GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — If you’ve ever gone to the hospital for an MRI or a CT scan, you know how important this technology has become to doctors and patients everywhere. 

Now the sophisticated imaging techniques that help so many people are also being used to heal Fluffy and Fido.

Veterinarians at BluePearl Veterinary Partners and other specialty veterinary practices are using CT scans and MRI images to see which bones have been broken and how diseases are progressing. This helps them make the very best diagnoses and treatments pets.

Using these sophisticated tools, of course, requires special training. Many people don’t realize it, but several veterinarians take additional training to become specialists in certain medical areas, just as physicians do for human medicine.

For example, veterinarians can become board-certified in such specialties as neurology, surgery, ophthalmology, oncology, internal medicine and many others. All of these veterinary specialists now use advanced imaging techniques that were originally developed for human medicine.

As a veterinary neurologist, Dr. Niederhuth uses MRIs to evaluate certain brain and spinal cord diseases. It can also be used by other specialists to diagnose nasal diseases, joint or soft tissue diseases and more. Veterinary specialists also use CT scans to evaluate skull fractures, vertebral fractures, obstructed urinary tracts, displaced elbows and more. Certain conditions can be evaluated using either technique.

“Now that we have it ALL in Grand Rapids, we can choose which type of advanced imaging is most appropriate for each individual case.” Niederhuth states. “The gold standard is available regardless of whether high-field MRI, high-resolution CT or radiography is best!”

These are some of the best imaging techniques, but they are by no means the only ones. Veterinarians also use such methods as X-rays, fluoroscopy and ultrasound.

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