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MRI for Dogs

Our board-certified veterinarians use advanced diagnostic tools, including our in-house MRI, to diagnose various dog health issues. Here, our vets in Springfield talk about why MRI scans can be useful and the conditions this technology can help diagnose in dogs.

Veterinary Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

While magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) have been widely used to help diagnose human health concerns since the early 1980s, they have only recently become a standard test in veterinary medicine.

MRI Scans for Dogs

Although it can be obvious when our pets are experiencing pain or discomfort, we can't understand exactly what they feel without diagnostic examinations and testing to find the cause of the issue. Veterinary MRI scans allow us to evaluate the inside of your dog's body in a non-invasive way.

MRI scans can provide your veterinarian with high-resolution, detailed images of your pet's soft tissues, including the brain, spinal cord, ligaments, tendons, and abdominal organs. For many soft tissue injuries or diseases, veterinary MRIs can often give a more detailed image of your dog's body than other diagnostic imaging tools such as X-rays or CT Scans. 

What are MRIs used to diagnose?

If your dog is exhibiting symptoms such as limping, lameness, seizures, joint pain, neck pain, back pain, or paralysis, an MRI might be recommended to help diagnose the cause of your dog's symptoms. MRI scans can be used to help diagnose a wide range of conditions in dogs, including:

  • Spinal disc tumor, herniated discs, or stenosis
  • Brain tumor, inflammation, or abscess
  • Stroke
  • Musculoskeletal diseases and injuries (e.g., ruptured cranial cruciate ligament, shoulder instability)
  • Conditions affecting the abdomen as indicated by organ enlargement or tumor

The Veterinary MRI Process

MRIs take between 45 minutes to an hour. Your dog will be placed under general anesthesia and set on the table. Once secure, the bed will move into the machine, and imaging will begin. 

Will my cat or dog need to be sedated for their visit?

Sedation is commonly used to help the vet perform the imaging procedure without issues and minimal risk to people and pets. With MRIs, your pet must remain completely still to allow for a clear image, which is why sedation is necessary. Vets typically recommend blood tests and X-rays before the MRI to help ensure your pet is strong enough to be put under general anesthetic.

What do CT scans and X-rays cost for dogs?

As with many other veterinary care services, the costs will vary from clinic to clinic and from pet to pet when you bring your dog or cat in for diagnostic imaging. This is because several different factors contribute to the final cost.

This can include the clinic's location, the practitioner's expertise, and the equipment used. Your pet's age and species and any additional treatments, such as sedation, also affect the final amount you will pay.

Please speak with your vet to discuss your pet's estimated cost and a bill breakdown.

Veterinary MRI for Pets in Springfield

At The Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield, our veterinarians use the most advanced tools available to help provide an accurate diagnosis of your pet's medical issues. Our in-house diagnostic imaging capabilities, including veterinary MRI, allow us to provide quicker diagnosis and treatment options and the ability to share detailed information with your primary care veterinarian in the most time-efficient manner.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your pet has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition requiring more detailed diagnostic imaging, such as MRI, ask your vet for a referral to The Regional Veterinary Referral Center in Springfield or contact our team to learn more.

New Patients & Referrals Welcome

The Regional Veterinary Referral Center is accepting new patients in emergency situations or by referral! Our experienced specialists are passionate about the health of Springfield pets. Contact us today to learn more.

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Contact (703) 451-8900