MRI - Frequently asked questions
Why does my animal need an MRI?
Unlike people, your animal can't tell us where it hurts. If common diagnostic procedures have failed to provide an answer, your animal may need an MRI. Knowing the cause of your pet's ailment can help you and your veterinarian decide what to do next. Many patients have gone on to successful surgery and have resumed an active life. In some cases, nothing further can be done to help the animal, but the owner has peace of mind that everything reasonable has been done. Here are some common themes we see in animals that are indicated for MRI:
1. Unusual changes in behavior such as circling, persistent head tilt, or depression
3. Unsteady gait
4. Foot dragging
5. Back pain
6. Lameness of shoulder or knee
7. Chronic nasal discharge
8. Oral tumors
9. Cancer surgery planning to define the margins of a tumor
10. Pre-surgical check for metastatic disease
CT scans are less expensive. Should we do that instead?
CT and MRI are used for two very different purposes. CT is better for imaging bone structures, while MRI is superior for evaluating brain or spinal abnormalities, cancer staging, soft tissue imaging of muscle, and locating the cause of certain orthopedic disease.
Is MRI Safe for my pet?
MRI scanners have been safely used in animals and people for years. MRI uses strong magnetic fields to form images. Magnetic fields can interrupt function of pacemakers but is otherwise harmless. MRI studies should avoided in patients with pacemakers.
Who INTERPRETS the Images?
we use a board certified veterinary radiologist to read all our images.
What else can you tell me about coombs veterinary hospital MRI?
We have an MRI technician who runs the technical side of the scans (the computer software) and has more than 15 years experience in MRI imaging. All our images are take in accordance to protocols established by the american college of veterinary radiologist. This includes the the ability to obtain all three planes (sagittal, coronal and axial), which can be limited with some mri machines. As well as being a large bore we can accomadate very large patients if necessary. Image quality is very diagnostic.
why is it necessary to use anesthesia?
Anesthesia is usually necessary for MR imaging procedures, as the patient must stay perfectly still for several minutes to acquire a good quality scan (20 minutes up to 1.5 hrs depending on the scan). The risks of anesthesia are generally low but vary with the age and individual medical state of the patient. We minimize anesthesia risks by choosing the safest methods possible and providing anesthesia and monitoring equipment monitored by experienced personnel.