Investigations using contrast medium

Contrast medium imaging is also done for animal patients. With the aid of contrast medium investigation we look for, among other things, intervertebral disc problems, inflammations, tumours, wounds or structural flaws, which can be cured with medicines or surgery or at least try to alleviate the day to day life of your pet. With an orally administered contrast medium we clarify the structure and functioning of the oesophagus, stomach and intestines, and we can also look for foreign bodies with this procedure.

Administering the contrast medium orally is often a messy job, because the contrast liquid easily flows out from the sides of the mouth of the cat or dog and along its fur into the environment. Imaging the intestines takes several hours, because the contrast medium has to reach the large intestine during the imaging. For this procedure it is not necessary to sedate the animal.

With the contrast medium administered intravenously we investigate the structure of the kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra. For clarifying problems of the bladder it is also possible to use a catheter to put the contrast medium directly into the bladder. Kidney contrast medium imaging is usually over in a couple of hours, but before going home the patient has to wake up from narcosis.

In contrast imaging of the spinal cord the contrast liquid is injected directly into the spinal canal and after this procedure the patient may feel nauseous, and will have to wake up at the clinic before going home.

The length of the fast to be done before the contrast medium investigation will be determined by the condition of the patient at that time. The general rule though is that the intestines, especially the large intestine, should be empty during imaging. The pre-imaging fast is usually 24 hours.