As little as 10 years ago the thought of having a CT scan or MRI on a pet would have been wishful thinking! Today it is commonplace, but in order to provide such advanced imaging very special equipment and facilities is required. Luckily we have several specialist centres here in Melbourne offering these services. A number of them are located not too far away from Frankston.
CT scans are performed using a special x-ray machine that takes cross-sectional slices through the body. Powerful computer software takes these images and creates 3D reconstructions to allow very detailed analysis. CT scans are particularly useful for investigating problems in the skull and chest cavity.
An MRI scan uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take images of the body. An MRI works by placing a part of or the whole body through a large cylinder that contains a magnet creating a powerful magnetic field. This magnetic field causes changes in the atomic structure of water molecules in the various body tissues such that they release energy in varying amounts. This energy is detected by a computer and converted into the highly detailed images we recognise as an MRI scan. MRIs are very good for examining soft tissues such as the brain, muscle and internal organs.
Anaesthesia or heavy sedation is required to perform both a CT scan or MRI. The patient needs to stay perfectly still in order to get the images. Any movement can cause blurring and render the results useless.
CT and MRI scans, just like normal x-rays, are not painful and your pet will not suffer any long term health effects from having the procedure done.
Our team of veterinarians are well versed in the benefits of these advanced imaging techniques. We work closely with the specialists offering these services in order to provide your pet with the very best of care.