We are fortunate to have a mobile MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Unit which visits the Hospital every month.
A scan is similar to an X-ray in that it will provide images of the inside of your pet, but it provides more detail and it is safer because it does not use radiation. While an X-ray or an ultrasound scan will show the size and shape of an internal organ or tissue, an MRI scan will show what the inside of the organ or tissue looks like.
It is particularly useful in imaging the nervous system, musculoskeletal structures (especially the joints), cardiovascular structures and abdominal organs. Common referral cases would include patients with seizures, vestibular symptoms, neck or back pain, paresis, ataxia, lameness, and abnormal nasal drainage or swelling.
It has specific advantages in veterinary medicine by allowing noninvasive diagnostic investigation into structures such as soft tissue and articular cartilages.
Animals need to be placed under general anesthesia for their scan because they need to remain
perfectly still for up to an hour.
MRI is considered the gold standard for diagnostic imaging of soft tissue structures including the and spine. Below is a MRI of a spinal cord where there is compression of the cord due to disc protrusion.
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