Computer Tomography (CT) was first developed in the early 70's as a method of imaging using Xrays.
Because the technique uses a very fine beam of Xrays detected by a fine array of sensors a 3D picture can be built up of the subject being examined. There are three types of CT, helical, linear and cone beam, helical and linear provide the greatest image quality allowing detailed imaging of patients as large as a Great Dane’s chest to as small as a kitten’s foot.
The inherent contrast afforded by the differences between, air, bone, fat and soft tissue is also enhanced by the use of Iodinated intravenous or intra arterial contrast (intravenous being the most common) and so very fine detail of tomography, internal architecture and vascular supply and drainage is possible for bones, the abdomen, the chest, head and neck in fact almost every body part. Only brain, spinal cord and muscular tendinous injuries are areas where MRI may provide superior imaging.
CT scanning is as rapid as routine radiography and in many cases quicker and has proved to be invaluable to the improved diagnostics for orthopaedic disease and injuries for cats and dogs, especially in elbow dysplasia and patella luxation where the improved diagnostics are making our treatments more accurate with improved functional outcomes and reduced complications.
Having this facility on site also allows us to provide these benefits to you as a primary care clinician through our ‘Out-patient imaging service’.
The aims of the Out-patient Imaging Service are for you to be able to offer this level of investigation and imaging as a direct extension of your practice. The service to your client should be simple and straight forward at an affordable price so that it is available to as many as possible. You will receive a detailed imaging report from Vet CT Specialists within 1-3 working days so that you can determine the best course of action for your patient (Faster reports are available at extra cost with reports returned within 24 or 4 hours depending on the urgency).
The only restriction to the service is that we ask that the patients are stable for transportation as a day patient and that they do not pose a significant risk during anaesthesia as a result of their condition (patients that have unstable medical or surgical conditions would be more responsibly seen at a facility where referral medical and or anaesthesia clinicians are available). Some patients will require pre-GA blood tests prior to their scan, particularly if a contrast study is likely.
If you have a case that you would like to discuss whether CT would be appropriate please feel free to ring or email, if necessary we can contact Vet CT specialists on your behalf to enquire about the most appropriate imaging for your patient.
Out-patient CT cases will be admitted by a registered veterinary nurse or intern and will receive a veterinary examination prior to sedation/anaesthesia to ensure that we are happy to continue with the scan, but it must be made clear to your client that they are being sent for a CT scan only and not a full referral. We will not divulge any results to your clients on the day of the scan, all reports will be e-mailed directly to yourselves.
If you have an orthopaedic case that you think may benefit from a CT scan, you can refer these cases for an Out-Patient CT scan only, or via the usual route of a full orthopaedic referral.
Finally if you have any questions or suggestions as to how we could make this service more useful to you please let us know.