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Diagnostic Imaging

  • Why does my pet need to see a Veterinary Radiologist?

    Veterinary radiologists who are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) are uniquely qualified to render first or second opinions on radiographs, ultrasound examinations, CT, MRI, and many other diagnostic imaging modalities. These veterinarians have completed a formal 3-4 year residency in diagnostic imaging and have had intense formal training and practical experience in diagnostic imaging of both small and large animal species. There are approximately 210 board certified veterinary radiologists in the world, with most practicing in the United States. Certification by the ACVR assures competency in performance of the diagnostic imaging as well as the interpretation of the results.

  • What is the difference between an initial appointment and a drop-off appointment with diagnostic imaging?

    During an initial appointment, you will first meet with our board-certified radiologist to discuss your pet’s history and the reason for the appointment. You will also make sure that the correct imaging procedure has been requested.  Depending on the results of the imaging procedure, they may also speak with you after to discuss the findings.  Please note that there is an additional initial exam fee associated with an initial appointment.

    If you choose to schedule a drop off appointment, you may drop your pet off during the day and a technician will gather your history and explain the procedure that was requested by your family veterinarian.  You will only be charged for the diagnostics that are performed and not for a consultation.  All of your results will be discussed with your family veterinarian but you will not have a consultation with our radiologist.

    With both an initial appointment and a drop-off appointment, you and your pet will be instructed to return to your family veterinarian for further treatment. If specialized treatment is required and your veterinarian has been contacted, your pet can be transferred to the appropriate service within our hospital.

  • Why would my family veterinarian refer my pet for an Ultrasound?

    Ultrasound allows us to visualize the internal architecture of many organs. Images that cannot be seen well on plain radiographs can easily be seen with ultrasound. Together with the patient’s age, sex, breed, history, physical exam, radiographic findings and lab work, the ultrasound gives us a better picture of what is going on internally with your pet. This information helps us to recommend the most appropriate treatment options.

  • What can be seen with ultrasound?

    This imaging modality is best at diagnosing abnormalities within the organs that are separate and distinct. Ultrasound often diagnoses problems earlier than would otherwise be possible. Many times, this affords an earlier diagnosis and a better chance for successful treatment.

  • Can my pet get an ultrasound today?

    We perform ultrasounds, as well all the other diagnostic imaging modalities we offer, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. If your family veterinarian determines your pet needs imaging, we will try to accommodate the request at your earliest convenience.

  • What if it is an emergency and my pet is in need of immediate medical intervention?

    In the event of an emergency, imaging still be able to be performed, however, your pet will be admitted and managed through our Critical Care department instead of dropping off through the Radiology department.


  • What are the waiting times for an Ultrasound?

    The average wait time is approximately 2 hours. In more complex cases, or cases when sedation is necessary, the ultrasound process may take several hours. Once the diagnostics are performed, the radiologist will then need time to consult with your family veterinarian, and if necessary, another board certified specialist at GCVS. This collaboration will help decide the best treatment plan for your pet.

  • Why is it necessary to shave my pet for an ultrasound?

    Shaving allows us to be able to adequately see your pet’s organs. Without shaving, we may not be able to accurately diagnose and treat your pet.

  • What is the latest time I can drop off my pet for imaging?

    In order to send the results back to your veterinarian on the same day, we ask that patients arrive no later than 3 p.m.

  • Can I be in the room during the imaging procedure to hold my pet?

    For your safety, the safety of your pet, and our other patients we cannot allow clients to be present during imaging procedures.

  • Do you have to sedate or anesthetize my pet for radiographs or an ultrasound?

    Many pets will lie comfortably in our padded troughs for the short time needed to perform their imaging procedure.  However, if your pet does need sedation or anesthesia to make them more comfortable, we will discuss the possibility with you at the time of drop off.

  • Why do CT, MRI, and Nuclear Medicine Scans need to be referred through Internal Medicine.

    All of these procedures require the patient to be fully anesthetized, therefore each patient will need a physical exam and thorough work-up prior to the procedure. To ensure your pet’s safety and make sure they are receiving the proper scan, we will confirm that all initial blood work and diagnostics have been completed, and that a thorough evaluation of your pet’s ability to handle the anesthesia has been performed.