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General Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Computer Tomography (CT) Scan
 
Q.   How do CT scans differ from MRI scans?
A. CT and MRI images sometimes look very similar, but the equipment used to perform the scans is different. CT uses ionizing radiation just as with a routine X-ray, while MRI uses a magnetic field. Depending on the clinical indications, one may be preferred over the other, or both may be desirable. CT scanners are faster and as a result, claustrophobia and movement are not as problematic as with the MRI scanner.
Q.   Why is anesthesia necessary?
A. Because your pet must remain absolutely still during the scan, potentially up to 1 or 2 hours, anesthesia is necessary to insure a top quality study. Any anesthetic procedure involves some level of risk to the patient. They are generally low for our patients, but can vary with their age and individual medical status. That is why we obtain prior medical history and lab work from your veterinarian and discuss with them any potential anesthetic complications. Anesthesia risk is minimized in our facility by choosing the safest methods possible, and our state of the art anesthesia and monitoring equipment used by experienced and caring doctors and veterinary technicians.
Q.   Are there side effects to the anesthesia?
A. Most pets have little or no side effects from the anesthetic. Some pets may be drowsy or a little clumsy in walking and may have some vomiting after the anesthesia. General anesthesia is a serious matter, especially in a critically sick or unstable pet, and there can occasionally be severe reactions to the procedure that can be life threatening. There can also be allergic or other adverse reaction to the anesthetic in some pets, however these are very rare.
 
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