When it comes to taking chest radiographs (CXR), which is better: the Dorsal-Ventral (DV) or Ventral-Dorsal (VD) view? The decision to perform the DV or VD ultimately depends on personal preference, the radiographic goals, and general radiographic consistency.

Some veterinary radiologists prefer the DV view, as it will give you a better look at the caudal lung fields. This view is also preferred for evaluating heart disease (as it is easier to visualize the blood vessels).  In contrast, the VD view is better for evaluating the cranial lung  fields, and is often preferred when evaluating for primary pulmonary pathology.

Either way, if you are going to be taking serial x-rays, it is important to be consistent for all CXR. In other words, don’t take a VD on presentation, and then take a DV 3 days later to compare the images.

Ultimately, semantics aside, remember the patient comes first.  If you have a vomiting, dyspneic, recumbent, poorly responsive patient, the stress and positioning using a VD view may not be best.