What is cat diagnostic imaging?

Diagnostic imaging is a way for us to look inside your cat beyond what we can see at the fur and skin level. This requires the help of certain technologies.

Dr. Stephanie Munyon
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care

How does the use of diagnostic imaging help to determine health issues in cats?

Diagnostic imaging allows us to look at the cat's organs more directly to determine if they are functioning and shaped normally and if the blood is flowing through them properly. It provides us with detailed information about your cat's health.

When would my cat require diagnostic images and what type of diagnostic images would be used for symptoms like coughing and sneezing?

For a cat with symptoms of coughing and sneezing, we would first check the lungs and heart using an X-ray. Depending on the findings, the next step could be an echocardiogram if we're concerned about the heart or a CT scan if we're concerned about the lungs. If our concern is more about the nasal passages and skull, we would use a CT scan.

What about if my cat is having vomiting and diarrhea? How would you use diagnostic imaging?

One of the most common issues in cats is vomiting and diarrhea. We usually start with an x-ray to give us a general overview, especially in a cat that's vomiting excessively; this could help us find out if they've ingested something they shouldn't have. Often, our next step is an ultrasound, which allows us to examine their intestinal thickness, stomach, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder while the cat is awake.

What are some possible conditions that are diagnosed using cat x-rays?

Cat X-rays are one of our most common techniques. Oftentimes, we look for things such as heart disease or asthma by examining the heart and lungs. They can also detect masses in the abdomen, ingestion of foreign objects, organ displacement, and masses. We also use X-rays to examine the bones for fractures or arthritis.

How will a veterinarian decide that a cat needs diagnostic imaging?

The decision for diagnostic imaging is based on our suspicions from a thorough physical examination of your cat. Sometimes, we also use lab diagnostics to help pinpoint the area of interest that we need to examine further and what diagnostic imaging technique would be best..

Why is early detection and diagnosis of internal injury or disease in cats so important?

Early treatment is generally more effective and puts less strain on your cat, leading to a better response. We aim for the best possible outcome for you and your cat, and early intervention often leads to better results.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (262) 846-6006, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram

Cat Diagnostic Imaging - FAQs

Dr. Stephanie Munyon
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care

When is diagnostic imaging recommended for my cat?

Diagnostic imaging is recommended when we can't see what's going on just with our exam. We don't have X-ray vision yet, so sometimes we need a little help.

Will my cat need a lab test prior to cat diagnostic imaging?

Lab tests generally give us more information about what's happening. Certain tests that they would be absolutely required for would be when they need to be under general anesthesia, so things like a CT scan.

What can I expect from a cat diagnostic imaging session?

It depends on which imaging we're taking. If we're doing X-rays or an ultrasound, your cat probably won't need any sedation. It'll be a quick day visit or even just during an appointment visit unless your cat is painful or nervous. If your cat requires dental imaging, MRI, CT, or nuclear scintigraphy, those are things that would require general anesthesia.

What will a veterinarian be looking for in my cat's diagnostic imaging?

Anything abnormal. We're trained to know what normal is, and so we're looking for things that aren't. For example, we may be looking for your cat's lungs to be irritated, signs that your cat ate something, or thickening of the intestines showing that your cat might have IBS.

How effective is it to use diagnostic imaging on my cat?

We select each diagnostic imaging modality for your cat's specific condition, and so we pick the modality that is going to give us the most information about the specific thing we're worrying about.

What are baseline diagnostic images, and why are they important for my cat?

The diagnostic imaging we typically use are x-rays, which are 2D photographs of the inside of your cat,. Ultrasound, which is a 2D video of the inside of your cat. CT or MRI, which are 3D reconstructions of your cat’s internal structures.And nuclear scintigraphy is something that looks more for how certain things are functioning or absorbing in your cat.

What happens if there is still no diagnosis after my cat's diagnostic imaging?

Even if we don't have a diagnosis after diagnostic imaging, we've typically ruled out a lot of things. So even if we don't have a strict diagnosis, we have a lot more information about what is not going on with your cat.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (262) 846-6006, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media Facebook, Instagram