Our patients cannot speak for themselves, so our staff relies on diagnostic imaging as they diagnose and treat illness in animals. UW Veterinary Care is equipped with the most cutting-edge imaging technologies, so you can rest assured that your animal will receive the right tests and fast results.
Imaging studies are reviewed and reported on the same day, often at the time of the study by our in-house board certified radiologists and residents in training to provide accurate answers in a timely fashion.
Our state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging capabilities include:
- Digital radiography to study heart or lung disease, gastrointestinal upset, urinary problems, trauma or abdominal pain.
- Ultrasound for the evaluation of internal organs, muscles, tendons and growths, as well as live guidance for tissue sampling.
- Fluoroscopy or moving, real-time X-ray studies that enable a live look at GI tract and swallowing function. This is also used for interventional radiographic procedures for heart, liver or bladder problems.
- Contrast or “dye” studies that provide better identification of the urinary system and spinal cord.
- CT scans for small animals that produce high-detail images for the evaluation of the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, or any other part of the body.
- MRI for the study of neurological or orthopedic diseases in small animals.
- The only site in the state that has Nuclear Imaging to help clarify lameness in horses.
Our expert team of certified technologists, board-certified radiologists and residents work together and, with these technologies, give patients the best possible care.
Digital radiography is a routine, non-invasive, procedure that produces a two-dimensional image, or radiograph, of the patient. Radiographs are produced from x-rays, which are ionizing radiation. Radiographs are painless and do not cause discomfort to the patient, however, sedation may be recommended to reduce anxiety and pain from existing disorders such as fracture or arthritis, while improving the quality of the study by reducing motion.
Some examples of radiography uses include:
- cardiac disease
- respiratory disease
- gastrointestinal disease
- cancer staging
- urinary and biliary stones
Ultrasonography is rapidly becoming a standard of care imaging technology. This non-invasive modality uses sound waves to generate detailed images of organs. Ultrasound can be used to determine the architecture of an organ or structure, blood flow, size and shape. Advanced ultrasound capabilities include elastography for orthopedics and contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), which uses small gas bubbles to determine perfusion of a structure and can be used to predict if a lesion is benign or malignant.
This non-invasive imaging technology provides unparalleled diagnostic feedback to UWVC clinicians.
UWVC also provides this service on an outpatient basis
Some examples of ultrasonography utility include:
- cancer staging
- evaluating for obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, gall bladder, or urinary system
- real-time guiding of tissue or fluid samples
- orthopedics (tendon, ligament, muscles)
- liver and biliary disease
- pancreatic disease
- adrenal disease
- urogenital disease
- gastrointestinal disease
Computed tomography is a diagnostic procedure that uses special x-ray equipment to obtain cross-sectional images of the body. The CT computer displays these detailed images of the tissues of all body regions, removing superimposition. State-of-the-art computed tomography is used in several ways, including:
- detecting or confirming the presence of a tumor
- guiding a biopsy
- helping plan radiation therapy or surgical treatment and monitor response to treatment
- ascertaining damage to internal organs, such as the kidneys, liver and spleen, after an accident
- helping diagnose problems with blood vessels and the heart
- looking for damage to bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and joints
- checking for bleeding in the brain after a head injury
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) helps diagnose many medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bones, vessels and virtually all other internal body structures. These detailed images allow radiologists to better evaluate and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods, including CT.
MR examinations help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:
- disease of the brain and spinal cord
- tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis
- certain types of heart disease
- blockages, enlargements or anatomical variants of blood vessels
- diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
- cysts and solid tumors in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tract
- tumors and other abnormalities of the reproductive organs
Nuclear scintigraphy was developed in 1957 and is still used in veterinary and human medicine. UWVC is the only veterinary medical clinic in Wisconsin to offer this technology for our animal patients.
Nuclear scintigraphy uses tracers - small doses of radioactive elements - that are injected and localize at specific sites in the body. A gamma camera is used to determine the location and quantity of activity in an area or organ, which allows the clinician to determine function or if an active process, like cancer or bone fracture, is occurring.
Recent upgrades to the gamma camera have improved the speed of examination and reduced stress for the patients. The gantry is quieter, making it less disruptive, and it is more mobile, so it can move around the patient rather than the patient having to shift into different positions.
Routine examinations include:
- Equine lameness localization
- Small animal metastasis screening
- Thyroid function
- Renal function (Glomerular Filtration Rate, GFR)
Fluoroscopy is a non-invasive radiographic study that allows for real-time imaging using x-rays.
Some examples of how fluoroscopy is used include:
- swallowing, esophageal and gastrointestinal function and motility
- tracheal collapse
- orthopedic implant placement
- urogenital disease
- interventional procedures for heart, urinary or liver disease
UWVC Diagnostic Imaging Team
- Lisa Forrest, VMD, DACVR, DACVR-RO, Professor
- Kenneth R. Waller III, DVM, MS, DACVR, Clinical Assistant Professor
- Elizabeth Peters, DVM, MS, Clinical Instructor
- Lauren Blume, DVM
- Samantha Loeber, DVM
- JR Lund, DVM
- Jessica Malberg, DVM
Diagnostic Imaging Staff
- Daylena Scarpaci, BS, RT(R), Supervisor
- Cheryl Baumel, MT(ASCP), RMRIT
- Stana Hanson, RT (R)
- Nicole Harvey, RT (R)
- Angela Kadlec, RT(R)
- Kimberly Legler, RT(R)
- Kristin McGrane, RDMS, RT (R)
- Lori Pike, BA, RT(R)