Radiology + Imaging
Our imaging center includes digital radiography, multiple ultrasounds for various applications, and the most advanced CT available in veterinary medicine, the Vimago GT30. We can provide fluoroscopy and interventional radiology. Our board-certified radiologist offers out-patient ultrasound evaluations for patients with a referral from veterinary hospitals.
Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care has a full line of state-of-the-art in-house testing equipment to provide rapid results for many diagnostic tests. This is very important for the emergent patient needing test results quickly. If a more specialized test is needed, an outside laboratory can be consulted.
Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care offers digital radiography (x-rays), an ultrasound unit for identifying emergency situations, and a CT (computed tomography) Scanner. Digital radiography enables our veterinarians to have diagnostic x-rays available in a much shorter time than traditional film x-rays, expediting your pet’s care. It also typically offers better resolution than film x-ray, and the digital format enables us to send images to board-certified radiologists for a telemedicine consult if a specialist’s opinion is indicated.
We have a Biosound Esaote ultrasound unit with color-flow Doppler capability. Ultrasound is a technology with many uses, and our veterinarians are trained in the emergency applications of this tool. Some ultrasound procedures, such as echocardiography, are highly specialized evaluations that should be performed by a specialist. For those concerns, Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care can provide emergent care to stabilize your pet in the interim. In the spring of 2012, Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care added a GE LightSpeed helical 4-slice computed tomography (CT) unit to its diagnostic capabilities, allowing us to better identify lesions of the nasal cavities and skull, as well as spinal lesions and fractures which may not be identifiable with traditional X-ray technology. This scanner is the only one of its kind in the state of Maine and is able to scan much faster than a typical CT unit, allowing us to complete studies more quickly and keep anesthetic times to a minimum.
Ultrasound is a procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen. Ultrasonography is used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. Diagnostic tests such as guided biopsies and needle-aspirates can be performed with the aid of these safe sound waves. Ultrasound is a rewarding technique to evaluate the liver, spleen, adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys, prostate, bladder, and uterus. Endoscopy may be recommended in addition or instead of ultrasound for diseases of the stomach or intestines. The ultrasound examination is virtually risk-free in most cases and is commonly completed without anesthesia or sedation. Patients are fasted for 12 hours prior to the ultrasound to ensure a proper view of each organ system. Depending on the type of ultrasound, your pet’s ultrasound may be completed while you wait, or your pet may be admitted to our hospital for a few hours. If a biopsy is needed, often these biopsies can be completed with ultrasound-guided instruments, and brief sedation and/or anesthesia may be required.
The ultrasound examination itself is virtually risk-free in most cases. It can usually be done without anesthesia or sedation and requires about twenty to thirty minutes to complete. A review of your pet’s medical records, tests, and a physical examination will precede the ultrasound. Patients are fasted at least 12 hours prior to the ultrasound to ensure a proper view of each organ system. Depending on the type of ultrasound, your pet’s ultrasound may be completed while you wait, or your pet may be admitted to our hospital for a few hours. If a biopsy is needed, sedation and/or anesthesia (brief) may be required. Biopsies can be completed with ultrasound-guided instruments. The tissues are sent by overnight courier to board-certified pathologists and the results are usually received in three to five business days.
Echocardiography is a specialized ultrasound of the heart. The heart’s action and functions can be studied in detail with an echocardiogram. Several sets of measurements can be made that aid in the determination of the type and severity of an animal’s heart dysfunction. This information aids veterinarians in prescribing medications that can alleviate signs and symptoms of heart disease. It can also be used as a monitoring technique. Generally, no anesthesia is required, and the echocardiogram is completed during your office visit. Additional information (a database) may consist of chest x-rays, an electrocardiogram, and analysis of any fluid present in the chest cavity. Patients are often referred because of known or suspected heart disease, fluid around the heart or in the chest cavity, evaluation of heart murmurs, and suspected chest or heart tumors.