With its excellent soft-tissue detail and three-dimensional reconstruction, MRI is one of the most powerful imaging techniques uniquely suited for the central nervous system. A safe, non-invasive and pain free way to evaluate structures within the body, MRI utilizes a powerful magnetic field, radio-frequency pulses and computer to produce detailed pictures of internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation like conventional radiographs (x-rays) or computerized tomography (CT).
MRI in pets does require anesthesia, which can be given by inhalant or intravenously. Since MRI is not a painful procedure, many of the heavy pre-operative opioids and sedatives are avoided. The recovery from the anesthesia is usually quite rapid and smooth, allowing patients to undergo this procedure and go home right away.
Since MRI require anesthesia, patients should have recent laboratory work and chest radiographs prior to the scan. Patients should be held off of food 12-24 hours prior to the scan.
Dr. McDonnell performs MRIs for neurological conditions only. All patients to be scanned will need to be evaluated by a neurologist prior to the scan.
If you have an animal that you think needs a MRI, please contact us via email and Dr. McDonnell will speak with you about your case.
Intracranial disease processes diagnosed by MRI*
- Choroid plexus papillomas
- Other brain tumors
- Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis
- Other menigoencephalitides
- Chiari-like malformations
- Head trauma
- Vascular accidents (ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke)
- Pituitary tumor
- Nasal or bony processes invading brain
*Presumptive diagnosis can be achieved with MRI, although in some cases, definitive diagnosis requires biopsy.
Spinal cord disease processes diagnosed by MRI*
- Nerve sheath tumors
- Other spinal cord tumors
- Firbrocartilagenous emboli
- Vascular lesions
- Intervertebral disk disease
- Fractures and luxations
- Soft-tissue and vertebral processes invading spinal cord