MRI (Magneting Resonance Imaging)

Did you know that we are able to offer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Pride Veterinary Hospital? Find out more about the procedure and what it involves.

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Did you know that we are able to offer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Pride Veterinary Hospital?

The top-of the-range machine allows us to safely investigate regions of the body which have previously been difficult to visualise, therefore enabling us to plan the best treatment or surgical options.

What Is MRI?

Unlike x-rays or Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, MRI works does not use ionising radiation, but instead uses a combination of a magnetic field and pulses of radiowaves to form a picture of the area being scanned. Very detailed computer images are produced showing the body in slices, with for example, the difference between tumour and normal tissue being clearly seen.

When Is MRI Used?

MRI scans are recommended for animals to diagnose and plan treatment in a wide range of conditions.

In some cases, this will be following x-rays or ultrasound, in other cases MRI may be the first technique to be used. For example, one of the differences to CT is that MRI allows us to ‘see into’ the brain; the white and grey matter of the brain react differently, allowing detection of tumours and other abnormalities.

MRI may be used for:

  • Investigating the cause of seizures and behavioural changes.
  • Investigating conditions causing weakness, loss of balance.
  • Assessing spinal disease and planning surgery e.g. disc protrusions (‘slipped’ disc) or tumours.
  • Investigating some abdominal conditions.
  • Examining joints for damage to ligaments and tendons particularly in the shoulder and elbow.

What Happens During An MRI Scan?

Your pet will be admitted into the hospital in the morning. An MRI scan is not painful, but because it is essential that your pet remain motionless during the procedure, general anaesthesia is used. This also avoids any anxiety for your pet during the scan.

The time for the scan will vary depending on the region involved and size of the animal. Once he or she has recovered from the anaesthetic, they will be able to go home, usually in the afternoon or early evening.

MRI is a safe procedure, tested on people for 20 years.

How Long Does It Take To Get Results?

As an MRI scan gives a detailed set of images it does take longer to interpret fully than a routine x-ray, however, results will normally be available within 24 hours.

Will MRI Make A Difference To Your Pet’s Healthcare?

In a word, yes!

MRI allows examination of regions which are difficult, often impossible to ‘see into’ with conventional techniques such as x-ray and ultrasound. For example, the brain, spinal cord and soft tissue of joints can be assessed much more fully, therefore enabling more accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment. Although sometimes brain tumours are detected, other times conditions which are suspected to be due to cancer, are found to have a more treatable cause.

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