VCA SE Portland Surgery Specialists

Diagnostic Imaging

Diagnostic Imaging

We offer non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnostic imaging, including:

  • Digital radiography
  • Ultrasonography
  • Diagnostic Endoscopy
  • Diagnostic Arthroscopy
  • Diagnostic Laparoscopy
  • Diagnostic Thoracoscopy

Although we currently don't have in-house CT-scan or MRI units, we can assist you in scheduling these procedures in a timely manner at a convenient location. Our surgeons are very experienced in interpreting CT-scans and MRIs and will receive a copy of the entire examination from the facility you choose to have the exam done.

We are also ready to answer any questions you might have on these procedures, including advantages and limitations of each one, and inform you about costs and image quality offered by the different providers.

Ultrasonography (ultrasound):

Ultrasonography is a non-invasive diagnostic image modality.

The equipment used produces non-harmful sound waves that pass through the body and are captured by a special sensor. A computerized system transforms the captured sound waves into images. Abnormal tissues absorb or transmit waves in an abnormal manner, producing a distorted image. The trained veterinarian monitors the images on a screen, and can immediately recognize the abnormal pattern. If recommended a biopsy of the abnormal tissue can be performed under the guidance of the image.

Our surgeons are capable of performing some basic ultrasonographic studies with our own ultrasound unit, and will use it in emergency cases.

As a convenience to you and your pet, and following our commitment to the best care, we typically prefer to have a highly trained imaging specialist come in to perform the ultrasound on your pet.

The on-call image specialists with their advanced equipment and their extensive expertise will then perform a more comprehensive ultrasound study on your pet.

The in-house, on call, ultrasonography combined the best professional work with the

Digital Radiography (X-rays):

The times of the old silver-lined flat films are over! We are in the age of high resolution digital radiography.

Is it better than the old fashion way? It certainly is, and for several reasons:

  • The image produced by digital radiography is high resolution, producing better definition and more detailed images than the old flat films can produce. 
  • The image can be digitally manipulated to contrast different tissues, decreasing the need for repeated exposure to X-rays.
  • Digital radiography is environmentally friendly, as it does not require the silver-impregnated cellulose films or the harmful chemicals to process them. The image is virtual and lack of toxic residues is real and measurable!


Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Procedures:

Diagnostic Endoscopy:

Digestive and upper airway inspection can be performed with the aid of an endoscope, using normal anatomic openings such as the mouth, nose and trachea.

Endoscopes have an intense (but harmless) light source and are equipped with a camera that magnifies and capture the image as it is advanced through the airways or digestive tract.

The magnification allows detection of abnormalities not seen by other image techniques, and the physical contact with tissues allows collection of biopsy samples when abnormalities are found.

Diagnostic Laparoscopy:

Although typically thought of as a therapeutic intervention, minimally invasive laparoscopy can also be used as an image diagnostic tool.

The laparoscope is similar to an endoscope: it has a bright, harmless light source and a tiny camera that produces high resolution magnified images that are monitored on a dedicated screen. When introduced into the abdomen, the camera allows direct imaging of several organs, including liver, pancreas, spleen and ovaries. Only small cuts are required to introduce the camera and see the insides of your pet's belly.

Biopsies can be performed when abnormalities are found.

Diagnostic Thoracoscopy:

Thoracoscopy is to the chest what laparoscopy is to the belly.

The scope, with its bright harmless light, and a tiny camera are introduced into the chest cavity by very small incisions. The high resolution camera produces magnified images that are monitored on the screen. The lungs, heart, great vessels and the inside lining of the chest can be visualized in detail.

Biopsies can be performed when abnormalities are found.

Diagnostic Arthroscopy:

Sometimes just an orthopedic examination is not enough to determine what is causing that limping in your pet's leg.

Although we almost always can determine with the physical examination which joint is hurting, not always can we tell you why and prescribe the precise treatment.

Diagnostic arthroscopy allows us to look inside the affected joint for a conclusive diagnosis. Often the joint can be treated in the same procedure, making arthroscopy an invaluable diagnostic and treatment tool for your friend's joint problems.

Services Offered in Diagnostic Imaging


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:


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Emergency Care

We operate in a hospital that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for urgent and emergency care. Our Board Certified Surgeons are available on "on-call" basis for exceptional cases that require specialized care.

Where your pet is never alone

VCA SE Portland Animal Hospital

13830 SE Stark Street

Portland, OR 97233

Phone 503-255-8139

Fax 503-257-2081