What To Expect

How to Prepare

Diagnostic imaging requires that the patient remain extremely still for a period of time.  For this reason, it is necessary that your pet undergo general anesthesia for this procedure.  To prepare for this, all food, including treats, should be withheld starting at 10:00 p.m. the night before the exam; and water should be withheld for four hours prior to appointment.

Depending on your pet’s medical condition, anesthesia can involve some risks.  To minimize these risks and to provide the greatest skill and knowledge possible for your pet’s procedure, anesthesia is administered under the direction of a veterinary anesthesiologist.  This will be discussed with you in detail during the admission process.

During the admission process, we will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding the MRI procedure.  We will also ask that you sign a consent form for the procedure, including the administration of anesthesia. Payment for the scan will be taken at this time.  We accept checks, all major credit cards, and Care Credit but we do not accept cash.

You are welcome to wait in the reception area during the scan process, or, for your convenience, you can leave your pet with us at the center and schedule a time to return after the exam.  If you choose to leave the center, please make sure our staff knows how to contact you in the event of a question or scheduling change.  Please make arrangements to pick your pet up at the scheduled time.

The MRI Exam Process

1. Your pet will undergo a physical exam in preparation for the anesthesia.

2. An intravenous catheter will be placed in a leg vein for the administration of anesthetic agents.  If appropriate, pre-anesthesia medications will be given in preparation for the anesthesia.  All patients will require general anesthesia.

Note:  Preparation for the catheter requires hair clipping at the site; a small area on your pet’s chest may also be shaved to place a patch that monitors heart rhythm.

3. Your pet will then be moved to the MRI magnet room, positioned, and scanned.

4. After the MRI exam, your pet will be brought to a recovery room, where you may join your pet for the recovery period.  Shortly thereafter, your pet will be ready to go home.

5. The MRI examination will be interpreted by a board-certified veterinary radiologist. The written report will be sent to your referring veterinarian the next business day.

After the Exam

A pressure bandage will be placed on your pet’s leg when the intravenous catheter is removed to prevent bleeding at the site; be sure to remove this bandage after one hour.

It is normal for pets to be quiet following general anesthesia. A light meal and water in moderation may be offered once your pet is home. Although uncommon, some pets may experience a mild cough for several days following their anesthesia. If you observe any unusual behavior, or have any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.

You will need to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the results of the MRI exam.

You may contact AnimalScan during our regular business hours with any post-anesthesia concerns.  We are not available for after-hours emergencies and in such instances please contact your regular veterinarian or referring specialist.