Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging does not resort to X-rays like is the case with the CT-Scan. The principal of the MRI is based rather on magnetism. Radio waves (which differ from X-rays) are propelled towards the targeted tissue which allow the cells to acquire a form of energy.

Different components of the animal's body (water, tendon, cartilage, soft tissue) will acquire different energy levels which will be perceived by the magnets that are placed around the animal's body. The energy levels perceived by these magnets produce an image of different shades of gray, ranging from white to black, which will accurately differentiate various tissues, especially those that constitute the joints and nervous system, the brain and spinal cord.

Thus, certain conditions such as meningitis, brain clots, tumors or cysts can be detected with greater accuracy than with the CT-Scan. It is the same for infections of the inter-vertebral discs as well as a fibro cartilaginous embolism localized to the spinal cord.

The MRI is also used to detect certain conditions, such as hydrocephalus or syringomyelia, a condition that affects the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Chihuahuas.

We will also use the MRI to obtain images of the different structures of a joint, because structures such as ligaments, menisci and the muscles are not well defined enough to make an accurate diagnosis via the CT-Scan which would also hinder an adequate prognosis.