We have installed a Siemens Emotion 16 slice CT scanner at Rosemary Lodge. This is an exciting addition to our range of diagnostic equipment and we are already seeing many benefits to our patients for its use.
CT (computed tomography) is essentially three dimensional x-ray. It has revolutionised the way in which both human and veterinary medicine is able to assess certain patients. CT and MRI work in very different ways and therefore each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, CT can provide excellent detail in bone, creating almost perfect 3D reconstructions of joints, whilst MRI is not a great tool for examination of bones. However, CT does not provide very good detail within the brain or spinal cord tissue, whilst MRI is able to show subtle changes due to inflammation or tumours.
The CT scanner at Bath Veterinary Referrals has allowed us to significantly change and improve how we approach certain cases. This scanner is a "16-slice" scanner allowing us to obtain very detailed pictures for a very short scan time. This means that we can achieve excellent detail in moving organs such as lungs. In fact, once you have seen the detail that we can achieve with CT it is very hard to go back to using x-rays, particularly for lungs and nasal chambers.
CT has many uses, including some of the following common investigations:
- Any respiratory disease e.g. chronic coughing, difficulty breathing
- Nasal diseases
- Orthopoedic diseases including elbow dysplasia and spinal fractures
- Soft tissue surgery planning to assess how deeply a tumour invades into the surrounding tissues
- Large dogs with any abdominal disease (CT has been shown to be more accurate than ultrasound to assess abdominal disease in dogs over 25 kg)
- Trauma cases such as road traffic accidents
We offer CT scans as either part of a referral investigation, which is often the most useful approach, or they can be performed as an outpatient procedure. In the latter case, the animal will be admitted by one of our nurses and the CT performed during the day. We will either provide you with a disc of images or can arrange an external specialist opinion on the scan. For outpatient scans, we need you to indicate which areas are to be scanned, whether you wish us to arrange a specialist opinion on the images and an indication of the clinical questions to be answered.
Outpatient scans do not include consultations or advice from our own clinicians, although if it becomes apparent that other tests would be useful, we will contact you to discuss this. We have set a range of prices for CT scanning that are very competitive (all include sedation or GA, the technique to be at our discretion, but GA offers distinct advantages in most animals).