The provision of an excellent orthopaedic service begins with a careful examination and excellent diagnostic imaging facilities. We 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 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 less. This enables us to see even the smallest details within the bone.
Kentdale 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 availablity of three dimensional imaging can be critical to the successful management of many spinal 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 image plane or even produce three dimensional pictures. We principally use CT to helps us to diagnose joint and spinal problems without resulting 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.
A three dimensional CT reconstruction of a dogs face
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.
A CT scan of a dogs elbow joint showing a fragmented coronoid process. These small bone fragments are very difficult to see on normal radiographs.
A three dimensional reconstruction of a dogs spine taken using CT
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 twice monthly 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.
MRI of a dogs spine. Unfortunately this shows a tumour invading the bone below the spinal cord.