Tuesday, January 10, 2012

magnetic resonance imaging

Cool happenings at Small Animal Veterinary Emergency Services these days! We have teamed up with New Hampshire Open MRI to bring the Upper Valley pets another diagnostic option.
What the heck is magnetic whobadoubala imaging..... and why should I care? Well this is similar to X-rays but it gives more precise anatomy information, without harmful radiation. 
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is  really complicated science. The machine looks like a huge useless contraption, but inside that big plastic looking box is a very powerful magnetic. In the simplest terms (if that is possible when you start fooling with physics and all sorts of mumbo jumbo) your body is made up of particles called protons. Think of these little particles spinning randomly like little whirling dervishes of energy. So now along comes this huge magnet which interacts with the little particles and kind of civilizes them into spinning like synchronized bathing capped beauties. As the particles spin they create a high energy field in the form of radio waves. This is where it gets way over my head. When the magnet is turned off, the radio waves are recovered by the machine to produce a computer image like an X-ray but more detailed.
Oh my head! So this type of imaging is used for diseases that affect the brain and spine. Neurologic diseases can cause seizures, behavioral changes, depression, paralysis, staggering and spinal pain. Your veterinarian may recommend an MRI after a complete physical evaluation and other diagnostic tests have failed to turn up the cause of your pet's symptoms.

MRI is not a cheap diagnostic tool by any means, but when all avenues have been explored and no reasonable diagnosis has been made then your veterinarian may point you in this direction. Your pet would be hospitalized for the day. The patient would be transported with a veterinarian and technician to New Hampshire Open MRI in West Lebanon, New Hampshire (about 5 minutes from SAVES) where under anesthesia the procedure would be performed. While the machine is generating pictures of your pet's spine or skull area, a veterinarian and technician are monitoring him/her constantly!
For more information about this really cool procedure, or to book a MRI appointment, give Small Animal Veterinary Emergency Services a call at 603-306-0007 and the hospital staff will be happy to answer any of your questions. Stay tuned for more MRI information in the weeks to come.
Tata for now!

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