What are baseline diagnostic images and why are they important for my dog? - Animal Hospital of Statesville

Baseline diagnostic images are basically just what it says. It gives us the baseline of what is normal versus what may be abnormal. They're important in certain situations, like if your pet comes in for a wellness exam and we diagnose a heart murmur, but the pet is not clinical, meaning they're not breathing hard or coughing, and they're not having any exercise intolerance. We may recommend what we call survey x-rays of the chest or even a survey echocardiogram. That is because we can look at the lungs and get a baseline of what is normal for this pet later down the road. When they're experiencing symptoms and clinical signs, we have that as a comparison.

So you can see a progression or not a progression. The other reason why we might consider baseline imaging would be that our patients tend to hide their problems. What we feel might be nonclinical or non-symptomatic, we might actually find a problem in the early stages of a disease that would carry a better prognosis if we started treatment early.