Computed Tomography (CT) scans use x-rays to acquire three-dimensional, cross sectional images of the body with high contrast resolution. This makes a CT scan an excellent diagnostic test to identify disease in the thorax, nasal cavity, and abdomen. CT scans are a useful modality for evaluation soft tissues and bone in one diagnostic locale.
CT scans do require the patient to be anesthetized because the patient must be completely motionless for the duration of the scan. The actual time to acquire images during the scan is very short, usually less than one minute. The whole procedure, including placing a catheter, anesthesia, and recovery time, can take one to two hours.
A recent study in the Journal of College of Veterinary Radiology found that CT scans are five to six times more sensitive than radiography at detecting soft tissue nodules (metastasis) within the lungs. Identifying metastasis with a CT scan can provide valuable information to guide pet owners and their veterinarians in treatment routes for the patient