Advanced Imaging Techniques

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Endoscopy
CT
Myelogram
Abdominal Ultrasound
Cardiac Ultrasound
Digital Radiology
Dental Radiology

Endoscopy

Imaging scopes offer a minimally invasive approach to see what’s going on inside the body. We have four different types of scopes: Endoscope, Laparoscope and a Rigid Scope.  These scopes allow us to identify abnormalities and perform a variety of procedures including foreign body retrieval and biopsies.

An endoscope is a flexible tube with a viewing port that is inserted either into the stomach through the mouth, the colon via the rectum, or into the lungs through the mouth.  The endoscope allows full viewing of the esophagus, stomach, upper part of the small intestine, the colon or lung alveoli.

A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tube that is inserted through an incision in the belly to view the organs in the abdomen.  It is a safe technique that minimizes soft tissue trauma to the patient allowing for a faster and a less painful recovery.

The rigid scope is also a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the nose or the vagina of a female dog.  It is used to evaluate the nasal cavity or the urethra and bladder.

Below are images taken during an endoscopy.

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CT

We consider our hospital lucky to be able to offer CT scans to clients. Our CereTom is an eight slice CT scanner; this means it can take eight radiographic slices in a single rotation. With these radiographic slices we are able to see things otherwise not visible in other diagnostic imaging procedures, like standard radiographs or ultrasound. We are also able to manipulate these images and turn them into 3D images. When we perform a CT scan we can also inject an intravenous contrast to help enhance vessels, tissues, or masses.

Here are a few scans we do and what we might diagnose from them:

  • Head: Skull fractures, maxillofacial abnormalities or tumors, tympanic bulla issues, ear canal tumors, retrobulbar abscess, optic issues, or salivary issues.
  • Brain: Tumors, inflammation, swelling, atrophy, hydrocephalus, or trauma/hemorrhage
  • Nasal Cavity: Nasal tumors, destructive rhinitis, or foreign bodies
  • Spine: Spinal tumors, vertebral fractures, and we can use the CT to perform myelograms which will help us find compressed disks
  • Musculoskeletal: Complex fractures, elbow dysplasia, fragmented medial coronoid process, brachial plexus tumors, and bone tumors
  • Thorax: pulmonary, mediastinal, and rib tumors, pleural disease, lung tumors, heart tumors, and metastatic screening
  • Abdomen: Pancreatic lesions, retroperitoneal tumors, pelvic tumors, portosystemic shunts, or ectopic ureters
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Our CT Unit
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Example of a 3D CT image

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Myelogram

We are lucky to offer the capability of performing myelograms here at KCVH. With this, we can use our digital radiographs along with our CT scanner to obtain an interpretation of the spine. In order to perform a myelogram, we must place our patients under gas anesthesia. There are different ways we can perform a myleogram: one way is with standard radiology, and the other is in conjunction with ou CT machine. Usually if we are performing a CT myelogram, we will do our first scan of the spine without contrast and the second one with. If we only use radiology, we only use it with our fluoroscope and radiographs.

In either situation we will use a spinal needle to inject a radiopaque contrast using the assistance of our fluoroscope (video radiology). Once we are in the subarachnoid space that surrounds the spinal cord we will obtain some of the CSF (cerebral spinal fluid), which we can also send out for interpretation if needed. We will then inject the contrast and take a radiograph of the spine to see where the contrast is along the spinal cord. Our doctor will give an interpretation of the spine looking for any displacement or irregularities of the contrast. Many times we look for compressed areas of the spinal cord, showing a ruptured disk. We can also do a CT scan which will give more detailed images of the spine allowing us to diagnose things we may not see in the radiographs.

Below are actual images taken with our Myleogram.

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Abdominal Ultrasound

Ultrasound technology allows doctors to “see” inside a patient without resorting to surgery. A transmitter sends high frequency sound waves into the body, where they bounce off the different tissues and organs to produce a distinctive pattern of echoes. The receiver “hears” the returning echo pattern and forwards it to a computer, which translates the image on to the ultrasound machine’s screen.

As an imaging tool, abdominal ultrasounds are generally warranted for patients afflicted with: chronic or acute abdominal pain, abdominal trauma, an obvious or suspected abdominal mass, symptoms of liver disease, pancreatic disease, gallstones, spleen and Kidney disease, enlarged prostate and urinary blockage.

Ultrasound technology can also be used to guide needle placement, which allows the doctor to take cytology or biopsy samples of the organ of interest. The samples that were collected are packaged and sent to a specialist to read.

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Dr. Taylor performing an abdominal ultrasound on a patient

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Cardiac Ultrasound

Our ultrasound machine also has the capability to perform cardiac ultrasounds, which are used to view a patient’s heart. Ultrasound waves rebound (or “echo”) off of the heart, allowing us to view different images of the heart muscle. This diagnostic test can show the size, shape, and movement of the heart’s valves & chambers, as well as the flow of the blood through the heart. It may also show abnormalities, such as poorly functioning heart valves, a heart mass or heart disease.

Cardiac ultrasounds can provide helpful information, including size and shape of the heart, its pumping strength, and the location and extent of any damage to the tissue.  They can also detect abnormalities in the pattern of blood flow (known as regurgitation) and show the heart thickness, showing where there is heart muscle weakness.

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Digital Radiology

Radiography is an imaging technique that is frequently used in veterinary medicine. In March 2009 Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital installed a state-of-the-art digital radiography system.  Digital radiography provides high definition x-ray images allowing rapid and accurate diagnosis.  Digital radiographs are available immediately, and are now digitally archived for convenient review.  Images can be magnified and enhanced for optimal viewing and computerized surgical planning.  Because developing chemicals and film are not required for digital radiography, it is also better for the environment.

Radiography can be used to evaluate bones, heart, lungs, and organs in the abdomen.  This type of imaging can be very useful in diagnosing orthopedic injuries, bladder stones, and abnormalities in the heart and lungs, as well as intestinal blockages and Intervertebral disc disease, with the use of contrast agents.

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adiograph showing Barium
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Radiograph showing pregnancy
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Radiograph showing a foreign body (rock)

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Dental Radiology

While there are times when it is easy to tell if your pet is in need of a dental cleaning (for instance bad breath, visible tartar, or loss of teeth), there are many times when there are hidden problems underneath the gumline not easily seen. This is the reason dental radiographs are needed. Bacteria in the mouth doesn’t just affect the area of tooth that you can see but travels below the gumline causing damage and deterioration of supporting tissues that hold the teeth securely in the mouth. Hidden abscesses, cysts, or tooth fractures may not be detectable, even when the patient is under anesthesia for a dental, without taking radiographs.

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This shows 2 molars with root abscesses
(darkened halos around the roots).
Both teeth were extracted.

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Our hospital is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Learn more about what this means for you and your pet.

Location Hours
Monday8:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday8:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday8:00am – 12:00pm
SundayClosed

Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital
1423 East Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa, 52807

Phone: 563-386-1445
Fax: 563-386-5586
Email: kimberlycrestvet@yahoo.com