Diagnostic tools assist your veterinarian in comprehending your pet's internal condition, playing a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of your dog or cat. Our Pittsboro veterinarians provide insights into standard diagnostic tests designed for dogs and cats.
Radiography - X-Rays for Dogs & Cats
X-rays are incredibly useful tools in veterinary care, commonly used to see inside your pet's body. They help vets identify issues like broken bones, bladder stones, and swallowed objects. X-rays also reveal tumors, pregnancies, and enlarged organs, aiding in diagnosing conditions like heart disease or cancer.
While X-rays can't show detailed organs, tissues, or ligaments, methods like MRI and Ultrasound are better for that. X-rays are safe, painless, and non-invasive for dogs and cats. They use very low radiation doses, even for pregnant dogs. Sometimes, your pet might need to be calm or slightly sedated for clear images. If they're comfortable and still during the X-ray, sedation isn't needed. But if they're anxious or in pain, sedation might be necessary.
Ultrasound Imaging for Pets
Our beloved pets, cats and dogs, sometimes get into trouble or experience health problems like cysts or tumors that need treatment. Ultrasounds are a type of technology that uses sound waves to create images of specific body parts inside your pet. These ultrasounds for animals are safe and don't involve any surgery. They help vets diagnose issues with organs, find blockages, or check pregnancies.
With an ultrasound, vets can look closely at your pet's organs to find any problems like tumors or blockages. Different ultrasounds need different preparations. Your vet will guide you on getting your pet ready. For abdominal ultrasounds, your pet might need to avoid eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours. A full bladder helps examine the urinary bladder better, so your pet might be asked not to pee for about 3 to 6 hours before the ultrasound.
The fur around the area being checked might be shaved for clear pictures. Most pets stay calm during the ultrasound, but some might need a bit of sedation.
PET/CT Scan for Pets
Computed Tomography - CT Scans for Dogs & Cats
CT scans create high-quality images that help your vet examine your pet's body in detail, revealing information that regular X-rays can't show. These scans are particularly useful for studying bones, organs, and tissues such as the spine, nose, ears, joints, chest, and lungs. The technology also allows us to check lymph nodes, the thyroid, the abdomen, the skull, the brain, and blood vessels.
Positron Emission Tomography - PET Scans for Dogs & Cats
A CT scan, combined with the use of a contrast agent given to your pet intravenously (IV), allows vets to see increased areas of blood flow in the animal's body. PET scans aid in the detection of cancer and areas of inflammation. In humans, PET scans are used to give doctors a detailed view of how the patient's tissues and organs are working. PET scans are most commonly used to detect and monitor cancer.
CT & PET Scan Process
CT and PET require that the animal stay completely still. For this reason, your vet will perform these diagnostic imaging tests while your pet is under general anesthesia. Your pet's vital signs are closely monitored while under anesthesia throughout the entire CT/PET process. In most cases, a CT/PET scan only takes a short time. Once the scan is complete, a specialist will typically interpret the images, and a detailed report with findings and diagnostic recommendations will be sent to the vet handling your pet's treatment.
MRI - Veterinary Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Dogs & Cats
Since the 1980s, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been aiding in diagnosing human health issues. Recently, this technology has become more common in veterinary care as well.
MRI scans offer detailed images of your pet's soft tissues like the brain, spinal cord, and organs. They're particularly useful for identifying injuries or diseases that affect these tissues. Compared to X-Rays or CT Scans, veterinary MRIs provide clearer insights into your pet's body.
If your dog or cat shows signs like limping, seizures, joint pain, or paralysis, an MRI might be recommended to pinpoint the issue.
Performing a dog or cat MRI takes around 45 minutes to an hour. For accurate results, pets must remain very still. Before the scan, your pet will be given anesthesia. It's common for vets to do blood tests and X-rays first to ensure your pet can handle the anesthesia.
By using MRI technology, vets can better diagnose and treat your pet's health concerns.
Diagnostic Imaging at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital
Our Pittsboro vets are pleased to provide veterinary diagnostic tests, including ECG/EKG, ultrasound, and digital X-rays. These diagnostic tools to allow us to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your pets' medical issues. Contact us to learn more about veterinary care and diagnostic imaging at Hope Crossing Animal Hospital.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.