Diagnostic imaging involves the use of radiography and fluoroscopy (x-rays), ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain information about the anatomy of inner organs of the chest and abdomen, as well as complex regions such as the head (brain), neck, and spine with minimal risk to the patient. These modalities complement each other and are considered non-invasive diagnostic techniques that provide information which cannot be obtained on physical examination or bloodwork. In addition, further information about the abnormalities identified can be obtained by using the imaging modality techniques to guide sampling procedures such as fine needle aspirates and/or biopsies. All of the information obtained can help the clinician reach a diagnosis and aids in determining the next step required to manage a patient’s illness.
Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals utilizes state-of-the-art digital radiology equipment to help in the diagnosis and management of diseases. Radiographs are a quick and safe way to evaluate your pet’s bones and internal organs. We are equipped with two digital radiology suites so we can quickly get the best images of your pet 24 hours per day.
Ultrasound machines emit a special type of sound waves and, in return, generate an anatomic picture of your pet’s internal organs. By carefully evaluating these images, we can help diagnose many diseases. A short-acting sedation may be given to calm pets who are nervous, anxious, or painful.
Ultrasound can be used to identify problems involving many different body parts:
- Abdomen - Intestinal foreign bodies, masses, portosystemic shunts, pancreatitis, bladder stones.
- Chest – Mediastinal masses, pulmonary masses, pleural effusion.
- Musculoskeletal – Joint/bone tumors, soft tissue/tendon injury.
- Neck – Thyroid and salivary gland masses, abscesses.
Our state-of-the- art multi-slice helical CT machine allows us to obtain something similar to a 360 degree x-ray of your pet. This gives us a high level of detail in multiple orientations. General anesthesia is required during this procedure to ensure that pets remain perfectly still and the scan is completely quickly and accurately.
CT can be used to evaluate almost any body part and is a valuable diagnostic tool:
- Abdomen – masses, portosystemic shunts, ectopic ureters
- Thorax - lung, rib, or mediastinal masses, assess for spread of cancer (met check).
- Skull – can look for an underlying cause of nasal discharge or bleeding as well as masses. We can also evaluate for inner ear disease.
- Trauma – helps determine the specific orientation of bone fragments which can be important in prognosis and surgical planning.
MRI uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio-wave energy to create pictures of your pet. Because MRI works differently than CT and ultrasound, it is often able to give us information that can’t be obtained with other types of imaging.
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital is proud to be on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine by using MRI to evaluate bone tumors and joint disease.
Using MRI to diagnose neurologic disorders is coordinated directly through our Neurology & Neurosurgery Department.
WHAT IS A BOARD CERTIFIED VETERINARY RADIOLOGIST?
Board certified veterinary radiologists are specialists who focus on radiographs, ultrasound, CT, and MRI. In addition to undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school, they complete an internship and residency in their specialized field, an additional three to five years of training. This is followed by a rigorous examination from the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR). Passing this examination grants the status of Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiology (DACVR).