WA Veterinary Emergency & Specialty (WAVES)

Computed Tomography (CT)

CT is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses a rapidly spinning xraymachine which travels around the patient in a spiral as the patient travels through the gantry on a table. Xrays pass through the patient from all directions and the information is processed by a high powered computer to create a detailed, cross sectional image of the entire region. One advantage of CT over radiography is the ability to remove superimposition of overlying bone structures. Images can be reconstructed in a variety of planes and with different algorithms used to highlight different tissue types. 3D reconstructions can be made of body parts. CT is particularly useful for evaluating bone structures, lungs and for assessing blood vessels by means of intravenous contrast studies.

Computed tomography is currently performed on our GE Lightspeed CT scanner.

CT can be used to investigate conditions such as:

  • Assessment of bone structures (trauma, complex joints, skull, elbow dysplasia)
  • Spinal disease with or without concurrent myelograms
  • Nasal disease
  • Diseases of the auditory system (ears, middle and inner ear)
  • Thoracic pathology (metastasis, trauma, pleural effusion)
  • Vascular studies (PRAA, portosystemic shunts)
  • Urinary tract studies (ectopic ureters, ruptured urinary tract)
  • Assessment of complex abdominal masses for surgical planning and metastatic screening.

CT can also be used to position biopsy needles into lesions that may not otherwise be accessible.Patients need to be fasted overnight as they will require a general anaesthetic for CT examinations. CT scans are generally performed after initial referral to the Medicine, Surgery or Emergency Department.