CT (Computed Tomography) scanning is an advanced diagnostic imaging technique that has become increasingly utilized in veterinary medicine. Below, our Santa Cruz County vets discusses the uses and benefits of a CT scanner in veterinary medicine.
Diagnostic imaging plays a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in both human and veterinary medicine. With the advancements in technology and imaging, doctors in both fields have greatly benefited from improved capabilities to diagnose and treat various conditions. Just like in human hospitals, a CT scanner is an indispensable diagnostic tool at Memphis Veterinary Specialists, enabling us to provide exceptional care on a daily basis.
How Does a CT Machine Work?
Computed tomographic imaging, commonly known as CT or cat scan, utilizes radiation (X-rays) and computer technology to generate multiple individual images or "slices" of a specific area within the body. It can be likened to slices of bread that form a complete loaf. The CT scanner captures two-dimensional slices of your pet's anatomy, which are then reconstructed into a comprehensive image for viewing. These slices can also be utilized to create three-dimensional reconstructions, particularly valuable for surgical planning purposes. After the imaging process, the resulting images are sent to a lab for careful review and interpretation.
What is a CT scan used for in pets and how is it beneficial?
The CT machine produces high-resolution images that enable us to examine your pet's anatomy with exceptional detail, surpassing what standard X-rays can provide. CT scanners offer excellent visualization of both bony and soft tissue structures in the body. At MVS, we commonly use the CT scanner to image various areas, including the spine, nasal cavity, inner ear, bones and joints, chest and lungs. Additionally, we can utilize the CT machine to evaluate lymph nodes, the thyroid gland, abdominal organs, skull and brain, as well as vascular structures. To enhance the imaging process, a contrast agent can be administered intravenously (IV), allowing us to identify areas of increased blood flow in the body. This is particularly helpful in detecting cancer and areas of inflammation.
What to Expect if Your Pet Has a CT Scan?
To ensure the production of high-quality CT images, it is crucial for the patient to remain as still as possible during the scan. While in human medicine, patients can be instructed to hold their breath or avoid movement, this approach is not practical for dogs and cats. Therefore, heavy sedation or general anesthesia is required to keep them still and comfortable throughout the procedure. Throughout the CT scan, your pet's vital signs are carefully monitored to ensure their safety. Our hospital's CT scanner is efficient, and the scanning process itself is relatively brief. Following the CT, I will meticulously analyze your pet's images and generate a comprehensive report containing detailed findings and diagnostic recommendations for the attending clinician overseeing your pet's care.