Veterinary Radiology / Diagnostic Services
WestVet offers the diagnostic services of two board-certified veterinary radiologists; Dr. Andrew Gendler and Dr. Rachel Shochet.
Radiology (X-ray) is an essential, non-invasive part of veterinary medicine. Likewise, an accurate interpretation of medical images is critical to an effective treatment plan.
WestVet is pleased to offer the services of Andrew Gendler, DVM, and Rachel Shochet, DVM, MS, both Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR).
To become board-certified, a veterinary radiologist completes an undergraduate degree, four years of veterinary school, an internship and residency—an additional 3-5 years training—and successfully passes rigorous board examinations. Training includes all areas of radiology, including radiographs (X-rays), computed tomography scans (CT scans), ultrasound (US), nuclear medicine imaging (NMs), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).
Radiologists play a key role in diagnosis and treatment; read more about their important contribution HERE.
Advances in imaging technology have dramatically improved diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases and injuries in pets. Dr. Gendler and Dr. Shochet will collaborate with other specialists at WestVet and area veterinarians in order to:
- Pinpoint a diagnosis.
- Confirm the best course of treatment.
- Identify traumatic injuries.
- Provide additional expertise by reviewing medical imaging.
The WestVet Outpatient Imaging Center offers state-of-the-art animal radiology and outpatient services based on referrals from your family veterinarian; download referral forms HERE.
After the imaging study is conducted, the results are communicated verbally to the referring veterinarian as soon as possible. Pet owners will be presented a cohesive plan of action based on the results of imaging and input from the both the WestVet radiologist and your family veterinarian.
Stable patients may be discharged to pet owners. Patients that require more medical or surgical intervention may return to the primary veterinarian's hospital or be admitted to WestVet based on a collaborative plan.
Estimates may be provided to referring veterinarians upon request and prior to referral. Patient costs can be minimized by having ancillary items such as pre-anesthetic blood work and intravenous catheters completed before referral. Owners will always be presented an estimate for their outpatient imaging visit and will be responsible for charges incurred based on approved estimate.
WESTVET VETERINARY RADIOLOGY SERVICES
Ultrasound (US) is a painless imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the anatomy of interest. It is a very sensitive tool used to evaluate the abdomen, cranial mediastinum, and the heart. This noninvasive procedure does not involve the use of radiation.
Additionally, ultrasound allows image-guided needle aspirates and biopsies of hard-to-reach tissues while minimizing complications. Most ultrasound exams can be completed with the patient awake or with a small amount of chemical restraint. Difficult biopsies or fractious patients may require more sedation and/or general anesthesia.
Computed Tomography (CT) is a painless imaging procedure in which ionizing radiation provides tomographic images (slices) of the patient. CT scanning provides incredible anatomical detail of structures like the skull, nasal passages, and elbows while avoiding the problems of superimposition seen on plain radiographs.
Orthopedic CT studies are routinely performed with heavy sedation while more involved CT studies (CT portogram, CT urogram) require short episodes of general anesthesia (30 to 40 minutes).
CT is the best imaging modality to evaluate complicated joints like the carpus, tarsus, and elbows. It is also well employed for patients with nasal diseases, head trauma, and thoracic and abdominal masses. CT can track IV contrast boluses to visualize the arterial, venous, and portal circulation. CT-excretory urography assesses the kidneys, ureters, and urinary bladder. Finally, CT post-myelogram is often performed to further characterize any spinal cord compression detected.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)- This powerful imaging tool enables your veterinary radiologist to see soft tissues such as the brain or spinal cord, joints, and cardiovascular structures in even better detail than with radiographs (x-rays) or CT-scan. MRI uses a strong magnetic field to excite or shift hydrogen ions (found in all tissues) and then read the energy given off as they relax to their normal state. Ionizing radiation (x-rays) are not employed to image the patient. MRI is the gold standard for imaging the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord and is also utilized to evaluate patients with lumbosacral stenosis syndrome and suspected iliopsoas muscle injury. General anesthesia is required during all MRI scans.
PennHip certification - PennHip evaluation is the radiographic measurement of passive hip laxity and can be acquired as early as 16 weeks of age. Passive hip laxity is a reliable predictor of developing coxofemoral degenerative joint disease in dogs and cats. PennHip radiographs are acquired with the patient under heavy intravenous sedation.
Fluoroscopy - Fluoroscopy is a non-invasive procedure which uses x-rays to help capture and monitor video images of specific parts of the body while they are in motion. Fluoroscopic exams provide real-time images using low levels of ionizing radiation. Fluoroscopy is typically utilized to evaluate the trachea in cases of tracheal collapse, as well as the esophagus and pharynx for patients with swallowing disorders and regurgitation. Needle aspiration/biopsy may be performed under fluoroscopic guidance.
Contrast radiography - Any radiograph acquired after a contrast medium has been administered to highlight or outline specific structures. This may include room air or CO2 gas, barium sulfate, or iodinated contrast agents. Typical contrast studies performed at WestVet include myelogram, fistulogram, cystourethrogram, intravenous pyelogram, and upper GI barium series.
Please see your family veterinarian for a referral for outpatient MRI, Ultrasound, or CT scan with our WestVet radiologist. If you have any questions regarding radiology for your pet, contact us at 208.375.1600.