Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Otter Stones

The vets take an x-ray to look for kidney stones.

In preparation for a physical, the vets anesthetize the otter. This way they can safely handle and examine it. A routine health exam includes taking blood samples, giving any necessary vaccinations, examining the otter from head to tail, and taking x-rays and ultrasounds.

The x-ray will highlight any dense material inside the body, like bones or kidney stones. The ultrasound will show these things and highlight internal organs, like kidneys or the heart.

Take a look at the x-ray and ultrasound from one of the Zoo’s otters. What would your diagnosis be?

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Move your mouse over the image and see if you can find anything amiss.

otter x-ray

X-ray taken with Fujifilm Computed Radiography (CR) Digital X-ray System

what do you see?