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1. How safe are CT and MRI?

CT and MRI scanners have been safely used in animals and people for years. MRI uses strong magnetic fields to form images. Magnetic fields can interrupt function of pacemakers but is otherwise harmless. MRI studies should be avoided in patient's with pacemakers. CT uses x-rays. The risks of low dose x-ray exposure are very low and far outweighed by the potential benefits of the diagnostic test.

2. What are the side effects of radiosurgery?

Radiosurgery does not have the same side effects as it does in people. Your pet should not have any nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. A temporary "sunburn" effect or darkening of the skin, known as hyperpigmentation, may occur during therapy. Side effects only happen in the area being treated.


3.How do I get results?

A board-certified veterinary radiologist will view and interpret the images of your pet. The results will be reported to your veterinarian within 24-hours of the procedure.

4. Is anesthesia necessary for my pet's imaging procedure or radiosurgery?

Anesthesia is usually necessary for CT and MR imaging procedures, as the patient must stay perfectly still for several minutes to acquire a good quality scan. The risks of anesthesia are generally low but vary with the age and individual medical state of the patient. Radiosurgery patients often do not require anesthesia or may only need light sedation, especially if the therapy does not involve the area of the head. Anesthesia risks are minimized in our facility by choosing the safest methods possible and providing state of the art anesthesia and monitoring equipment monitored by experienced and caring doctors and veterinary technicians.

5. Should I feed my pet prior to a procedure?

It is best to prevent your pet from eating any solid food for 8-12 hours prior to an appointment at the center. If sedation or anesthesia is required for any reason, the risk of anesthesia is reduced if the stomach is empty of solid foods. Water typically empties from the stomach within 15-30 minutes so your pet can have access to water at home prior to your appointment.

6. How many radiation treatments are necessary?

Radiation treatments typically vary between 4, 12, 18, or 21. These amounts (or fractions) are dependent on your pet’s tumor type and the goal of therapy. Different tumors respond differently to various fractions of radiation. Your veterinary oncologist will determine the best amount to treat your pet.

7. What makes PetCure Oncology at VRIC different from other facilities that perform these procedures?

We provide outpatient services only, so we try our best to minimize your pet's hospitalization time away from you.

We have MRI, CT, x-ray and ultrasound imaging available at one site and will make sure we offer and perform the optimum imaging procedure for you pet.

Our imaging equipment is state of the art and maintained under service contract for optimal function with GE imaging specialists that service and install the same equipment at imaging centers for humans.

All our images are evaluated by a veterinary radiologist and all radiosurgery is prescribed by a veterinary oncologist. Planning is done by a veterinary radiation oncologist certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology and American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

8. How do I make an appointment?

You call the Center to make an appointment that is convenient for you.
Your veterinarian will fax the necessary paperwork.

9. What are the indications for CT and MRI?

In general, CT is performed most often to image diseases of the chest and nasal cavity. MRI is performed most often to evaluate the brain and spinal cord when clinical signs indicate disease of the central nervous system is likely. MRI is also very good for looking at joints and other musculoskeletal diseases especially when soft tissues are suspected to be abnormal.

There is some overlap in the use of CT and MRI and your doctor(s) may consult with our radiologist in choosing the best test for your pet in complicated cases.