Q: What is an MRI?
A: MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is a powerful, non-invasive way to image the inside of an animal’s body. MRI uses molecules of water to form detailed images of a cross section of the body. It offers superior image quality over many other types of imaging (ie x-rays and CT) and is ideal for imaging of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It also offers advantages for oncological (cancer) imaging.
Q: Can my pet’s MRI be performed on the same day as the initial appointment?
A: MRI’s are performed on a regular basis Monday-Friday as well as on emergency basis overnight and on the weekend. Often we can perform the MRI on the same day as your appointment. It depends on availability for that given day. Emergencies and critical cases take first priority. Usually, we try to schedule the MRI for another day. However, we try to be as accommodating as possible, especially if you are traveling from a far distance.
Q: Will I receive a call after the MRI or surgery?
A: The neurologist will give you a call after surgery as soon as your pet has recovered from general anesthesia. Typically, owners will have a scheduled time after the MRI to come in and discuss the results with the neurologist.
Q: How much fur will be shaved on my pet?
A: Prior to surgery, your pet will have the fur around the surgical site shaved to obtain a sterile field. The extent of area shaved will depend upon the procedure being performed. Most patients will have small areas shaved for placement of IV catheters, pain medication patches or where the spinal tap is performed. Depending on the location of the spinal tap, a small square may be shaved at the base of the skull or just above the tail.
Q: Will my pet be monitored during anesthesia?
A: The neurology service is staffed by experienced licensed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technician specialists in anesthesia. Monitoring consists of supervising a number of parameters including ECG, blood pressure measurement, oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation of blood, respiration rate and level of consciousness. In addition, patient specific protocols allow for safe and low-risk anesthesia.
Q: How long after the MRI is a surgery performed if needed?
A: How quickly a patient has surgery (if indicated) after the MRI will vary from pet to pet. For example, for emergency procedures, the patient usually goes directly to surgery after the MRI. The neurologist can call you after the MRI and discuss the finding and options. Oftentimes, non-emergency and elective procedures are performed the next day or scheduled at your convenience.
Q: How long will my pet be in the hospital after an MRI or surgery?
A: Patients that have an MRI performed may get to go home the same day, usually in the late afternoon. The Neurologist will go over the MRI at that time and discuss options and further treatment. Hospitalization after surgery will depend on the surgery and how affected your pet was prior to surgery. In general patients are in the hospital 2-5 days after surgery.
Q: Can I visit my pet after surgery?
A: Visits to patients while in the hospital are typically allowed. Whether it is in the best interest of the patient will be determined by a number of factors, including the pet’s personality and whether or not they get stressed when owners visit.
Q: How does my regular veterinarian know what is going on with my pet?
A: A complete referral letter is sent to your regular veterinarian. The neurologist will keep in contact with your pet’s regular veterinarian regarding long-term management of the case. For the best management of your pet’s condition, it is essential that there is good communication between PMVC, your veterinarian and yourself. The neurology service strives to return calls within 24 hours.