In veterinary practice, accurate diagnosis is more important than in "human" medicine. If a person is able to explain to a doctor what hurts him and how, then in treating dogs a veterinarian can only rely on his own knowledge and research results. From this point of view, MRI in some cases gives the most informative examination results.
Why do you need an MRI of a dog’s head
Magnetic resonance imaging is based on the action of an electromagnetic field. It allows you to explore the condition of soft tissues, especially those that are not available for other diagnostic methods due to their location. Therefore, the study of the head using MRI in dogs is an indispensable method that allows you to detect the presence of neoplasms, vascular anomalies and changes in the structure of the brain long before the onset of external symptoms of the disease.
MRI diagnosis of the head is shown to dogs in the case of:
- Lesions of the nervous system. MRI allows you to examine the nerves, identify pathological activity in a particular area and dystrophic lesions of the brain.
- Problems with blood supply. In the pictures you can see the intensity of blood supply to different sites, the state of the vascular walls, the presence and localization of pathologies, the size of aneurysms or cholesterol plaques. Any congenital or acquired disorders can cause serious consequences, up to rupture of aneurysms or plaques, which leads to heart attack, stroke and death.
- Inflammatory tissue changes or suspected oncology. The presence of pathology (inflammatory processes, cancerous tumors) the tomograph determines by increasing the metabolic rate in the affected area: the modified cells begin to divide uncontrollably, thereby consuming more energy.
This diagnostic method allows you to see the spatial picture (anatomical section) of the investigated object in black and white. Given the knowledge of anatomy, the veterinarian will be able to detect any pathology that causes structural changes.
Advantages of MRI:
- Non-invasiveness (no damage). Compared to computed tomography, MR is dispensed with ionizing radiation.
- High contrast resolution of soft tissue images. This allows you to see the most insignificant tissue differences.
- Accuracy and informativeness. The equipment allows you to see slices in all possible planes and detect pathologies from 2 mm in size.
- High penetration due to uniform penetration of the investigated object by a magnetic field.
But the procedure has a number of contraindications, including obesity, intolerance to drugs for anesthesia and the presence of metal implants (screws or spokes in the bones, pacemakers).
How is the procedure
Carrying out an MRI of the head for dogs requires ensuring the complete immobility of the animal throughout the procedure. During the diagnosis, you need to lie motionless, otherwise the entire series of images obtained will be unreadable. If a person is able to not move for a long time, then this cannot be demanded from the animal. In this regard, general anesthesia is required for diagnosis.
Despite the fact that the most gentle types of anesthesia (gas or short-acting intravenous sleeping pills) are usually used for dogs, their use is always fraught with risk. Introduction to anesthesia requires preliminary preparation and exclusion of diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems before using the drugs.
These difficulties are associated with a significantly higher cost of MRI for dogs compared to a similar study for humans. As a result, the study and the person lasts about 15 minutes, and the dog 40-60 minutes.
How much is an MRI
Prices in Moscow clinics that offer brain MRI for dogs start at 5500-6000 rubles. Additionally, the cost of anesthetic benefits from 1600 rubles. up to 3400 rub. The final price will be influenced by the weight of the pet, as well as the need to use contrasting substances that improve the visualization of the tissues being examined. In the latter case, another 2500-3500 rubles should be added to the price.
After the study, the owner of the dog receives the results on a CD-ROM with a full description of the clinical picture and the diagnosis, based on which you can choose the most optimal treatment regimen and, if necessary, recommend a surgical operation.
Thus, dog brain MRI is a reliable, sometimes indispensable diagnostic method in the hands of a competent veterinarian. But it should be carried out in a timely manner and solely according to indications, so that the costs paid off by obtaining the desired results. It is this procedure that allows you to make the correct diagnosis, which is the key to a quick recovery and a full life of the pet.