Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are important diagnostic tools in neurology cases and also in many non-neurological imaging cases. As a service to referring veterinarians and their clients, the Veterinary Neurological Center offers high quality on-site CT and MR imaging at a low cost to its clients.
Referring the Patient
The primary care veterinarian refers the client and pet to the Veterinary Neurological Center by submitting the Non-Neurological CT/MR Imaging Referral Form online or via fax to the VNC. Current labwork (CBC, Chemistry Profile, Urinalysis) performed within 10 days is required for any patient undergoing an anesthetic procedure at the VNC. Lab results should be sent to us prior to the appointment or provided at the time of the appointment. The referring veterinarian will decide which type of non-neurological imaging is appropriate, CT vs MRI. CT is generally better in evaluating bone or calcified tissues while MRI is usually better in evaluating soft tissues.
Scheduling the Procedure
The owner will contact us to schedule an appointment. Food and water should be withheld from pets for 12 hours prior to the appointment to prevent any anesthetic complications due to nausea, vomiting or aspiration of food. Small amounts of water may be provided to avoid dehydration. If your pet is diabetic, consult your veterinarian about feeding prior to the appointment. Your referring veterinarian should advise you as to whether or not you should continue giving any current medications.
The owner will fill out the Non-Neurological CT/MR Imaging Registration Form. The form can be completed:
- by printing it, writing in the information and bringing it to the appointment or
- in the office prior to the procedure.
The cost of the procedure is paid at the time of registration. The Veterinary Neurological Center accepts several different forms of payment: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Care Credit checks (in-state), money order or cashier’s check, and cash.
The history and medical record are reviewed by a VNC staff neurologist who will examine each patient prior to undergoing anesthesia.
The neurologist will direct and supervise the care of the pet while hospitalized. Specially trained CT and MRI technologists and veterinary technicians with experience in anesthesia and recovery, assist the staff neurologist. Clients are welcome to wait at our facility, however, the pet’s stay will be approximately 2-4 hours so clients may wish to make plans to return later. Although the CT or MRI study will take only 15-45 minutes, general anesthesia is required in order to prevent movement during the scan. The pet will be observed in the hospital until fully recovered from the effects of anesthesia.
The doctors at the Veterinary Neurological Center do not interpret the results of non-neurological studies. Instead, the digital images of the study will be transferred to a board-certified radiologist for interpretation (if requested by the referring veterinarian). Results of the study will be sent via email or fax to the referring veterinarian within 2 business days. The imaging study will be copied to CD and given to the referring veterinarian via the owner (or it can be mailed to the veterinarian upon request).