Our CT service is done by an outpatient referral arrangement. Your primary veterinarian must contact us first. Once we receive the referral request and your pet's records, we will contact you, schedule your pet for a CT scan, and provide you with a cost estimate and all the necessary information you need prior to the day of the procedure. After the procedure, your primary vet will receive the images and the radiologist's report and will follow up with you for any further recommendations and treatment.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around your pet's body and uses computer processing to create cross-sectional images (slices) of the bones, organs, and other tissues inside the body. These slices are called tomographic images and can give a clinician significantly more detailed information than conventional X-rays.
Yes, your pet will be sedated or given brief anesthesia during the CT procedure. This is necessary because, just like with people, pets need to remain completely still to ensure accurate imaging.
Once a number of successive slices are collected by the machine’s computer, they can be digitally “stacked” together to form a 3D image of the patient that allows for easier identification of basic structures as well as possible tumors or abnormalities. This helps with surgical planning and to gain a better understanding of soft tissue involvement of masses.
Structures within the body such as bone are easily imaged with X-rays because of their mineral content, whereas soft tissues vary in their ability to 'stop' X-rays and therefore may be faint or difficult to see. Contrast agents have been developed that are highly visible in an X-ray or CT scan. Contrast agents contain substances that can 'stop' X-rays and are therefore more visible on an X-ray image.