Black and brown dog looking to the left

Ultrasound and X-ray Services for Pets

Ultrasounds and X-rays are diagnostic tools that help our team find out important information about your pet’s health and well-being. By using them, we can identify many kinds of health conditions in a non-invasive way.

Aside from these traditional diagnostics, our hospital can also provide veterinary referrals for PennHip certified radiographs and OFA certified X-rays. Please scroll down below for more details about these effective options.

What is a PennHip radiograph?

This is a more nuanced and comprehensive type of test used to examine your pet’s hips. It’s considered by many in our field as the gold standard when it comes to predicting and diagnosing hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis in dogs. That being said, it can also be used on our feline patients. Through PennHip, your pet’s hip joint laxity can be measured. They usually need anaesthesia for this test.

After the exam, your pet will be given a DI (Distraction Index) score between 0 and 1 which measures the laxity and tightness of their hips. A DI near 0 indicates tight hips, meaning that your pet has a very low chance of developing hip dysplasia in the future. A score of 0.3 and above means that your pet is more likely to develop osteoarthritis in the future.

What is an OFA certified X-ray?

OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Like PennHip, it is a means of testing the quality of your pet’s hips, and their susceptibility to degenerative joint disease. Your pet’s hips will be analysed and scored using a 7-point system. Patients will be given one of the following scores: Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild, Moderate and Severe. Pets do not need to be under anaesthesia for this test.

What is the difference between ultrasound and X-ray?

X-rays produce images of the inside of your pet’s body, and can evaluate dense structures (e.g. bones, lungs). They are also usually more inexpensive in comparison to other diagnostic tools. In comparison, ultrasound is used to evaluate softer tissue organs (e.g. lymph nodes. heart, liver, kidneys). Veterinary teams often use X-rays and radiographs together, to diagnose all sorts of health problems.

Do cats/dogs/pets feel pain during ultrasounds and X-rays?

Absolutely not. Both procedures are pain-free. With our experienced team members, your pet will be safe and comfortable while they are being examined. For certain diagnostics (e.g. PennHip) we choose to sedate our patients to increase the likelihood of getting accurate analyses.

Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the 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, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday: 9:00 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 West Brant Animal Hospital