Tuesday, May 27, 2014

So what is CT anyway?

CT is one of the most reliable and dependable imaging options available today and delivers fast results to expedite the treatment of your pets.

“CT or CAT (Computed Tomography and Computed Axial Tomography) is a non-invasive imaging technology that uses computer-processed x-rays to produce radiologic images of specific area(s) of the scanned object, allowing the user to see what is inside it without cutting it open. A CT produces a volume of data that can be manipulated in order to demonstrate various bodily structures based on their ability to block the x-ray beam. Although, historically, the images generated were in the axial or transverse plane, perpendicular to the long axis of the body, modern scanners allow this volume of data to be reformatted in various planes or even as volumetric (3D) representations of structures.”

Now that’s definitely more than a mouthful. T o simplify, basically a CT takes pictures (using x-rays) and these pictures allow the doctors to see what’s going on inside your pet.

Another way to visualize the process is to think of it like a loaf of bread. Each picture represents a slice of bread and the CT will show which “slice” has a problem. Where a x-ray only shows information in a 2D plane (similar to a picture or a drawing) a CT provides information to the doctor in three planes.

Additionally, with x-rays, you will get a certain degree of magnification, because it takes one picture (in a flat 2D plane), so there is no way of telling how far away or how deep “the problem” is because it is using just a flat view.

Alternatively, with a CT you gather much more information. Not only do you know which slice the problem area is on, but the information tells you how far left or right it is, as well as how deep within the patient it is (because of the 3 planes). In other words, you know exactly where the problem is located; adding in your doctors diagnosis.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How Can Your Pet Catch Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a condition characterized by inflammation of the lung. While there are several ways your pets can contract this condition, it’s important to get them treatment as soon as possible. But in order to know that your pet needs treatment, you need to be able to identify the symptoms. The sooner the veterinary specialists at VCA-VRA can get your pet tested for pneumonia, the sooner we can begin treatment and get your pet breathing correctly again!

Monday, May 19, 2014

To CT or Not CT?

The Benefits of CT over X-rays If you or your pet has ever been to the hospital, chances are that at some point you (or they) have had an x-rays. If you haven’t, I’m sure that you’ve at least seen them on a cartoon, ER, or Grey’s Anatomy.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How We Use Thyroid Scintigraphy as a Diagnostic Tool

Thyroid scintigraphy (thyroid scan) as a diagnostic tool:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Case of The Month: Norman Bauer Pt. 1

Norman, a 5-year-old bulldog, was having episodes of fever, restlessness, and panting. His veterinarian performed blood tests which revealed very high thyroid hormone levels. Although his symptoms could fit a picture of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), this is highly unusual in a dog and on the rare occasion it is seen, it is usually due to thyroid cancer.