VCA South Shore (Weymouth) Animal Hospital

Computed Tomography (CT scanning)

Computed tomography (CT) over the last 15 years has become quite readily available in veterinary practice. CT, like radiography, uses x-ray beams to form images of the vertebral column. Tomography refers to the imaging of part of the body in sections or slices. CT images are usually collected in slices, recent ultra rapid imaging spiral and helical scanner.

CT is very useful for imaging of the vertebral column and skull, providing excellent spatial resolution. Imaging is most often done in 3mm slices, but can be refined to 1mm slices or less over specific lesions. Imaging diseases resulting in changes to the bone are particularly useful and include skull or vertebral fractures, vertebral instability, mineralized intervertebral disc extrusions (as seen in many small dogs), bone tumors, bone infections including diskospondylitis or otitis media/interna and also hemorrhage.

Imaging of the brain and spinal cord with just CT is of limited usefulness. This is because soft tissues are less clearly defined using the attenuation of x-rays. Large masses in the brain resulting in anatomical distortion, collection of fluid in large cysts or hydrocephalus and hemorrhage are indications for using CT. However small masses, small-moderate sized ischemic strokes, or inflammatory disorders are better imaged with MRI. In addition the CT artifacts (beam-hardening) seen due to the very dense bone in the low skull (petrous temoral bone of the caudal fossa) make imaging of the brain stem and cerebellum challenging.

Intravenous (iodinated) contrast agents can be administered to assist in the detection and extent of soft tissue involvement or diseases, particularly tumors, infectious or inflammatory diseases. Possible complications of intravenous agents include allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock. These complications are rare and generally manageable in the hospital setting, but could result in death.
CT does require anesthesia of the patient, but does not require specialized monitoring equipment. CT can be rapidly performed within a few minutes. Technicians must NOT remain in the same room as the patient and window or remote anesthesia monitoring devices should be employed.


Diagnostic Imaging, Internal Medicine, Neurology

General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately or come right in. We are available and have doctors and technicians in the building waiting to help you and your pet 24 hours a day.

As pet parents ourselves, we understand when there is a concern about your pet, waiting can be excruciating. That is why we are here for you 24 hours a day. There is no question, concern, or problem too small so don't hesitate to contact us or come right in!

*Please note that between the hours of 9pm and 7am, our front doors are locked for security. Please ring the door bell and a staff member will come to the door and assist you.