CT (computed tomography) has revolutionised the way in which both human and veterinary medicine is able to assess patients. The CT scanner at Castle Vets has allowed us to significantly change and improve how we approach certain cases; it also allows us to obtain very detailed pictures during a very short scan time, often avoiding the need for other diagnostic tests.
Our CT scanner allows us to obtain detailed images and rapid diagnosis of problems in dogs, cats and other small animals, without the need for our patients to travel long distances to veterinary referral centers. Currently, we are the only practice in the Berkshire area that is able to offer this service in-house.
How Does It Work?
The CT scanner emits a series of narrow X-ray beams through the patient’s body as it it is moved through the scanner; this data is then transmitted to a computer, which builds up a 3-D cross-sectional picture of that part of the body and displays it on the screen. This gives us a very detailed image and can often detect subtle changes that may be missed on an Xray or Ultrasound Scan. CT imaging has many uses including investigating some of the following common problems
- Respiratory disease e.g. chronic coughing, difficulty breathing
- Nasal problems
- Ear disease or infection
- Orthopaedic (bone) and joint problems including elbow dysplasia, spinal problems and fractures
- Soft tissue surgery planning to assess how deeply a tumour invades into the surrounding tissues
- Looking at organs such as the brain, lungs and digestive tract
- Trauma cases such as road traffic accidents
- Looking for migrating foreign bodies such as grass seeds
- Abdominal problems
Patients require a general anaesthetic or heavy sedation in order to have a CT scan, because they need to keep very still. However, CT scans are very quick, meaning that animals may only be asleep for very brief periods (often shorter than what would be required for diagnostic x-rays).
Our CT service is also available on an outpatient basis, for pets that attend another veterinary practice. If your vet has advised a CT scan may be necessary for your pet and you live locally, you are able to request a CT scan at Castle Vets and you should discuss this with your usual veterinary surgeon. The CT report will be sent directly to your usual veterinary surgeon, who will discuss the results and any necessary treatment with you. We will be happy to discuss booking outpatient CT scans with pet owners and referring veterinary surgeons on the telephone.