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Computed tomography (CT) over the last 15 years has become quite readily available in veterinary practice. CT, like radiography, uses x-ray beams to form images of the vertebral column. Tomography refers to the imaging of part of the body in sections or slices. CT images are usually collected in slices, recent ultra-rapid imaging spiral and helical scanner.

CT is very useful for imaging of the vertebral column and skull, providing excellent spatial resolution. Imaging is most often done in 3mm slices, but can be refined to 1mm slices or less over specific lesions. Imaging diseases resulting in changes to the bone are particularly useful and include skull or vertebral fractures, vertebral instability, mineralized intervertebral disc extrusions (as seen in many small dogs), bone tumors, bone infections including diskospondylitis or otitis media/interna and also hemorrhage.

Imaging of the brain and spinal cord with just CT is of limited usefulness. This is because soft tissues are less clearly defined using the attenuation of x-rays. Large masses in the brain resulting in anatomical distortion, collection of fluid in large cysts or hydrocephalus and hemorrhage are indications for using CT. However small masses, small-moderate sized ischemic strokes, or inflammatory disorders are better imaged with MRI. In addition the CT artifacts (beam-hardening) seen due to the very dense bone in the low skull (petrous temoral bone of the caudal fossa) make imaging of the brain stem and cerebellum challenging.

Intravenous (iodinated) contrast agents can be administered to assist in the detection and extent of soft tissue involvement or diseases, particularly tumors, infectious or inflammatory diseases. Possible complications of intravenous agents include allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. These complications are rare and generally manageable in the hospital setting, but could result in death.

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Diagnostic Imaging

At VCA Advanced Veterinary Care Center, we utilize state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment in the care and treatment of pets. CT scanner, endoscopy, radiology, and ultrasonography are among the technologically-advanced complement of tools providing superior imagery that are utilized at our hospital to perform diagnostic testing.

Sometimes we are unable to determine from a physical examination what may be troubling your pet. This can be frustrating to you and uncomfortable for your pet. When this happens, we use state-of-the-art noninvasive radiology to help diagnose many pet illnesses and injuries. The specialists we work with, called radiologists, correlate medical image findings with other examinations and tests to help in the diagnosis of many disease conditions. We are committed to providing optimal care to our patients using state of the art veterinary diagnostic imaging. We also provide outpatient imaging services for veterinarians.

The radiologists at our hospital have completed a residency program and are board certified, just like our other specialists. A board-certified radiologist reads all radiographs taken at no extra charge to you.

CT scans allow visualizations of internal organs and soft tissues that are often not detectable with routine X-rays. X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing. Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of your pet’s body from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation. CT gives tremendous insight and accuracy into the diagnosis of nasal and pulmonary disease, as well as helping us to plan surgery.X-rays and CT scans help our veterinarians evaluate:

  • Musculo-skeletal system for bone and muscle disorders
  • Tooth, jaw, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems
  • Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Gastrointestinal and digestive system problems
  • Reproductive organs
  • Urinary elimination systems

Our Diagnostic Imaging Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography-Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Computed Tomography (CT scanning)
Digital Radiography

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