What is a Veterinary Radiologist?

A Veterinary Radiologist / Diagnostic Imaging Specialist is a veterinarian who has undergone extensive additional clinical training (usually 3-4 years, over and above their veterinary degree). This training is usually in a university hospital environment as a clinical assistant or resident under guidance of experienced academic Radiologists. This training covers all species, including exotic and bird species, and all modalities of diagnostic imaging. This includes radiology and fluoroscopy, diagnostic ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine. On completion of a rigorous examination process, the radiologist is registered as a specialist and/or board certified diplomate.

What to expect....

At Vet Imaging Specialists, we care about you and your pet and are happy to discuss any queries you may have before or on the day of your pets appointment. Whilst we will always try and perform an ultrasound examination without sedation, some pets simply will not lie on their backs for the scan or are painful, uncomfortable or tense and need to be sedated. For this reason we ask that all pets be fasted for a minimum of 12 hours prior to an ultrasound examination. In general patients coming for heart scans do not require fasting but this can be discussed with one of our team members upon appointment scheduling. All patients may have free access to water at all times. Please ring us to discuss fasting for diabetic animals.

Ultrasound examinations generally take 30-45 minutes and it is best to wait while your pet has his / her ultrasound examination performed. The imaging findings are generally discussed with you by your referring vet but, time permitting, the radiologist may discuss the findings especially if any additional imaging  / sampling is required.

Patients referred to Vet Imaging Specialists for advanced imaging such as Computed Tomography (CT) will need to have a general anaesthetic and thus also need to be fasted for a minimum of 12 hours.  Patients undergoing CT examinations are generally dropped off in the morning and collected later in the day.

Comprehensive reports are emailed to your referring veterinarian within 24 -48hours of the imaging study. We usually also ring your veterinarian on the day to discuss the imaging findings. Overall case management and care remains the responsibility of your referring veterinarian.

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Ultrasound Examinations

Do I need to fast my pet?


Yes- It is important that your pet is fasted from 6pm the night prior to their ultrasound appointment. This is because some pets require sedation if they are uncomfortable or stressed for their scans. It is also particularly important if your pet is having an abdominal ultrasound as food in the abdomen creates gas and we cannot ultrasound through this gas, so it can block our view. If you have a diabetic, exotic (rabbit, guinea pig, ferret etc.) or very young pet, please ring us to discuss fasting options.




Can I allow my pet to drink water?


Yes- water is fine on the day of the ultrasound.




Does my pet have to be sedated for ultrasound?


We always try to ultrasound your pet without sedation first, however sometimes they can be uncomfortable or stressed during the scan, so sedation may be necessary.




Do you need to clip the fur?


Yes- We will need to clip the fur in the area we are ultrasounding. This is because the fur traps gas and the ultrasound cannot scan through this gas. Clipping the fur allows for better contact between the ultrasound and your pets skin, so we can get a better and clearer image.




Can I stay with my pet?


We try to ultrasound your pet by themselves first, however if your pet gets very anxious or stressed we can bring you through to comfort them.




How long does the ultrasound take?


The ultrasound takes about 30-45min.





General

My pet is sick, can I book an appointment directly?


Firstly you must visit your regular GP vet who can then send us a referral for your pet. You can then ring us directly to organise a day to book in.




Where are you located?


We are located within The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University, and we can be found within the Referral Services Reception. You can find directions and a map to us on the 'Contact Us' page




How much will it cost?


Please ring us on 0429 988 921 to discuss a quote.




How can I pay?


We accept cash or EFTPOS on the day of the examination. Please note we are currently unable to accept VetPay.




My pet is insured, how can I claim?


Depending on your pet insurance company, you can claim online or you can simply fill out your insurance papers before your appointment and hand them to one of our nurses. We will then attach all relevant documents and invoices and can post it straight to the insurance company.





Computed Tomography (CT)

Does my pet need to be under anaesthesia for the CT study?


Yes- All pets requiring a CT scan will need to be under a full general anaesthesia. We have specialist anaesthetists from The Animal Hospital that perform the general anaesthesia so your pet will always be in great hands.




My Pet needs a CT scan, how do I book this in?


Firstly, one of our Radiologists need to discuss your pets case with your regular vet to determine if an outpatient CT is the most appropriate scan. Your vet will then need to send a referral. We will then be in contact with you to discuss an estimate of costs for the procedure, and we will organise a day to book your pet in.





Radiographs (x-rays)

My pet needs x-rays, can they be done at Vet Imaging Specialists?


Generally, x-rays (radiographs) are performed at your referring veterinarian. In some instances, your referring vet may require that we take x-rays for them e.g in very large patients or patients having sedation for an ultrasound procedure to save time or avoid two sedations. A referral from your veterinarian is required for any radiographic study.




Can I get an opinion on x-rays taken by my vet?


Yes - x-rays are commonly taken by your vet. In most instances they are happy to interpret them but occasionally, the x-rays can be tricky to interpret and a specialist Radiologist opinion is required. Your vet can send your pets x-rays to us via our digital image upload link and we will send them a written radiographic report within 24 hours on weekdays.





Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

My Pet needs an MRI scan, how do I book this in?


Firstly, one of our Radiologists need to discuss your pets case with your regular vet to determine if an outpatient MRI is the most appropriate scan. Your vet will then need to send a referral. We will then be in contact with you to discuss an estimate of costs for the procedure, and we will organise a day to book your pet in.




Does my pet need to be under anaesthesia for the MRI scan?


Yes- All pets requiring an MRI scan will need to be under a full general anaesthesia. We have specialist anaesthetists from The Animal Hospital that perform the general anaesthesia so your pet will always be in great hands.





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