RADIOLOGY AND ADVANCED IMAGING
Welcome to the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital Radiology and Advanced Imaging department. We are committed to providing optimal care to our patients using state of the art veterinary diagnostic imaging. We also provide outpatient imaging services for veterinarians. For information about our radiology and advanced imaging services, please call us at (310) 473-2951.
Radiographs, or x-ray studies, use x-rays to create an image of the body. This is the most frequently used form of veterinary imaging. Digital radiography does not use film, so it is faster to obtain the images and also makes it easy to share images with other veterinarians. Radiographs are used to diagnose disease in the chest, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system. Contrast studies of the gastrointestinal and urinary tract may also be performed.
Abdominal ultrasound images are obtained by using a probe that sends sound waves into and then receives them from the body. Ultrasound imaging allows us to evaluate the structure and architecture of internal organs. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, blood flowing through blood vessels can also be evaluated. Fine needle aspirates and biopsies are commonly obtained under ultrasound guidance. Ultrasound examinations are non-invasive and do not use radiation.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI)
MRI is a highly advanced, non-invasive imaging modality that uses a super-conducting magnet and radio frequencies to obtain detailed cross sectional images of the body. MRI is most commonly used to evaluate the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Patients are under general anesthesia for this procedure to ensure that optimal images are acquired to make an accurate diagnosis. Radiation is not involved in MRI.
HELICAL COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY
Computed tomography (CT) uses x-rays to obtain detailed cross sectional images of the body. Given the lack of superimposition, CT provides more detail than conventional x-rays. CT is most commonly used to evaluate the nasal cavity, lungs, and bone abnormalities. It is also used for radiation planning. Fine needle aspirates and biopsies may also be obtained under CT guidance. Patients are under general anesthesia for this procedure to ensure that optimal images are acquired to make an accurate diagnosis. Helical CT is faster than conventional CT, which decreases anesthesia time and also allows us to do contrast studies such as portal CT angiography.
Fluoroscopy uses a continuous low dose x-ray that allows evaluation of dynamic imaging of the body. It is most commonly used to diagnose diseases that involve motion, such as collapsing tracheas and swallowing disorders.
Services Offered in Diagnostic Imaging
- Abdominal ultrasonography-abdominocentesis and cystocentesis
- Thoracic ultrasonography / thoracocentesis
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography (CT scanning)
- Digital radiography
- Doppler ultrasound studies
- Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- OFA and PennHip evaluations
- Brain and spinal MRI
- CT Myelography
- Spinal radiography and fluoroscopy
- CT scan (brain, bullae, skull, spine)
- Dental Radiographs