Computed Tomography Scan (CT)

What is a CT scan? 

Standiford Veterinary Center strives to provide our patients with the highest level of care. One of the many advanced medical services provided is Computed Tomography or CT scan. CT takes numerous thin “slices” (or X-rays) of the area of interest and then reconstructs the data mathematically into a highly sophisticated and detailed 3-D representation. This scan can be rotated allowing the bones, soft tissue, and vascular structures to be isolated and individually evaluated. Contrast media can be included to markedly improve imaging accuracy and sensitivity. 

When might my pet need a CT scan? 

Most patients are referred for advanced CT imaging when routine diagnostics such as ultrasound or radiographs cannot accurately provide the information needed for a diagnosis or prognosis. CT is exceptional in detecting changes in bones, joints, and cavities or sinuses in the head including the inner ear. The CT also visualizes the spine, chest, lungs, and abdomen. Again contrast agents can provide a detailed map of the blood flow to particular areas such as the liver. 

What can I expect when my pet is referred for a CT scan? 

Due to the need for highly detailed imaging, general anesthesia is required to ensure your pet remains comfortable and motionless. Most procedures are completed quickly, usually in less than 10 minutes. This means most pets will be discharged and return home the same day. Your pet will be admitted just as with any other procedure and our highly trained staff and veterinarians will provide the necessary information needed prior to and after your pet’s procedure. The data collected will be sent to a board-certified radiologist for interpretation. Your veterinarian will receive a detailed report providing the most likely diagnosis or differentials that can be correlated with other information and physical symptoms to recommend the best course of treatment and prognosis for your pet. 

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