Radiography units are not used commonly in wildlife medicine field settings, primarily because of their weight and requirement for a power supply. In this study, a portable, battery-powered, and lightweight radiography unit, originally developed for dentistry, was assessed for its potential field applications. Radiographs of various animal species (ranging in weight from 14 g to 1,000 kg) were imaged using varying source image distance (SID) and exposure time. The quality of these images was evaluated for their resolution, image noise, and motion blur. When required, image resolutions were further enhanced using computed radiography postprocessing. Other parameters evaluated were the freehand use of the device, its battery durability, the maximum obtainable image size, and multiple use of a single computed radiography cassette. Using an SID of 60 cm, radiographs delivered adequate image quality. The quality, however, was found deteriorated in images of larger animals (>50 kg) or thicker tissues (>15 cm). The use of a tripod proved unnecessary in most cases, and its exclusion greatly facilitated equipment handling. Under field conditions, the battery was depleted after a total running time of 1.6 hr or 36 radiographs. The maximum size of a radiographic image reached a diameter of 40 cm, and radiation shielding allowed the multiple use of a single computed radiography cassette. Taken together, the radiography unit evaluated in this study presented a balanced compromise between portability and radiograph quality for field use. However, the unit image resolution cannot replace those of the fixed standard radiography units commonly used in veterinary medicine.
Animals Animals, Zoo Body Size Diagnostic Imaginginstrumentationveterinary Electric Power Supplies Female Male Mammals Radiography, Dentalinstrumentationveterinary