Computerized tomography (CT) is a procedure that uses high-powered x-rays to take a series of radiographs from many angles. A computer then compiles all the radiographs into a 3D representation that allows us to see what is happening inside your pet’s body. The images are viewed in “slices,” as though you’re looking at each slice of bread in a loaf.
We use CT scans to find tumors, foreign bodies, fractures, plan surgical procedures, and more. CT gives information in a different way than other imaging modalities, like ultrasound or radiographs, so we sometimes use these other methods in conjunction with CT to gather the most information.
The CT scan itself only takes about 10 minutes to perform. The pet needs to hold perfectly still to allow for clear images, so he or she will be sedated before the procedure. It is safest for your pet if you withhold food after 10pm the night before sedation. VES/VSC uses safe, short-acting and reversible sedatives, so your pet is usually awake a short time after the CT scan is finished.