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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 possibly result in death.

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Diagnostic Imaging

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, Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic uses 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.

The radiologists who work with Loomis Basin have completed a residency program and are board certified, just like our other specialists. A board-certified radiologist reads all radiographs taken at Loomis Basin at no extra charge to you. We are pleased to be able to offer access to four dedicated radiology specialists at Loomis Basin. Drs. Abby Dimock, Steve Harnagel, Eric Herrgesell, and Craig Long are part of Veterinary Medical Imaging (VMI) and work in partnership with us at Loomis Basin.

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

Ultrasound is a noninvasive, advanced technology that uses sound waves to examine specific internal organs, primarily the heart and abdominal organs. Ultrasound allows visualization of tendons, muscles, and joints, as well as internal organs. It is also a safe, nonpainful method of determining pregnancy and evaluating fetal health during pregnancy. Ultrasound can also be used to safely guide collection of cells or tissue samples for advanced diagnostics.

Our Diagnostic Imaging Services

Abdominal Ultrasonography-Abdominocentesis and Cystocentesis
Computed Tomography (CT scanning)
Digital radiography
OFA and PennHip evaluations

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