Veterinary Radiology, Ultrasound, MRI, and CT Scan
Digital Radiography (X-Ray)
Radiologic examinations employ state-of-the-art high-detail digital radiography (“x-rays”), which is much faster and less stressful for your pet. This also allows more specialized studies requiring anesthesia (myelograms and other contrast studies) to be safer than previously achieved. The image quality of digital radiography is unsurpassed.
Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
We offer computed tomography (CT) scans in-hospital for more detailed imaging of chest, abdomen, and skeletal structures. Our CT unit utilizes much lower radiation levels and exposure times than competing units which minimizes radiation to your pet.
Fluoroscopy is a special type of x-ray imaging that allows us to see movement of body structures. For example, this type of imaging is very good for looking at dynamic bone instability, collapsing trachea, swallowing disorders, some cardiovascular disorders, and problems with urinary tract function. This type of imaging can also be very useful in surgical cases when very specific placement of implants is crucial – we have an additional unit called a C-arm that we can use in surgeries to help ensure accurate placement of implants under sterile conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to help evaluate the soft tissues like the spinal cord, nerves, intervertebral discs, muscle and associated connective tissue, and the joints. MRI units can be divided into high-field (1.0T and greater) and low-field units (<1.0T). High-field units generally allow for more detailed images, reduced anesthesia time, and can be performed easily in both large and small dogs and cats. At VSH, we have an in-house 1.5 Tesla high-field unit that provides excellent image quality as well as an experienced MRI technician from the human medical field who can maximize the efficiency and quality of your pet’s MRI experience. We are also experienced in performing more specialized studies like dynamic MRI imaging for wobbler’s disease cases or vascular studies in the brain
We use board-certified radiologists to help interpret your pet’s imaging tests. If you would like to obtain a copy of the imaging studies, please alert your doctor or technician so that we can provide you with a CD.
Ultrasonography is often the preferred method for imaging soft tissue and internal organs in the non-anesthetized pet. It is a very safe, reliable and inexpensive way to observe abnormalities deeper in the body. The quality of the images obtained using ultrasound is highly dependent on the equipment available and the skill of the person (ultrasonographer) performing the exam.
Echocardiography is a special form of ultrasound that uses a top-of-the-line ultrasound unit to non-invasively ‘look inside the heart’. We are able to employ color flow and contrast studies to safely diagnose heart conditions.
Outpatient Ultrasound Program
As a service to your veterinarian, VSH can provide a detailed ultrasound study to better help diagnose your pet’s illness. If your primary veterinarian refers you to us to have your pet receive an ultrasound, here is what you can expect:
- Do not feed your pet for 12 hours prior to the ultrasound study, unless your pet is a diabetic.
- Your pet will have an ultrasound performed by a board-certified specialist.
- To adequately obtain the best quality images, the fur will be shaved from the body part to be imaged. We strive to shave as little as possible.
- Our specialists will provide a detailed report to your veterinarian following the appointment.
- Your veterinarian will review the VSH specialist reports and advice and can then help to answer any questions you have about the ultrasound results.
- Because your primary veterinarian knows your pet’s history and current condition, he/she will be better able to report the ultrasound findings to you and continue to manage your pet’s care.