The provision of an excellent orthopaedic service begins with a careful examination and excellent diagnostic imaging facilities. We at Kentdale Referrals have a range of diagnostic imaging modalities available in order to reach an accurate diagnosis which is essential to ensure the optimal treatment is selected. All of our imaging systems produce digital images that allow the pictures to be sent electronically to colleagues across the world.
Our diagnostic imaging includes a radiography (X-ray) system. Our first line diagnostic tool is a high definition Konica Minolta Regius 190 CR digital radiography system as installed in many human hospitals worldwide. This machine provides us with excellent images of the very highest quality. We selected this system because of the superior image resolution (47.5 microns) in comparison with most other 'high definition' digital x ray systems that often have a resolution of 100 microns or more. This enables us to see even the smallest details within the bone.
Computed Tomography (CT)
We also are the only practice in Cumbria to have an on-site CT scanner that is available to scan your animal 24 hours a day if necessary. The immediate availability of three-dimensional imaging can be critical to the successful management of many serious problems and is becoming the standard of care in top referral centres. CT is an advanced imaging method that uses x-rays to produce multiple thin slices of the body. During the scan the sedated animal is passed through the ring-shaped gantry on a motorised table.
After the scan has been performed the images can be manipulated by powerful computer programs that can restack and recut the slices in any direction, or even produce three dimensional pictures. We principally use CT to help us to diagnose joint and spinal problems without resorting to invasive exploratory surgery, however the ability to look at three dimensional images is also very useful in planning surgery for complex fractures and limb deformities.
Since having CT available we have been able to more specifically treat complex joint problems including elbow dysplasia by identifying fragments of bone that were not visible on radiographs and allowing us to more accurately assess joint congruity (joint fit). This helps us to determine reasons why the problem may have developed and has substantially altered our management of the condition in many dogs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging is a state-of-the-art imaging method that uses a strong magnetic field to produce image slices of the body. We work in conjunction with Burgess Diagnostics, the UK leader in mobile advanced imaging for the veterinary market who visit weekly with a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner. The scanner is housed on the back of an articulated lorry and is run by a skilled radiographer. We prefer MRI for imaging many chronic spinal problems, however it is a very versatile technique that can be used to produce images of any body tissues.