Veterinarian looking at x-ray image and dog owner petting a dog

Pet X-Ray and Ultrasound

X-Rays are not just for broken bones. Radiographs can give us a look at such things as the size of the heart, the pattern of disease in the lungs, intestines, liver, spleen and bladder. Although an x-ray is quick and painless, we may suggest some sedation to assist with the procedure. Dr. Hylands attends internet radiology rounds each Sunday evening with other associate editor veterinarians on the Veterinary Information Network. The information shared during these sessions has been an enormous source of learning new knowledge that is extended to our patient’s care.

How do you use X-ray and radiology services at your hospital?

We now use direct digital radiography, which comes with many benefits to our hospital and our patients! Some of the shining points include:

  • Less radiographs due to an increase in diagnostic capability. Digital radiography comes with much higher contrast images. It results in less x-ray exposure to both our patients and staff!
  • Less retake x-rays due to imperfect settings. Digital radiography allows us to manipulate the image digitally and is not nearly as sensitive to incorrect settings as plain film. It also reduces the x-ray exposure to our patients.
  • Much more environmentally friendly! Plain radiographs require the use of film and x-ray chemicals that must be replaced frequently. The change to digital radiography will result in less chemicals in the environment and less medical waste with old films!

Side-by-side x-ray images of a canine skull in enlarged view and inverted view

The above side-by-side images of a canine skull were taken with our digital radiography system and have been opened in our software program where it can easily be manipulated. On the left and outlined in red, the magnifying tool is being used, enlarging the area to 1.5x its original size. On the right, the image colours are inverted, allowing for better visualization of some bone structures.

Zoomed in x-ray image of a canine skull

Above is the same skull radiograph zoomed in.

X-ray image of a normal abdomen

The image above is of a normal abdomen. See if you can match the organs to the image with the lettering (below) when comparing both images.

X-ray image of a normal abdomen labelled with names of the organs

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Ultrasonography equipment

At Westbridge Veterinary Hospital, we offer a high level of ultrasonography skills. Ultrasonography is an incredibly useful diagnostic service for your pet’s health care. An ultrasound is painless and non-invasive. We can “see” into the abdomen of a vomiting cat, the heart of a dog with cardiac failure, swelling or mass to help determine what it is. The skills to do this, however, are very operator dependent. At our hospital, two of our veterinarians have shown a commitment to advanced study in this modality. One of our veterinarians, Dr. Hylands, is also a consultant on the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), where he advises other colleagues on their own individual cases from all over the world. He also teaches instructive seminars all across Canada in the art of ultrasonography.

Recently, we have proven our commitment to both animal patient care and excellence through the purchase and upgrading of our ultrasound machine to state of the art GE Logic S8 unit. Through this acquisition, we are excited to offer new non-invasive diagnostic imaging procedures that further benefit our patient’s health and wellbeing. The goal is to get the right diagnosis for your pet in a gentle and minimally invasive manner that is also cost-effective.

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High-Resolution Imaging

When your pet is ill, finding out what is wrong is of paramount importance. If there is any possibility of cancer, the correct diagnosis is crucial before moving forward with treatment, or other major decisions. The high-resolution images below show examples of clear diagnoses.

Occasionally we will require ultrasound in an emergency or surgical situation. The compact design of the unit will allow easier access to the operating or treatment room to provide this service. It adds another level of service to our hospital’s diagnostic imaging capabilities.

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For our patients with cardiac disease, we have a new cardiac package that can measure the wall motion of the heart chambers to evaluate where there is an abnormality, such as poor heart muscle contractility. This is only offered in a few veterinary hospitals in Canada, and we are proud to have it available to our clients. This will prove especially useful for our feline patients in the early detection of cardiac disease. We now also have a new cardiac matrix probe which offers a much higher level of resolution and sensitivity in our cardiovascular studies.

We are happy to tell you more about our Diagnostic Imaging ability at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital. Our commitment is to offer excellence when caring for your pet.


Dog thinking about ticks and fleas

Year-round protection means more peace of mind!

“Tick season” used to mean spring/summer/fall, with a break over the winter – the colder weather meant that we could take a break from worrying about these pesky bugs and the diseases they can transmit. But in the last few years, we’ve seen a change creeping up on us, with the weather staying warm later into the season, and spring arriving earlier each year – and the bugs are loving it! You may have already heard us talking about how any day that the temperature is above the freezing point, ticks are potentially active. This past year, we had days above 0°C in all 12 months! Ticks aren’t killed by the cold, they simply go dormant, waiting until it’s warm enough to come back out – so last year, even January and February had days warm enough for ticks to be active! This means that we are now recommending that all dogs (and cats that go outdoors) take advantage of year-round flea and tick protection. There are several options, our first choice being an all-in-one that protects against fleas, ticks, and heartworm, as well as providing regular deworming against roundworms. One pill, once a month – what could be simpler? If your pet is already on a monthly preventative, all you need to do is pick up a refill and continue throughout the winter months. If your pet hasn’t yet started on comprehensive parasite prevention, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and set you up with the best option for your pet. What does this mean for testing? The 4DX test that we recommend most commonly screens for heartworm disease, Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes (so every dog in Ontario is potentially at risk – at Westbridge we treat a few cases every year!), and the others are all transmitted via tick bites. We have seen an increase in Lyme-positive dogs in the last few years, one of the reasons we are recommending some of these changes. For better early detection and the safety of your pet, we are recommending annual 4DX testing for all dogs. This simple blood test can be done at any time, although the optimal time is in the spring. Catching disease early is key to successful treatment – and no matter how careful you are with preventative medications, there is always some risk of infection. As always, our veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians are available to answer any questions you may have about the best options for your pet. Email us at info@westbridgevet.com, or call us at 905-285-0002

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital