Diagnostic Imaging

Why does my pet need advanced imaging?

Advanced imaging allows a veterinarian the ability to visualize tissues, organs, and bones with a non-invasive procedure. It also provides the location and size of a possible abnormality. VCA RIVER’s advanced imaging services can provide diagnostic studies based on your pet’s medical history. Our goal is to provide exceptional service in a safe and clean environment.

Reasons to do a CT Scan:

  • Nasal discharge or swelling
  • Chronic ear discharge
  • Problems walking
  • Spinal issues
  • Changes in respiration
  • Diseases of the abdominal cavity
  • Suspicion of possible tumors

Advanced Imaging 2A CT scan uses radiation to produce images. It requires mild sedation so that the animal remains still during the procedure. A typical CT scan takes 15-20 minutes to complete and sometimes involves a contrast agent to “enhance” the area of concern.

Reasons to do an MRI:

  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Suspicion of tumor in the brain or spinal cord
  • Malformations
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

An MRI exam can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the exam that is ordered. The animal is under general anesthesia and carefully monitored during this time. An MRI uses a magnet and radio frequencies to produce images. A contrast agent can be given as well.

How to prepare for your pet’s visit:

  • Your veterinarian will send us a referral form in advance to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
  • Blood work and pertinent x-rays should be done within 2 weeks of the procedure.
  • Please do not feed your pet after 10pm the night before the procedure. It is fine for your pet to have water.
  • Your pet will have an IV catheter placed for the procedure to give sedation.
  • After the procedure, we will notify you when your pet is awake and ready to go home.
  • Your veterinarian will be sent a copy of the report from the procedure.
  • If necessary, a follow up appointment will be made with one of our specialists for further medical treatment.

To schedule an advanced imaging procedure, you will need a referral from your primary care veterinarian.