Computed Tomography (CT)

ct-scan-preparationComputed tomography (CT) is a non-invasive imaging method that uses a rotating X-ray beam and computer analysis to produce detailed, cross-sectional images. The VMC's CT machine has the ability to simultaneously acquire 16 three-dimensional "slices" or high-resolution images of an animal during each 0.5-second revolution.

CT is a three-dimensional X-ray. Once a patient is placed on a table in the machine's doughnut-shaped gantry, medical imaging specialists send X-rays all the way around the animal's enclosed body part to make multiple images. This technology also allows specialists to develop three-dimensional reconstructions of specific areas.

One of the technology’s main advantages is its speed: medical imaging specialists can conduct a CT scan on a patient in a matter of minutes. The machine's speed decreases anesthesia time. The shorter time frame for CT scanning also reduces the time that anesthesiologists must be separated from their patients by a protective lead barrier.

Medical imaging specialists often use CT technology to:

  • quickly assess serious fractures
  • identify nasal, ear, sinus or dental diseases in animals
  • investigate a patient’s soft tissues or bones for potential tumours, metastasis and other diseases
  • identify abdominal conditions
  • develop specific radiation therapy plans for veterinary oncology patients
  • diagnose and determine treatment options for certain musculoskeletal diseases
  • conduct contrast imaging for diagnosing complex disorders

The CT scanner is part of the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre's Medical Imaging Department that provides expertise and technology for the centre's Small Animal Clinic and Large Animal Clinic.

CT technology is available to large and small animal patients at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre.