Computer Tomography (CT) Scanning is most commonly associated with human medicine but over the past few years, it has become increasingly common in the veterinary world. Taking detailed x-ray images of your pet, the procedure works in the same way as it does for humans – and offers the same benefits, if not more!
Why we would recommend a CT scan:
To visualise your pet clearly – Our CT scanner allows us to look closely at your pet’s organs, muscles, bones or other internal body parts in order to better identify the cause of potential problems – these may be fractured bones, tumours or many others.
To obtain incredibly detailed images within a matter of minutes – A CT scan can produce slice-like images of the entire patient, from any angle. Our software can then reconstruct the slices into a 3D model of the concerned area so your pets don’t have to sit through x-ray after x-ray – it’s all achieved in one relatively short session.
To make surgery more efficient – Once your pet has had a CT scan, our view of the problem will be more accurate and enhanced. It will help us identify, for example, where a tumour is growing and where we need to operate, often-minimising surgery time. CT scanning is also an incredibly useful tool for pinpointing conditions like metastasis (secondary tumours) or helping to decide if a tumour has or hasn’t spread.
A better understanding – With pets who have broken bones or are suffering from orthopaedic abnormalities, a CT scan offers us a clearer picture of what’s going on, and therefore an improved understanding … which leads to a more applicable and successful treatment plan, and a happier pet! We can even build up a 3D picture of the broken bone and have this printed out using a 3D printer. We then have a model of the affected area (a true representation of the problem) and before surgery, we can use it to accurately shape implants.
How they work:
Picture a large, rotating donut…
CT scans for pets work in much the same way as they do for humans. The most significant difference is that your pet will most likely be sedated before the procedure. This ensures that they stay still; sedation also frees them from the potential stress caused by having to be placed in a particular position and remaining still during the process.
We’ll then place them onto a bed, which moves slowly through a motorized x-ray source, rotating around the circular opening of a donut-shaped structure (known as a gantry). The rotation means that we receive images from all angles. The scanner then processes the x-ray images; we can view them individually or compile them into a 3D on-screen model, so we can see a 3D picture of a particular organ inside your pet or view a cross-section of their body e.g. across the abdomen or chest.
The procedure usually takes 10-20 minutes and is incredibly safe. Usually the vet and nurse will perform the scan from a separate room; monitoring your pet’s welfare throughout.
We can use our CT scanner to aid treatment of the following:
- Ear, nose and throat issues
- Ocular (eye) disease
- Oncological (cancer) and metastatic diagnosis
- Liver shunts
- Respiratory disease (chronic coughing, difficulty breathing)
- The planning of soft tissue surgery
- Orthopaedic issues (such as complex fractures, elbow dysplasia and spinal fractures)
These are just a few of the many conditions we can better diagnose, thanks to this wonderful state-of-the-art equipment.
If you’d like to know anything else about diagnostic imaging or about our CT scanner, don’t hesitate to get in touch – especially if it relates to any concerns you may have about your pet.