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X-Rays & CT Scans for Cats & Dogs

For the purpose of providing ongoing care and treatment for animals, the technology that we utilize in our veterinary clinic is absolutely necessary. In this section, our Fort Worth veterinarians answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding diagnostic imaging for pets and share some information about CT scans and X-rays for dogs and cats on the internet.

How Diagnostic Imaging Helps With a Cat or Dog's Care

Diagnostic imaging tools such as X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans help your vet to gain an in-depth view of the internal functions of your pet.

Electromagnetic radiation and other technologies are used in routine diagnostic imaging procedures for dogs and cats. They capture extremely detailed images of your pet's bones, soft tissues and other internal structures so your vet can offer an accurate diagnosis and plan effective treatments. 

What do we learn with X-rays and CT scans for cats and dogs?

While either one can be used to gain a better understanding of your pet's health, X-rays and CT scans are performed differently:

X-rays (Otherwise Known as Digital X-rays or Radiography)

We use very low doses of radiation to show us the internal structures of cats and dogs that we would not be able to see otherwise. This is accomplished through the use of a digital X-ray, also known as a radical.

Diseases of the spinal cord, arthritis, broken bones, bladder stones, and certain tumors are some of the conditions that can be diagnosed through this procedure, which also involves the evaluation of organs and bones.

The fact that these low levels of radiation are completely safe for your pet is something that we would like to bring to your attention in order to help put your mind at ease. Due to the extremely low level of radiation, it is even safe to use on pregnant animals that are kept as pets.

CT Scans (Also Called CAT scans)

Computed tomography, commonly known as a CAT scan or CT scan, is a valuable tool for evaluating various parts of the body, including the nasal passage, sinuses, lungs, thorax, ears, abdomen, and certain orthopedic areas.

If your cat or dog has conditions like lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, metastatic cancer (prior to surgery), chest cavity tumors or masses, nasal cavity disease, spinal or pelvic trauma, vascular anomalies, or orthopedic developmental disease (such as elbow dysplasia), your vet might utilize CT scans.

Using CT scans for diagnosing imaging allows your vet to obtain a clearer view of the bones and soft tissues. Your pet will be positioned on a table that will gradually move into the machine, generating a complete image during the scan. Performing these scans is quick and efficient.

An X-ray tube rotates around the patient to capture images from multiple angles, creating slices based on the suspected health issue. Stacking the slices together produces a 3D image of your pet, ensuring that no other tissues or organs are superimposed. 

Is sedation needed for routine diagnostic imaging for dogs or cats?

Your vet will consider several factors before deciding whether or not to sedate your pet for their diagnostic imaging appointment. Using anesthesia may still be recommended by the vet for imaging certain parts of your pet's skeleton.

Your dog or cat must remain completely still throughout the entire duration of the CT scan. Your pet's vitals will be closely monitored throughout the entire procedure due to the heavy sedation they will receive.

If biopsies are necessary before an ultrasound, your pet will need a strong sedative or short-acting anesthetic to help them relax during the procedure and prevent any potential complications. If required, your vet will notify you.

What happens after X-rays or CT scans for cats and dogs?

The results of digital X-rays will be reviewed by our veterinarians, and they will devise a treatment plan that is tailored to the requirements and conditions of your pet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes only. Harris Parkway Animal Hospital is only able to offer X-rays, not CT scans, at this time.

Would you like to learn more about what to expect during your pet's X-ray appointment? Contact Harris Parkway Animal Hospital today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable veterinarians.

New Patients Welcome

Harris Parkway Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fort Worth companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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