We now offer an advanced diagnostic imaging tool called CT (computed tomography) scanning. This technology allows us to look at a 3D image of the animal and to view the image through any plane we wish to. This is very good when looking at everything from fractures to finding a mass in the abdomen or the chest.
What Exactly Does a CT Scan Do?
When our vets need a closer look at a part of your pet’s body such as their organs, bones, muscles or anything internal, we order a CT scan. Think of this service as being similar to an x-ray, however much more information can be gathered from a CT scan.
A CT scan obtains images of slices of a patient, which means they can go very small and can later be reconstructed into 3D models of the affected area, providing excellent detail of the internal anatomy. Plus, multi-slice scanning translates into shorter anesthesia time.
Why Does My Pet Need a CT Scan?
CT scanning help vets understand anomalies in your pet’s body and also help them plan for different surgeries. For example, if an animal has a tumor, a CT scan helps the doctor detect where exactly the tumor is in the pet’s body, as well as its relationship to neighboring structures—this ultimately assists vets in planning their surgical approach, so they can hopefully minimize surgery time.
CT scanning also helps veterinarians understand orthopedic abnormalities, problems with the teeth and gums, abscesses, problems with the nasal cavity, lung disorders, abdominal disorders, and poly-trauma (where multiple organs and systems are damaged).
Are CT Scans Safe?
There are no side effects to CT scans for pets. However, for procedures that require anesthesia, patients need to be monitored for a short period of time for any ill effects.
For Referring Vets
Computed tomography not only aids in the diagnosis of disease and patient prognostics, but it is also used as a tool in the planning of the patient’s treatment options. It can help with:
- Musculoskeletal disease and bone neoplasia
- Joint problems
- Thorax-screening for pulmonary metastasis
- Evaluation of intrathoracic masses
- Abdominal masses/metastatic screening
- Vascular imaging (e.g. assessment of perfusion and margins of a tumor; portosystemic shunt evaluations)
If you have a patient that would benefit from this diagnostic tool, please contact us today at 512-258-2577 to schedule a referral visit.