more serious health risks occur. Our practice is highly equipped with an X-Ray, ultrasound, and in-house lab to help us accurately assess your pet’s health. Click on “More Information” to play a fun game!

Want to play a game and learn about how we make diagnoses for your pets? Try this:

Instructions for each case:

Look closely at the x-rays below. Sometimes it will take a closer look to really find what you’re looking for. We have listed some clues to help you interpret the x-rays and lead you to a correct diagnosis.

  1. Use symmetry of the anatomy when you can to find what doesn’t look right.
  2. Start with the whole x-ray first, then take a closer look if necessary.
  3. After you’ve scanned the whole x-ray, look for subtle details to help you.

Normal X-Ray

This is an x-ray of a normal, healthy cat laying on its right side. You can see that we’ve labeled the internal organs. Liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and urinary bladder (UB). You can also see the abdominal fat. Use this to compare to the abnormal x-rays below.

Normal X-Ray of Cat and Diagram

Abnormal X-Ray

Take a look at this sample that we will walk you through. This cat is straining to urinate and there is blood present in the urine. This cat has 2 stones in its bladder. Since they show up easily on the x-ray, they are easy to diagnose. There are also 4 small white spots, which are stainless steel sutures put in when the cat was spayed. This notifies us that she has been spayed.

Abnormal X-Ray of Cat and Diagram

Abnormal Case #1

This 13-year old cat was brought in very sick and losing weight. Can you see the problem?

X-Ray Case #1

Abnormal Case #2

This poor kitty has trouble catching her breath and wheezes a lot. What’s wrong?

X-Ray Case #2

Abnormal Case #3

This cat was brought in depressed, dehydrated and not eating. Can you tell what’s wrong?

X-Ray Case #3

Abnormal Case #4

This cat has the same symptoms as the cat in Case #3, but a different x-ray and different diagnosis. Can you tell what’s wrong?

X-Ray Case #4


How did you do? Check the answers below. As you can see, it takes years of medical training and experience to read an X-Ray correctly and even more experience to diagnose and treat the problem. We always love to get our clients involved in their pets’ health and learn about the medical side.

  1. Case 1: Ascites (fluid in abdomen)
  2. Case 2: Asthma
  3. Case 3: Stone in Ureter
  4. Case 4: Missing a Kidney

Please do not hesitate to view our resources section or ask our doctors about anything you’d like to learn.