Posing awkwardly for an X-ray is nothing new. Most people have had to unnaturally rotate an arm or hold those uncomfortable bite-wings in our mouths at the dentist. But have you ever thought about what it looks like when veterinarians need to take X-rays of small animals ? Turns out they tape the animals down so they can get a clear picture of what’s wrong with them. Even though we know the hamsters and hedgehogs below are safe and well cared for, they look quite sad and pathetic. And Poor Sonic, they’d probably have to take all his rings away to get a clear X-ray. The hamster in the video below has cheek pouches full of food that are emptied out to get a proper look. We’ll bet she was annoyed when she woke up all groggy and didn’t have a snack on hand.

The vet techs also anesthetize the critters before the X-rays. They place the animals in a box and pump in the gas. It’s not a view you usually get of pets, their limbs all sprawled out. The hedgehog especially is quite a shock, with its naked pink belly. What makes it really pathetic is their tiny little mouths agape. But we know it’s important for these animals to get proper care so hopefully this brief invasion of privacy helps them get better.  

We learned about this on The Mary Sue. Even though we hope all pets never need an X-ray, it’s nice to know there’s a procedure mapped out to help them. And it turns out that tiny test subjects have also helped the development of even better X-rays for humans.

Sonic glowing with blue electricity in the movie Sonic the Hedgehog
Paramount Pictures

If you need a pallet cleanser after looking at those sweet little critters, there’s tons of fun videos of hamsters running around in maze obstacle courses that look like something out of American Ninja Warrior.

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.