State of the art digital imaging equipment is an integral component for diagnosis and treatment of our patients. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North have invested in comprehensive, high quality imaging modalities to support our veterinarians ability to visualize the internal body structures of our patients. Diagnostic imaging often requires the use of several of these different technologies to obtain the information needed to diagnose and treat our patients. These imaging modalities include digital radiography, ultrasound, and a videoscope. While we do not offer echocardiography, CT Scan, C-arm (fluoroscopy), MRI, or endoscopy (though we hope to purchase an endoscope in the near future), we are more than willing to refer you to a facility that has these more advanced modalities. Furthermore, most advanced imaging centers will require digital radiographs to be taken prior to any echocardiogram, CT, fluoroscopy, or MRI. You may save hundreds of dollars by having these images taken at our hospital and then emailed to the advanced imaging imaging center of your choice.
Much like the way digital cameras have replaced film based cameras, digital radiography has replaced out dated film-based x-rays, providing a faster, more accurate way to acquire diagnostic images. Digital images are available within seconds to be viewed on a high-resolution monitor with no need for film developing. Our exam rooms are equipped with flat screen LCD viewing stations for reviewing x-rays with clients. The speed at which these images can be processed greatly increases patient survival time in emergency situations, and allows us to quickly know if we have obtained a quality image or if we need to retake the picture. With out dated film-based-x-rays your sick pet may have to wait 20 minutes for the x-ray film to develop only to find out that a slight movement made during the picture has rendered the film useless, and the picture will have to be taken again.
Ultrasound is a non-invasive, painless imaging modality that does not require radiation. Ultrasound is used as a diagnostic tool to obtain more detailed information about internal body structures. Ultrasound machines function by using sound waves administered by a small handheld device called a probe, which are reflected back to the probe, and a computer formats these into visual pictures on a monitor for the clinician to review. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North share a 3-D ultrasound unit which provides far superior images when compared to older ultrasound models. While the 3-Dability of the ultrasound is only useful when probing a fluid filled sac (i.e. pregnancy) - we have found that the overall image quality is far superior to our older ultrasound model.
Ultrasound is a modality that requires significant training and experience by the veterinarian to allow for accurate diagnosis and interpretation of the study. Ultrasound is commonly used visualize internal abdominal organs in high detail, as well as the heart (during a special type of ultrasound called echocardiography). Often, needle or core biopsy samples can be obtained during ultrasound (which may require sedation/anesthesia), to allow us to confirm diagnosis or obtain more information on your pet. Because our veterinarians rarely perform ultrasounds of the heart we are not comfortable enough to assure you we would provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your pet's heart condition based on this imaging modality. If your pet requires an echocardiogram we will refer you to the veterinary cardiologist of your choice.
Applications for ultrasound include:
Evaluation of the abdominal organs, including the liver, spleen, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lymphatic system, kidneys, urinary tract, and endocrine organs
Imaging of thoracic and abdominal masses
Imagining of fluid accumulation in the abdomen or thorax
Imaging of the neck, including thyroid and parathyroid glands
Imaging of blood vessels and flow, both in and around the heart, as well as throughout the body
Videoscopes are similar to endoscopes; however, vide0scopes have a larger diameter camera and a more rigid camera unit. This provides for a high quality image; however, due to its larger size the videoscope can not enter the intestinal tract. The Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North primarily use our videoscopes for evaluation of the ear canal, the nasal and rectal cavity of larger dogs, and to evaluate the trachea, larynx, and esophagus of many brachycephalic (smush faced) dogs and cats.
Our videoscope also comes with an attachment that allows us to obtain diagnostic samples of whatever we may find during these exams. While the videoscope is not a replacement for endoscopy, it is a tool that provides our veterinarians with a high quality image that they can view with clients in our exam rooms,or even remove minor tumors and polyps without major surgery.
The imaging modalities listed above are just some of the state of the art equipment your pet will have access to at the Animal Hospital of Chetek and Animal Hospital North. If you would like your pet to have high quality digital images taken please call and schedule an appointment today.