A PET scan, or otherwise known as the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is a kind of imaging test that lets the doctor check and examine for diseases in your body. Is it the same for our pets? If you are curious as to what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan for your pets, you must first inquire whether a PET scan is the right imaging test for your pet’s condition.
You may still be wondering what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan for your pets. The thing is, PET scan for pets may not be readily available in all veterinary hospitals. Most of the time, these vet hospitals have to work with local human hospitals to see whether they will allow your pet to use the equipment. Typically, when a veterinarian takes a close look into an animal’s internal body part, he usually orders a CT scan or some other forms of available imaging test. Here are some of the things you need to know about it.
How CT Scans Work for Pets
A CT scan is indeed similar to a traditional X-ray. In this procedure, the sliced images of the patient to be reconstructed into three-dimensional models are obtained through a computed tomography scan.
CT scans for pets are almost identical to those done on humans. The machine and equipment are nearly the same. However, the only difference is that procedure done on pets require anesthetization to keep them still throughout the process.
Why Pets Need CT Scans or PET Scans
This procedure is ideal in understanding some anomalies in the body before performing and undergoing certain surgeries. In performing a CT scan, the surgeon will know the precise location of these anomalies and plan a surgical approach to minimize surgery time. According to Dr. Wilfried Mai, an associate professor on veterinary radiology at the University of Pennsylvania.
A CT scan is usually also conducted on the lungs of animals. This will help veterinarians rule out or identify metastasis or the spreading of various cancers on various parts of the body. Overall, CT scans are essential in knowing the extent of feline and canine cancers for further treatment.
While identifying cancerous body parts of an animal’s body is the primary purpose of a CT scan for pets, chronic nasal discharge is common. It is no longer a question of what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan, but what proper test your pet should undergo. There are several imaging tests for pets, but a CT scan is the most common.
How CT Scans for Pets are Conducted
CT Scans are typically done at large hospitals, and including university teaching hospitals. The night before the test, the patient is not allowed to eat. Then, by the next day, blood work will be taken, and the patient is made ready for anesthetization. The veterinary technologist then positions the pet. After that, the anesthesiologist and technologist proceed to a separate room to run the scan.
There is a large window where everyone, even the pet owner, can monitor his pet’s vitals. The scan only takes about 30 seconds. Then, the anesthesiologist goes to the room to check on the animal. Overall, the entire procedure is 45 minutes. Depending on the assessment, the scan may be done twice with and without the injection of iodine. This would allow the radiologist to examine the abnormal intake of iodine, which is an indicator of tumors or inflammation.
Side Effects of a CT Scan
Humans who repeatedly undergo CT scans are more prone to radiation-induced cancers. On the other hand, repeat scans for cats and dogs are very rare. Moreover, their lifespans are not long enough compared to humans for them to be affected the same way. Since this procedure requires anesthesia, the pet should be observed for a short period in case of any ill effects.
Cost of a PET scan or CT Scan for Pets
The cost of this procedure depends on the complexity of the study and the scan itself. Most often than not, scans that require iodine cost $1,000 for an entire procedure. Prices may also depend on the geographic location and per veterinarian. In New York, the total cost, which includes the scan itself, hospitalization, anesthesia, blood work, examination, and consultations, may run from $1,500 to $2,500.
What Foods to Avoid When Getting a PET Scan or CT Scan
Days before the actual procedure, a human patient is already informed on what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan or CT scan. They are instructed to follow a limited carbohydrate diet for 24 hours preceding the date of the appointment. Six hours before the exam, they will be again told not to eat or drink anything except water. They are advised to drink lots of it, as this would be helpful before undergoing the procedure itself.
This is almost the same for pets. The night before the exam, dogs, and cats alike are not allowed to consume anything except water. When asked what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan, the answer is that any food or drink except water should be avoided six hours before the actual test.
I hope that this article can answer your queries, especially on what foods to avoid when getting a PET scan. Your pet’s health needs the utmost attention, especially when it comes to things that we cannot see, their internal organs. Cancers among pets are prevalent nowadays, and it is better to be safe and sorry. You might need to spend a few bucks for it, but that is nothing compared to the affection you have for your beloved pet. Get more tips on pet scans.