Does My Pet Need an MRI?

Most of us know someone who has had an MRI. The same advanced diagnosing technology is now available for our four-legged children.

During the last two decades MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) has become the gold standard for diagnosing issues that typically cannot be found using other modalities such as radiographs or ultrasonography. Once only available in the university setting, MRI is now widely available at referral and specialty animal hospitals. Due to the high cost of purchasing, maintaining, and staffing an MRI unit—it is not available in general veterinary practice.

MRI is the modality of choice for diagnosing issues relating to the brain and central nervous system, including the spine. The most common use of MRI is to locate herniated disks or tumors in the spine and to look for brain lesions or tumors. In addition, MRI can uncover hidden issues involving the nasal cavities, nose, ear, eye, bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints that physical examination, radiographs, or ultrasonography cannot find.

MRI is very safe as it does not use ionizing radiation like radiographs. Since the patient must remain very still during the MRI general anesthesia is required. Most MRI scans last 30 to 60 minutes. They can be followed immediately by surgery if necessary.

If your pet has been suffering with an unknown diagnosis, an MRI should be the next step in the process of bringing relief to your pet.

Here are photos of several of our patients who have benefitted significantly from an MRI.

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