CT raises the bar of the way we practice. Medical diagnoses are difficult, especially in pets who cannot tell us where the problem lies. CT often gives us the whole answer and almost always gives us better answers than other diagnostic techniques. Having good answers allows the best treatment plan to be made with resultant better outcomes. CT is all about getting good ANSWERS.
Some of the best uses of CT include the following:
Inner ear problems – Non-responsive ear infections are often the result of underlying inner ear problems. There is no way to clarify these lesions other than with CT. With proper treatment of the deep lesions which often go undiagnosed that chronic ear problem may finally be corrected.
Sneezing – Nasal Masses are almost impossible to see on regular radiographs. With CT we get excellent visualization. This will allow proper biopsy to be completed under CT so that we get accurate tissue samples.
Brain tumors – can often be seen with CT at a fraction of the time under anesthesia and cost that an MRI would require. Some brain tumors can be treated with a good outcome. Even knowing that a non-operable tumor exists can allow you to make the best decisions for the life of your pet.
Cancer Metastasis Screening. CT is the gold standard for metastasis screening offering far better sensitivity than plain film radiographs and ultrasound. Small tumors are easily picked up in the lung fields. Whole body CT is easy with this machine and allows us to find tumors throughout the body.
Disc disease and protrusions. Advanced Imaging CT is available 24-7 to diagnose disc disease. This will determine whether your pet will need spinal surgery. The CT will provide the surgeon with the location and severity of the disc lesion so the appropriate therapy can be chosen. Hours count when your pet has a disc prolapse. The prognosis for a positive outcome decreases by 50% every 24 hours. Waiting to get the proper imaging could mean the difference between your pet walking again or being paralyzed. With direct CT and or CT myelograms we get complete answers in minutes.
Patent Ductus Arteriosis is a condition where the blood vessels around the heart do not develop properly. With corrective surgery your pet can usually lead a normal life. However, the surgery is not simple and CT will allow a much better prognosis for a good outcome. 3D reconstructions allow the surgeon to practice the specific steps necessary for your pet prior to surgery ensuring the best chance of a good outcome.
Ectopic ureters are easily and accurately diagnosed with CT. This condition can cause that dribbling or inappropriate urination that has been bothering you. The contrast media is excreted by the kidneys and flows down the ureters allowing excellent visualization. With 3D reconstruction and rotation of the images, the surgeon can determine exactly where the location of the opening is so exact corrective measures can be taken.
Complicated Fractures can be very challenging to repair. Utilizing CT imaging combined with 3D printing the fracture reconstruction can be pre-practiced on artificial bones. All the sizes of implants, screws and bone pieces will be pre-determined so there is no guesswork during surgery. Surgery times are reduced and recovery will be more rapid.
CT Guided Biopsies. Sometimes we need biopsies of small masses deep within the body to get answers. With CT guided biopsies we can accurately guide a needle into the lesion and get the sample – something that would have been impossible without CT.
Tracheal Stent Sizing – Size matters! Tracheal stents can be life saving to pets with collapsing tracheas. These are usually Pomeranians or Silkies and Yorkies. The most difficult part of stenting is to determine the correct sized stent. Standard radiographs only give a 2D view of a 3D structure. With 3D CT we can very accurately determine the correct stent size. Once a stent is in place for more than a few days it is impossible to remove therefore initial sizing is critical. With CT we get the size right the first time!
Elbow Dysplasia – The elbow is an incredibly complicated joint. It is exceedingly difficult to image the elbow with plain film radiographs. Small bone fractures or spurs are often missed. With CT imaging we can see all of the nook s and crannies of this (and other) joints so we can fully understand any pathology and set the correct treatment plan.
Rotational Conformational Abnormalities – You may have a pet who’s front feet aim out or who’s kneecaps are constantly coming out of joint. These are the result of abnormal development of the bones of the legs. If these are severe enough they should be corrected to prevent severe arthritis developing later in life. With 3D reconstructions and bone models, these very complicated surgeries can be practiced on copies of your pet’s bones – before actual surgery.
These are just a few of the ways CT can be used to improve outcomes of common veterinary problems. Dr. Joseph Edhlund performed his first CT on a pet in 1982 and has frequently used CT on cases through the years. He has studied CT imaging at numerous courses including at Cambridge in England. He has seen the value CT can add to case outcome for decades. He coordinates with radiologists around the world for consultations on difficult cases. With the installation of the Advanced Care CT the improvement of case outcomes has become routine rather than exceptional. If you want the best outcomes for your pet’s problem, please contact Gentle Vets Advanced Care or have your veterinarian contact us to see how we can help!