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New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
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Veterinary Radiology: FAQs


You may have questions about veterinary radiology for companion animals. Or you may want to know what to expect at your visit with us. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.

  • What is Radiology?

    Radiology is both a diagnostic and therapeutic tool. Diagnostic imaging employs a number of different modalities, such as plain radiography, CT scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine, to identify disease and other conditions within the patient’s body.

    With the exception of ultrasound, imaging studies are typically performed by a trained technologist, while the veterinary radiologist, a specially trained veterinary doctor, reviews and interprets the radiographic images and reports the findings to the patient's primary doctor. Typically these reports are finalized within 2 to 12 hours after image acquisition.

    Today, the radiologic sciences are on the brink of a new age. Digital imaging and computerized data has enabled the effective and efficient delivery of diagnosis and treatment thereby improving patient care. The section of radiology at the veterinary school of the University of Pennsylvania is at the helm of these exciting advances in imaging technology. The work being done in our section of radiology will continue to benefit healthcare to our patients and around the world.

  • What is a Veterinary Radiologist?

    ACVR LogoAn ACVR Diplomate is also known as a board-certified veterinary radiologist. At least three (3) years of advanced training in an American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) Accredited Radiology Residency Program is required to take the ACVR Radiology Board Certification Examination.

    Many Radiology Residency Programs are 4 years. All of our radiologists are board certified and experienced in all the imaging modalities available to your pets, including digital radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography and MRI. Learn more about this specialty.

  • Will I get a report and the images obtained on my animal?

    Once the imaging study is completed, they will be reviewed by a radiologist within hours and a report generated. We can burn a CD with the digital images and send them over to your referring veterinarian. Images are stored on a remote server perfectly secured so that they will always be accessible within seconds when you bring your pet to our hospital again.

  • Will my animal be sedated or anesthetized?

    Many times sedation or general anesthesia will be necessary for imaging, because most techniques require your pet to be completely still for a few seconds / minutes. If such is the case, your primary doctor will contact you to request your authorization and the procedure will be performed under the supervision of experienced and trained anesthesia nurses and doctors.

  • Will my pet have his hair clipped?

    If your animal needs an ultrasound, the hair will have to be clipped because it would prevent good imaging and thereby prevents an accurate diagnosis to be made.

  • What is a radiographic dye?

    A dye is a chemical substance that is used to increase visibility of structures in particular vessels and tumors. If your animal requires injection of a radiographic dye (required most of the times during a CT or MRI, and sometimes for some radiographic procedures), the contrast dyes with the best safety profile will be used and your pet will be closely monitored.

  • What kind of machine do you use and who will perform the study?

    Our technologists and radiologists have extensive training and experience in veterinary diagnostic imaging.

    We use the same machines that are used for humans, but we adjust doses and protocols to veterinary patients. All the studies are performed by a licensed technologist except for ultrasounds, which are performed by the radiologist.

  • I am bringing my pet for an out-patient imaging procedure, what should I expect?

    The Rosenthal Imaging and Treatment Center offers outpatient ultrasound, CT, MRI services. You must be referred by your veterinarian for an appointment to be scheduled (see specific sections about ultrasound, CT and MRI services).

    On the day of the appointment, you will meet with a radiology technologist (ultrasound) or an anesthesia nurse (CT or MRI) and your pet will be directed to the appropriate service. Please remember to fast your pet before the procedure to prevent respiratory complications.

    For ultrasound, the hair will be clipped on the belly, and the examination will be performed promptly by a board-certified radiologist. A report will be generated right after the scan and provided to you as well as a CD with the images obtained during the scan. If the clinical schedule allows it, the radiologist will come meet you and go over the findings.

    For CT and MRI, your pet will be brought into the RITC facilities where highly trained veterinary anesthesia nurses and doctors will handle the anesthesia during the CT or MRI procedure. The images will be interpreted by a board-certified radiologist and the report faxed over to your veterinarian within a couple hours. When your pet has recovered from anesthesia you will be able to take him home. You should plan to have the entire day available to drop off your pet and pick him up. A CD with the images will be provided to your veterinarian.