ADVANCED IMAGING & RADIOLOGYThe WestVet Outpatient Imaging Center offers state-of-the-art animal radiology and outpatient services based on referrals from your family veterinarian.
Imaging technology advancements have dramatically improved diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases and injuries in pets. Our radiologists collaborate with other WestVet specialists to:
- pinpoint a diagnosis
- confirm the best course of treatment
- identify traumatic injuries
- provide additional expertise by reviewing medical imaging
Results are communicated verbally to referring veterinarians as soon as possible. Pet owners will receive a cohesive plan of action based on the imaging results and input from our radiologist and your family veterinarian.
Stable patients may be discharged. Patients requiring more medical or surgical intervention may return to your family veterinarian’s clinic or be admitted to WestVet.
Estimates may be provided to referring veterinarians upon request, and prior to referral. Imaging costs can be minimized by having ancillary diagnostics, such as pre-anesthetic blood work, completed by your family DVM before referral. Pet owners will always be presented an estimate for their outpatient imaging visit and will be responsible for charges incurred based on approved estimate.
WESTVET VETERINARY RADIOLOGY & DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES
Ultrasound (US) is an imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the anatomy of interest. This sensitive tool can evaluate the abdomen, cranial mediastinum, shoulder joint soft tissues, tendons, and heart.
This non-invasive procedure does not use radiation. US allows image-guided needle aspirates and biopsies of hard-to-reach tissues while minimizing complications. For most US exams, the patient remains awake or with a small amount of chemical restraint. Difficult biopsies or fractious patients may require sedation and/or general anesthesia.
Computed Tomography (CT) is an advanced imaging procedure in which ionizing radiation provides tomographic images (slices) of the patient. CT scanning provides incredible anatomical detail of structures like the skull, nasal passages, thorax, abdomen, spine, and elbows while avoiding the problems of superimposition seen on plain radiographs.
Orthopedic CT studies are routinely performed with heavy sedation. CT portogram and CT urogram require short episodes of general anesthesia (30 —40 minutes). It is the best imaging modality to evaluate complicated joints like the carpus, tarsus, and elbows, and patients with nasal diseases, head trauma, and thoracic or abdominal masses. CT tracks IV contrast boluses to visualize the arterial, venous, and portal circulation. CT-excretory urography assesses the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. CT post-myelogram is often performed to identify if any spinal cord compression is present.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) enables a radiologist to see soft tissues such as the brain or spinal cord, joints, and cardiovascular structures in even better detail than radiographs (x-rays) or CT-scan. MRI uses a strong magnetic field to excite or shift hydrogen ions (found in all tissues) and reads the energy emitted as they relax to their normal state. MRI is the gold standard for imaging the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord and to evaluate patients with lumbosacral stenosis syndrome and suspected iliopsoas muscle injury. General anesthesia is required during all MRI scans.
PennHip certification is the radiographic measurement of passive hip laxity and can be acquired as early as 16 weeks of age. Passive hip laxity is a reliable predictor of future coxofemoral degenerative joint disease (arthritis) in dogs and cats. PennHip radiographs are acquired with the patient under heavy intravenous sedation.
Fluoroscopy is a non-invasive procedure utilizing x-rays to help capture and monitor video images of specific parts of the body while they are in motion. Fluoroscopic exams provide real-time images using low levels of ionizing radiation. It is typically utilized to evaluate the trachea in cases of tracheal collapse, as well as the esophagus and pharynx for patients with swallowing disorders and regurgitation. Needle aspiration/biopsy may be performed under fluoroscopic guidance.
Contrast radiography is a radiograph acquired after a contrast medium has been administered to highlight or outline specific structures. This may include room air or CO2 gas, barium sulfate, or iodinated contrast agents. Typical contrast studies performed at WestVet include myelogram, fistulogram, cystourethrogram, intravenous pyelogram, and upper GI barium series.
Our veterinary radiologists collaborate with your family veterinarian to develop a treatment plan for your pet.
Board Certified Veterinary Radiologists play a key role in diagnosis and treatment. To become board-certified, a veterinary radiologist completes an undergraduate degree, four years of veterinary school, an internship and residency that includes an additional 3-5 years training, and successfully passes rigorous board examinations.
Training includes all areas of radiology, including radiographs (X-rays), computed tomography scans (CT scans), ultrasound (US), nuclear medicine imaging (NMs), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).