Our board-certified radiologist is skilled in all aspects of imaging including radiography, sonography, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Our radiology service works seamlessly with our ER and other specialty departments and your primary care veterinarian to ensure a comprehensive approach to patient care.
A veterinary radiologist is a veterinarian who has successfully completed additional training, including a minimum of a 1-year internship followed by a 3-year residency in a program that meets the guidelines established by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR). Board-certification requires completion of a rigorous examination.
A radiograph (x-ray) allows our team to visualize internal organs and bones. It can be a useful tool in diagnosing a variety of conditions including heart disease, airway disease (eg, pneumonia), intestinal foreign bodies, cancer spread, bone injuries (eg, fractures) and other conditions. When a radiograph is taken, your pet will be positioned on an x-ray table. In some cases, sedation may be used so that your pet is able to relax and we can obtain high quality diagnostic images.
Ultrasound uses sound waves transmitted into the body to create an image on a screen. Whereas radiographs provide an outline of organs, ultrasound provides information on changes within organs, such as masses, nodules, or changes suggestive of inflammation among others. When an ultrasound is performed, the area being evaluated will be shaved so the fur does not interfere with the images. Our radiology team will hold and support your animal in a comfortable position on the exam table as the radiologist scans the area. . In some cases, sedation may be used so that your pet is able to relax and we can obtain high quality diagnostic images.
Ultrasound also provides a means for sampling abnormalities within the body, as with ultrasound-guided aspiration cytology (or biopsy). In this procedure, a small needle is guided into the abnormality using ultrasound for safe guidance and precision, and a sample collected for review under the microscope.
CT uses x-rays to produce multiple images of the inside of the body and provides thin, cross-sectional “slices” for viewing. With MRI, images are generated as the body responds to a magnetic field also leading to generation of thin cross-sectional images for viewing. Both CT and MRI provide much more detailed imaging of the body than radiographs or ultrasound, allowing radiologists and other specialists to look deep into the body for injury or disease. While similar in some respects, these two tools have different uses and your pet’s doctor, working closely with our radiologist, will discuss their recommendations for imaging with you.
CT and MRI require that your pet remain very still for a period of time. For this reason, it is necessary that your pet undergo heavy sedation or general anesthesia. Throughout the procedure, your pet will be closely monitored by our highly trained team. In many cases, intravenous contrast is used to help highlight blood vessels and to enhance the tissue structure of various organs such as the brain, spine, liver and kidneys as well as help outline abnormal tissue (eg, malignancy).