The purpose of this study was to evaluate if pre-anaesthetic thoracic radiographs contribute to the anaesthetic management of trauma patients by comparing American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification (ASA grade) with and without information from thoracic radiography findings. Case records of 157 dogs and cats being anaesthetized with or without post-traumatic, pre-anaesthetic chest radiographs were retrospectively evaluated for clinical parameters, radiographic abnormalities and anaesthetic protocol. Animals were retrospectively assigned an ASA grade. ASA grades, clinical signs of respiratory abnormalities and anaesthesia protocols were compared between animals with and without chest radiographs. The group of animals without pre-anaesthetic radiographs was anaesthetized earlier after trauma and showed less respiratory abnormalities at presentation. The retrospectively evaluated ASA grade significantly increased with the information from thoracic radiography. Animals with a higher ASA grade were less frequently mechanically ventilated. Pre-anaesthetic radiographs may provide important information to assess the ASA grade in traumatized patients and may therefore influence the anesthesia protocol.