Course Description

The emphasis of this advanced level 4 week course is learning techniques to obtain diagnostic radiographs and recognizing thoracic abnormalities.

Note: This course was formerly known as Thoracic Radiology.


Learning Objectives

  • Develop a working knowledge of proper positioning
  • Develop a working knowledge of proper thoracic radiographic technique
  • Recognize anatomical thoracic landmarks
  • Recognize thoracic abnormalities
  • Recognize and describe breed specific anomalies in the dog and cat
  • Describe possible causes for thoracic abnormalities


Course Content

  1. Section One - Radiology
    1. Applications of Thoracic Radiology
    2. Limitations of Thoracic Radiology
    3. Public Health Message
    4. Medical-Legal Issues
    5. What is a Radiograph?
    6. A Brief Discussion of Film Artifacts
    7. Thoracic Radiography
    8. Positioning
  2. Section Two - Normal Radiographic Anatomy
    1. Introduction
    2. Radiologic Variations - Patient Positioning
    3. Geriatric Patients
    4. Obesity
    5. Breed Variations
    6. Body Wall Variations
    7. Examination for Sections One & Two
  3. Section Three - Radiology of the Heart
    1. Introduction
    2. Techniques
    3. Evaluation Methods
    4. Method for Detecting Focal Heart Chamber Enlargement in Cats and Dogs
    5. Methods for Detecting Generalized Heart Enlargement
    6. Signs of Left-Sided Enlargement
    7. Causes of Left-Sided Heart Enlargement
    8. Signs of Right-Sided Heart Enlargement
    9. Causes of Right-Sided Enlargement
    10. Signs of Generalized Cardiomegaly
    11. Causes of Generalized Cardiomegaly
    12. Common Causes of Heart Disease with Normal Appearing Heart
  4. Section Four - Vessels
    1. Intrathoracic Vasculature
    2. Intrathoracic Aorta
    3. Caudal Vena Cava
    4. Pulmonary Vessels
    5. General Principles
    6. Radiologic Signs of Vascular Disease
    7. Examination for Sections Three & Four
  5. Section Five - Lungs
    1. Lungs
    2. Causes of Increased Lung Opacity: The Pattern Approach
    3. Alveolar Patterns
    4. Bronchial Patterns
    5. Vascular Patterns
    6. Nodular Interstitial
    7. Unstructured Interstitial
    8. Causes of Decreased Opacity
  6. Section Six - Pleural Space Diease
    1. Pleural Space Disease
    2. Pneumothorax
    3. Physiology of Free Air and Radiographic Views
    4. Roentgen Signs
    5. Underlying Causes
    6. Types of Pneumothorax
    7. Treatment
    8. Pleural Effusion
    9. Physiology of Free Fluid and Radiographic Views
    10. Roentgen Signs
    11. Pleural Fissures
    12. Pleural Edema
    13. Types of FluidTesting
    14. Concurrent Conditions
    15. Examination for Sections Five & Six
  7. Section Seven - Mediastinum
    1. Mediastinum
    2. Normal Radiographic Anatomy of the Mediastinum
    3. Normal Visible Structures
    4. Mediastinal Reflections
    5. Mediastinal Diseases
    6. Mediastinal Masses
    7. Middle Mediastinum
    8. Disorders of the Esophagus
    9. Disorders of the Trachea
    10. Mediastinal Shift
  8. Section Eight - Diaphragm
    1. Diaphragm
    2. Normal Radiographic Features
    3. Radiographic Features of Hernia
    4. Traumatic Diaphragmatic Hernia
    5. Rare Hernia
    6. Reasons for Loss of Diaphragmatic Border
  9. Section Nine - Body Wall and Ribs
    1. Body Wall and Ribs
    2. Normal Variations
    3. Radiographic Appearance of Disease
    4. Other Body Wall Diseases
    5. Examination for Sections Seven & Eight & Nine


Required Materials

No additional materials provided - all course content is online.

Students that prefer to read technical material in text form may wish to purchase the book that comprises the general content. The text has been well received by students in past sessions and makes an excellent addition to private or practice libraries.

If you wish to buy the text, information is provided below in the Course Writer's section of this page.



...teacher feedback to specific questions and rads which highlited printed text

...The instructor was super- she answered questions rapidly, was great at teaching and guiding the student. She provided extra tips and information in the exchanges as well. I learned a lot from the forums. I also liked the fact that I could take the classes at my own pace. I live in GMT+1 zone and so real-time sessions are not a possibility for me. So this was a huge lifesaver. The textbook was free!! Yeah! And it was a pretty good guide. The classes were challenging for sure, which is good.

...Dr. Ekedahl was wonderful. She gave quick and helpful feedback that helped further my understanding of the subject matter.

... I Found Julie's feedback encouraging and very helpful. The supporting text was precise and to the point with good associated radiographs.

...I think the attention from Julie was the best. She answered questions quickly and thoroughly and provided extra resources. So often these CE courses are do the reading and take the test for credits. I felt I was in an online course and really learned so much from communication between Julie and the participants! I also really liked interpreting the radiographs in the assignments.

...The course content were organized and condensed in a way to remember things easily.The pictures were really helpful too.

...The presentation of approaching thoracic radiography in a very systematic way is very helpful to me. I am in the habit a just "looking" at a radiograph for abnormalities that may appear. This method helps to keep from overlooking things.


Student Login Requirements

VetMedTeam courses are asynchronous - they do not contain real time components. Students log in while a course is in session at times convenient to personal schedules.


Course Completion Requirements

Upon fulfillment of all requirements, the student will receive a VetMedTeam, RACE documenting, certificate of completion. Students must:

  • attain a grade of 80% or higher on each of the 4 examinations

  • complete the required posts to the discussion boards

  • complete the course exit survey


Recommended Student Criteria

This is an advanced level course. A working knowledge of radiology is needed. Assignments in this course are challenging and designed to bring the learning experience into your everyday practice. The instructor will guide the student to an understanding of the role of thoracic radiology in reaching a diagnosis, either as the diagnosing veterinarian or as the practice staff involved in assisting the veterinarian with the steps to diagnosis. The average student spends 5 to 7 hours per week in order to complete all the mandatory requirements.

If you are seeking a course that deals with basic level information regarding radiology please note that this is an advanced level course. The Basic Principles of Radiology course is designed for those students that are not yet ready for this level.


Continuing Education Credits

Course meets the requirements for 20 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinary technicians and veterinarians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB's RACE approval. However, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery.


Participant Access Parameters

Participants may enroll in this course after it has begun, up to the enrollment deadline date. Participants who enroll after the start date do not miss out on any components of the course.

There are no real time sessions.

The design of this course allows each participant to proceed based on individual schedule, as long as all assignments are submitted by the assignment submission deadline


Course Writer

This course has been developed in cooperation with Teton NewMedia, utilizing content from Thoracic Radiology for the Small Animal Practitioner ; Robert T. O’Brien, DVM, MS; published by Teton New Media; 2001.


If you are interested in purchasing this text for your library visit Teton New Media or do a web search to locate a distributor in your area.


Course Instructor

Julie Ekedahl, VMD, DACVRJulie Ekedahl, VMD, DACVR

Originally a native of the Southeast, Dr. Ekedahl graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Biology. After undergraduate, she worked in a research laboratory for a year before attending the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving her VMD, Dr. Ekedahl interned in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, followed by a residency in Radiology, also at UGA. She passed the Radiology Boards and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

After her residency, Dr. Ekedahl traveled for 8 months, visiting Africa, Asia, New Zealand and Australia before settling in Boise, Idaho with her husband. She started Veterinary Imaging Specialists of Idaho, PC that provides film interpretation and mobile ultrasound services.

Dr. Ekedahl is a member of the American College of Veterinary Radiology, the AVMA, the IdahoVMA, and the Boise Academy. She is the mother of a three year old girl and five year old boy and she enjoys both tea parties and building with Legos. Her other interests include learning to play the fiddle, quilting, and telemark skiing.


Upcoming Sessions



Price: $188.00



VetMedTeam 2014