What imaging techniques do pet hospitals have? What is the role?
Various imaging techniques in modern medicine enable veterinarians to observe the internal organs and structures of animals without exploratory surgery. These imaging techniques include computed tomography, endoscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, myelography, radionuclide imaging, radiography and ultrasonography.
Computer tomography (CT scan, or CT scan) is mainly used for brain imaging. It uses multiple X-rays to simultaneously scan complex forms of the body to diagnose brain and spinal cord diseases.
Endoscopy is usually used to examine the internal digestive system, which is very useful in the diagnosis of gastric ulcer and other diseases. Different forms of endoscopy can examine different areas of the body such as the nasal cavity, joints, bladder and abdominal cavity.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to display the details of the body. It is very useful to take pictures of soft tissues such as viscera and spinal cord.
Myelography is to inject dye into the spinal canal to obtain images of the spinal cord, thus observing very small changes, which can accurately locate the site of the injury.
Radionuclide imaging is the injection of radioactive compounds through blood flow to target organs such as bone, thyroid, liver and so on. The function and health status of organs are assessed by measuring the content of radiation in organs.
Radiographic examination (X-ray) can be used to detect fracture, pneumonia or swallowing foreign body by using the density difference of different tissues. Sometimes contrast agents (dyes) are combined with X-rays to further differentiate different tissues.
Ultrasound is a "real-time" imaging technology, which uses high-frequency sound waves to generate static or dynamic images. It can show tissues in action, such as a beating heart. Ultrasound can be used to guide biopsy needles when biopsy samples are needed for visceral organs such as the liver.
A variety of imaging techniques may be used when diagnosing specific diseases. For example, exploratory X-ray is the fastest and most economical imaging technique for pet spine injuries. It can find obvious fracture and displacement of spine (skeleton). Computerized tomography can detect small fractures that can not be detected by X-ray. MRI and myelography can be used for spinal cord (nerve) imaging.
As mentioned above, these modern medical imaging technologies enable veterinarians to make more accurate diagnoses, better customize treatment plans for certain diseases, and ultimately make pets healthier and longevity.