What is a CT (computed tomography) scan?

CT is a diagnostic tool used to look at various parts of the body, especially those made of bone (including joints), air (including lungs and the nose), and soft tissue structures – particularly those with a blood supply.

Our pets are given a general anaesthetic so they remain still for the duration of the scan.  They lay on a table whilst the CT produces a continuous beam of x-rays which spin around in a doughnut shaped support called a gantry. Whilst this is happening, the table top can be electronically moved through the gantry.  Each revolution of the x-ray tube around the patient builds up slices of x-ray images.

After the scanning is complete, complex computer software produces images that enable the surgeon to provide an accurate diagnosis and create the most appropriate treatment plan.

CT scanning has a number of advantages over conventional X-ray radiography and other imaging techniques:

Interpretation: CT produces slices which are cross sections of the patient, making interpretation of complex parts of the body a lot easier.

Abnormalities: A CT scan allows the slices to be added together electronically to give much thicker slices. In this way, we often see small abnormalities that might otherwise have been missed.

Surgeon’s eye view: The slices from a CT scan can be electronically stacked up in any direction, which can help surgeons to understand disease better, as they can have a more three dimensional view of the abnormalities.

Speed and detail: The 128 slice scanner is incredibly quick and can build up very detailed pictures which is very important for conditions that are difficult to identify by other imaging techniques.

When should my pet have a CT scan?

The high-resolution images produced by the CT machine help us to evaluate your pet’s anatomy in great detail; detail that we would otherwise not be able to see with just standard x-rays.  CT scanners provide excellent detail of bony and soft tissue structures in the body. The most common areas of the body we image with the CT include the spine, the nasal cavity, the inner ear, bones, joints, the chest and lungs.

We can also use the CT machine to assess lymph nodes, the thyroid gland, abdominal organs, the skull, brain, and vascular structures.

A CT scan can also be combined with a contrast agent that is given to your pet intravenously, which allows us to see increased areas of blood flow in the body. This aids in the detection of cancer and areas of inflammation.

 

Why should I refer a pet in my care to The Pet Vet for a CT scan?

The Pet Vet is a state-of-the-art veterinary practice, led by a team that is committed to providing the highest standards of patient care and customer service. The Pet Vet has some of the most advanced CT scanning equipment available in veterinary facilities in the UK, making for a high quality, and efficient diagnostic service; and this enables us to provide better healthcare for the pets in our region.

Our 128-slice scanner with a fast rotation speed, can capture a large amount of information in just a few seconds; and very detailed information about certain parts of the body can be obtained in a way that is unparalleled by any other imaging technique or with CT scanners that take less slices in the imaging process.

Meet our Advanced Practitioner

Hugo Martins is an Advanced Practitioner in small animal surgery with an exceptional knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic and complex soft tissue conditions.  Hugo is based at our Rotherham surgery, but works across our group, supporting our vet teams with their orthopaedic and soft tissue case-loads.

Hugo is assisted by our Lead Surgical Nurse, Holly Wheelhouse.  Holly manages the preparation of our orthopaedic and soft tissue procedures, oversees the patient’s recovery until they are discharged, and acts as first point of contact for your customers whilst their pet is in our care.

How do I refer my pet to The Pet Vet for a CT scan?

We want to make this as easy as possible for you and your pet.

If you would like your pet to be seen at The Pet Vet then the initial contact should be made by your normal veterinary surgeon. You can ask your vet to refer your pet to us, however if they haven’t already examined your pet, your vet will want to do so before referring.

That’s it. You don’t need to do anything else. Leave the rest to us!

Your vet will then contact us, providing your pet’s history and any relevant information such as laboratory results, radiographs, scans, etc.

When your vet has contacted The Pet Vet, we will contact you to arrange an appointment with our Advanced Practitioner; but please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss the process in further detail, or if you have any questions.

We look forward to meeting you and your pet.

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