Special imaging techniques are a vital part of the diagnosis and treatment of most problems. Our methods of imaging through state-of-the-art technology help us to locate and diagnose your pet's problem with precision.
Radiographs are now recorded in digital format, rather than on film, which allows them to be transmitted to any computer in our hospital as well as to radiologists at other locations, within seconds. For our radiography we use Eklin Digital Reading system, the forerunner in radiography technology.
The combination of this cutting edge process and technology for our imaging allows images of the affected tissues to be captured with considerable speed. Therefore, it is much gentler and safer for your pet, as it causes minimal stress and minimal exposure to radiation. In addition, this technology also provides a dramatic increase in image quality, which allows for a more accurate diagnosis.
Ultrasound is a noninvasive imaging test that is performed most commonly on the heart, chest cavity, or abdominal cavity. With ultrasound, sound waves are used to view solid organs, such as the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and bladder. An ultrasound is often performed in conjunction with radiographs (x-rays).
Ultrasound of the abdomen allows for visualization of most of the abdominal organs including liver, gallbladder, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and prostate (in male dogs). It allows for a noninvasive diagnosis of many abdominal conditions, including tumors, obstructions, pregnancy, and congenital disease.
The cardiac ultrasound, echocardiography, allows for evaluation of heart size and function. The thickness of the heart walls, the size of the heart chambers, the appearance of the heart valves, and the strength of the heart contraction and anatomy can be determined. The methods of imaging we use serve as useful tools for determining if disease is present and for evaluating its severity.
As one method of imaging, our veterinarians use Computed Tomography (CT) scanning. A CT scan allows veterinarians to visualize and evaluate parts of the body that are hard to evaluate with traditional imaging methods, such as traditional x-rays. CT scans make it possible to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more accurately than with other imaging tools. Physicians use CT scans to check for diseases of the brain, sinuses, inner ear, eye socket, intervertebral discs, bones, joints, spine, and soft tissues.
Veterinary Specialty Care offers the fastest, most advanced and safest MRI in South Carolina. Veterinary Specialty Care is dedicated to improve patient care in their everyday practices. When a patient is sent to Veterinary Specialty Care for an MRI, results of the exam are returned within 24 hours with STAT turnaround available.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses a magnet and computer technology to produce three-dimensional images of the body in a manner that is similar to CT scanning. Unlike CT, however, MRI depends on the magnetism of body tissues rather than x-rays. A pet undergoing MRI is placed on a moveable table that passes through a magnet. By moving the pet within the scanner, doctors can obtain a series of parallel images in multiple planes called slices. Using computers, we then apply algorithms to highlight certain tissues. We examine the series of slices to understand the three-dimensional structure of the body. Our 1.5 Tesla magnet is the highest strength in South Carolina.
Endoscopy is a noninvasive procedure that is used to evaluate and collect samples from the interior surfaces of internal organs. This procedure is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and there is minimal discomfort to your pet. All pets are placed under anesthesia for these procedures and are given pain medications to manage any discomfort that they may experience. Endoscopy involves using a rigid or flexible tube with a fiber optic camera attached at the end to look inside internal organs. With this procedure our veterinarians are able to visualize any abnormalities. Special forceps, guided through the tube, allow us to take tissue and fluid samples and also remove foreign objects. At both of our locations, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston, we have the ability to perform gastrointestinal, airway (bronchoscopy), bladder (cystoscopy), and nasal (rhinoscopy) imaging. If your pet is having an endoscopic procedure please call our office prior to the appointment to inquire about the proper feeding schedule.
Gastrointestinal – Endoscopy allows our highly trained veterinarians to visually inspect the esophagus, stomach, duodenum (small intestine), or colon to identify abnormalities such as ulcers, masses, polyps, strictures, or areas of inflammation. Biopsies are collected from these areas to identify any microscopic changes that may be going within the tissue and further guide therapy.
Airway (Bronchoscopy) – Bronchoscopy is performed to evaluate the respiratory tract, including the trachea and lower airways. Cytological and culture samples are commonly collected to diagnosis several types of lung diseases.
Bladder (Cystoscopy) – Cystoscopy enables our veterinarians to visualize the inside of the vagina, urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder) and bladder. Cystoscopies successfully allow us to diagnosis ectopic ureters, strictures, neoplasia (cancer), and stones along with several other bladder diseases.
Nasal (Rhinoscopy) – Rhinoscopy is performed to evaluate the nasal cavity for foreign objects, nasal masses, fungal infections such as aspergillius, or inflammation. This procedure might be recommended if your pet is showing symptoms such as excessive sneezing, has a clear or bloody nasal discharge, or if foreign material is suspected.