What Is A Veterinary Radiologist?
A board certified specialist in veterinary radiology is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in all aspects of imaging, including radiography (x-ray), ultrasonography, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, and biopsy techniques. A veterinary radiologist is trained to make optimal use of sophisticated, high tech equipment that can aid in the diagnosis and proper treatment of many serious diseases.
Veterinary Radiologists typically work in support of general practitioner veterinarians and other specialists. The signs of disease on a veterinary x-ray or ultrasound are often very subtle. It can take significant expertise to read these subtle signs. However, they are less likely to be missed or misinterpreted if a radiologist is consulted.
Why Does My Pet Need To Be Referred to A Veterinary Radiologist?
Specialists in veterinary radiology frequently work in a support role with general practitioner veterinarians or other types of specialists in order to help:
- Pinpoint a diagnosis
- Confirm a course of treatment
- Identify traumatic injuries
- Provide additional expertise or a second opinion by reviewing routine x-rays, ultrasounds, etc.
- Assist in performing biopsies or fine needle aspirates
Some general practices have board certified veterinary radiologists on staff within their own hospitals. In other cases, general practitioners will consult with or refer patients to veterinary radiologists at referral practices. While many general practitioners routinely take radiographs or offer ultrasonography in their own practices, board certified radiologists are frequently needed for additional consultation. Thanks to the magic of telemedicine, veterinary radiologists can also review images and offer consultation remotely to any practice via the Internet.
When a pet needs a CT scan or an MRI, these types of sophisticated medical services typically can be obtained at veterinary imaging referral centers or university sites staffed by boarded specialists. Due to the expense of the equipment and the specialized training required, these types of services are generally available only at such referral facilities.
While your general practitioner veterinarian can handle many aspects of your pet's care, just as in human medicine, there is sometimes a need for the attention of a specialist to either take over the pet's treatment or work in tandem with the doctor as veterinary radiologists typically do. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.
Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved In My Pet's Care?
Yes. In almost all cases, your regular veterinarian will still supervise your pet's veterinary care. Veterinary radiologists typically work in concert with general practitioner veterinarians and other specialists to diagnose and treat pet's injuries and illnesses. They help provide your primary care veterinarian with additional information about your pet's health status.