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ASCS New CT Scan

Now Offering CT Scanning: Image Is Everything

We are excited to announce the installation of a new, state-of-the-art Computed Tomography scanner allowing us to offer even more dynamic diagnostic tools for pets.

More commonly called CT or CAT scan, this modality allows us to see a pet’s soft tissue and bones with incredible detail. In fact, we can quickly and non-invasively identify internal structures and see their shape, size, density, and texture. For instance, if a tumor is found, the CT scan can determine its exact size and location. This is critical for a surgeon to know so that an appropriate treatment plan can be formulated.

Applications for CT include, but are not limited to:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Angular limb deformities
  • Complicated fracture planning
  • Surgical planning for mass excision
  • Evaluation of the skull, nasal cavity and inner ear
  • Spinal applications
  • Abdominal diagnostics (including contrast studies)
  • Staging for metastatic disease

How does CT work?

The pet is sedated with general anesthesia during the procedure, since he or she must remain completely still. The table on which the pet is lying is slowly advanced into the part of the machine that performs the scan. An X-ray tube rotates 360 degrees around the patient to record the X-rays from many angles. This data is transmitted to a computer, which builds up a 3D cross-sectional picture of the part of the body and displays it on a computer monitor.

Dr Shaw and CT Scan

Why CT scan, and not MRI ?

It remains a general consensus that CT scan is the application better suited to bone imaging, whereas MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) gives us more information about soft tissue structures; however, it is also well accepted that CT scan can do a good job with certain soft tissue applications, and that MRI can be adjusted to evaluate bone. In veterinary medicine, since MRI is generally associated with significantly greater overall cost, this modality has been mostly reserved for circumstances in which the cost can be justified; the need to image neurologic structures, such as the spinal cord and brain are good examples.  At this time, our facility does not house a veterinary neurologist, so we’ve chosen CT as the most universal tool for our practice’s needs. There may be extenuating circumstances for which you may be referred elsewhere for an MRI.

Staying on the forefront of technology

ASCS is one of the only independently owned surgical specialty practices from the Canadian border down to Olympia. With four board-certified veterinary surgeons, a physical rehabilitation center, and now CT diagnostic services, we are positioned to provide pets in the region with the latest treatments and highest quality of care, all under one roof.

They say image is everything – and we’d have to agree!

If your veterinarian has recommended that your pet receive a CT scan prior to treatment, take comfort in knowing that this technology is an important and safe step in caring for your pet.


Posted October 26, 2016 by ASCS in ASCS News with No Comments and tagged as , ,

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