Major investment brings CT scanning for pets in Suffolk

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scan

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scanner

An important step forward in planning treatment and surgery - for pets

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scan

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scanner

A brand new service is now available to pet owners in Suffolk, as an state-of-the-art CT scanner with an IRIS Imaging System has been installed at Ipswich Veterinary Centre.

One of the best tools in diagnostic imaging, a CT scan is non-invasive and once the patient is anaesthetised it only takes a few minutes to perform a scan, considerably reducing the amount of time the pet needs to be kept under a general anaesthetic.

The new scanner represents an investment of more than £400,000 at the centre.

Unlike a normal x-ray, which produces a single two-dimensional picture, Computed Tomography (CT) takes lots of x-ray pictures from different angles in rapid succession and can then build a 3D image of either the whole body or a specific area of the body being scanned.

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scan

CT scanner at Ipswich Veterinary Centre. Stephanie Williams and vet Tom Webster operate the new scanner


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This means that a single scan can allow vets to see more clearly what is going on inside the body, dramatically reducing the need for exploratory surgeries.

The CT scanning service based at Ipswich can produce detailed images of the structures inside the body, including the internal organs, blood vessels and bones. These images can be instrumental in diagnosis and treatment of many varying conditions including cancers, bone fractures, foreign bodies and internal bleeding. Images can also be enhanced directly through the computer software, helping vets at the centre to plan complex surgery.

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A number of pets have already benefited from this new service at Ipswich Veterinary Centre, including three-year-old golden Labrador Buddy, who had been suffering with intermittent lameness in his front leg.

On the advice of their veterinary surgeon, Buddy’s owners booked him in for a CT scan at Ipswich Veterinary Centre.

The scan immediately revealed a small fragment of bone loose within his elbow joint, which had been causing considerable pain and discomfort. This would have occurred as a result of a developmental growth defect or weakness in the head of the ulna known as fragmented coronoid process, which is a feature of a condition called elbow dysplasia.

Once this diagnosis had been established, Buddy had surgery to remove the fragment of bone. Using the reconstructed 3D image of Buddy’s elbow, veterinary surgeon Tom Webster was able to see exactly where the fragment was within the joint, allowing this complicated surgery to be planned to give the best possible outcome for Buddy.

The operation was a huge success and Buddy is already much more comfortable and recovering well. Without a CT scan, it is highly unlikely that a clear diagnosis would have been reached or that exploratory surgery would have been successful.

Tom Webster said: “Having a readily available CT service for pets has already been a huge help in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions. This is an excellent addition to our facilities and has been very well received by pet owners.”

The CT imaging service at Ipswich Veterinary Centre is available for all pets in the area through the Stowe Veterinary Group of practices or by referral from other veterinary practices.

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