We are delighted to announce the arrival of our C.T. scanner as a major part of our recent renovations. We are one of a handful of first opinion veterinary hospitals in the U.K. to be able to offer this service to our clients. Our 16 slice GE C.T scanner will allow us to reach a more accurate diagnosis quicker resulting in a faster recovery for your pet.
How does C.T. work?
Unlike conventional X-ray systems that use a single x-ray beam to produce a 2-dimensional image. A C.T. (computed tomography) scanner uses a rotating x-ray head producing multiple x-ray beams which essentially capture slices of the body part being scanned. These images are then processed by advanced computer software to allow the vet to reconstruct a computer model of the part of the patient that is being scanned. This allows us to examine with great detail areas such as the inside of the nose or joints which were previously difficult to visualise using x-rays alone.
What can C.T. scanning be used for?
Conventional radiography produces a flat 2-dimensional image which is not ideal for certain parts of the body such as the nose or elbow joints. C.T. scanning allows us to visualise 3 dimensional images of the part of the body being scanned. This is particularly useful for parts of the body where conventional radiography. Essentially taking slices of the area being scanned, C.T. scanning allows us to see inside the nasal cavity, chest and joints. Below is a list of some of the common conditions where C.T. scanning may be useful
- Diseases of joints especially the elbow
- Nasal cavity problems such as aspergillosis or nasal tumours
- Investigation of thoracic or mediastinal diseases
- Planning surgical procedures such as fracture repair
- Middle ear disease
- Staging of neoplastic disease (cancer).
- Portosystemic shunts
- Specialist interpretation
It takes many years of advanced training to be fully competent in interpreting the images obtained from C.T. Our images will be digitally sent to specialist radiographers around the world for interpretation who will provide a detailed report of your pets’ scan within 1-3 days. In emergency situations, reports can be obtained within an hour of the scan.
Are there any risks from C.T. scans?
Similar to X-ray, C.T. scanning uses radiation to produce images of your pet’s anatomy. We therefore need to make sure that there is good reason to be using C.T. for each patient. There is a small risk associated with sedation or general anaesthesia required to allow positioning of the patients
Referrals from other practices
In the near future we plan to offer this service to local practices. Patients can be referred on a ‘scan only’ basis. Clinicians will be welcome to refer patients that require a C.T. scan. Our vets will provide a check-up prior to sedation or anaesthesia. Scan reports will be sent back to the client’s own vet for them to continue treatment. Our own vets will not be involved in the management of the case.
Photographs: credit to Vet CT