Leading up to CT for pets opening at Petfocus Vetcare this month, I thought I would take a moment to discuss the benefits of such technology for our four-legged friends.
A CT is a form of advanced imaging that uses x-rays to display the body in three dimensions.
The x-rays are emitted from 360 degrees around the patient to give 'slices' (not literally) through the body.
Normal x-rays are 2D pictures and can be helpful to survey for relatively basic conditions but CT scans can do things that x-rays cannot.
When there are multiple complex possibilities causing a problem in your pet, often a CT will get the answer more promptly.
This technology is very useful when looking at parts of the body such as nasal passages and sinuses, lungs, ears, abdomen and some bones and joints.
Your pet will be anaesthetised and laid on a CT table, which is slowly advanced through the scanning tube.
CT imaging will give better definition of complex joints such as the elbow.
To diagnose the cause of limping in pets, CT scanning is preferred over x-rays as they can pick up treatable problems that x-rays can't. This technology reduces misdiagnosis.
Whole body CT scans can detect neoplasia or cancer early and pick up on metastatic spread. Special dye injected into the vein can help contrast the tumours to allow them to shine like a Christmas tree.
Spinal problems are where the CT triumphs. It can magnificently image the discs in the spine to diagnose 'slipped discs' which are commonly misdiagnosed on x-ray alone.
CT imaging is a huge step in being at the cutting edge of medicine, allowing clinicians to be the best possible vets.