Computed Tomography is a diagnostic imaging technique that examines every part of the body with extremely detailed images. It is an X-ray examination that collects data through the passage of X-ray beams in the selected area. These are processed by a computer in order to render a three-dimensional image.
Ticino Animal Hospital with this service, thus becomes one of the first specialized centers in Switzerland .
How are CT Scans Done?
The X-ray tube, which produces X-rays, rotates around the patient. The patient lies on a table that moves horizontally and passes through a circular machine. Sometimes, to get better images of the vascular system (arterial and venous) of organs and tissues, an iodine-based contrast medium is given intravenously.
Some of the Most Common Uses
• In Oncology for cancer staging, performing guided CT biopsies, and planning complex surgical interventions.
• For patients with multiple injuries, for example, due to car accidents or trauma due to a fall from a height, to check the condition of skeletal, brain, thoracic, and abdominal organs.
• In Orthopaedics to study different forms of dysplasia in hips, shoulders, and elbows, multiple fractures and facial trauma.
• In Neurology to study intracranial and spinal disorders (spinal trauma, herniated disc, inflammatory diseases)
• To increase diagnostic sensitivity when diagnosing thoracic and abdominal diseases which may be difficult to diagnose using other diagnostic aids, for example, lobar torsions, ectopic ureters, or portosystemic shunts.
• To study nasal cavities, frontal sinuses, the retrobulbar space, and the middle and inner ear.
About the Shortcomings in dogs and cats?
Since the CT uses X-rays, it is contraindicated in pregnancy and in case of allergy to the contrast medium.
The use of the contrast medium should be carefully evaluated in patients with diseases that damage kidney or liver organ function (diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure).
How To Prepare for this Examination?
In Veterinary Medicine, the CT scan is performed, except in special cases, under general anaesthetic. This is necessary not only to immobilize the patient, but also to obtain the best-quality diagnostic images. For this reason, and to administer the contrast medium, the patient must undergo blood testing beforehand.
It is important that the patient fasts for at least 8 hours (before the examination, water and usual drugs are allowed, since they do not affect the proper execution of the examination).
What Happens During the Examination?
A few days before the scheduled examination you will talk with the radiologist about the reason for the examination to optimize its protocol. All the patient's clinical-diagnostic documentation is collected (medical records, instrumental examination, specialist check-ups) and the required prescription is written by your veterinarian.
From the first visit it is important to report any previous episodes of allergic reactions (seasonal, food, drugs).
All examinations are completed within a day and patients are monitored post-anaesthesia to ensure their safety.
The duration of the examination varies according to the anatomical region and the diagnostic suspicion, over all it takes between 10 and 20 minutes. During the procedure, your pet's vitals will constantly be monitored by the dedicated team of anaesthetists.
After the examination, barring complications, the patient is discharged home and can continue with normal activities.
The lead anaesthetist will advise on food and water intake after the procedure.
How to Schedule an Appointment?
The appointments are scheduled directly with the responsible radiologist by calling +41 (0)91 225 3765.
When calling, it is advisable to have a prescription from your veterinarian.