Outpatient Imaging



More than any other specialized service, our radiology department interacts with nearly all of our team on most cases. Because a prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical to any successful treatment plan, we place a heavy emphasis on thorough but practical work-ups to ensure the best possible outcome.

We have made a commitment to employing the most sophistocated and efficient modalities available in veterinary medicine today such as:

  • Digital Radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy
  • CT Scanning
  • MR Imaging
All imaging services can be made available on an outpatient basis only and can often be scheduled the same day as the request if the patient needs immediate attention. The veterinarian will receive a personal interpretation after the image is taken so that they can make the best decision for the patient. Please call to speak with our radiology specialists for more information.

6 Indications for Advanced Imaging for the General Practitioner

  1. Suspected Portosystemic Shunt, Elevated Bile Acids
    • CT angiography is a highly sensitive diagnostic tool that can be used to evaluate all vascular structures.
    • Through the IV administration of relatively safe contrast media, all vessels can be road-mapped and thus traced throughout the thorax and abdomen.
    • While ultrasonography can also be a useful tool for the detection of shunts, there are many which still go missed if they are deep or extend into the thoracic cavity (portoazygous shunts).
  2. Nasal Discharge, Epistaxis, Vestibular Syndrome/Inner Ear Disease
    • Head CT is a fast and effective way to evaluate all associated structures.
    • There are certain patterns detected via CT that can be consistent with either destructive or non-destructive processes.
    • The CT findings then provide detailed information regarding true extent of disease and guides the clinician regarding best regions for biopsy.
    • Very effective for evaluating middle or inner ear disease and screen for polyps/masses.
  3. Back Pain, Non-Ambulatory, Suspected Disc Disease
    • CT of the vertebral column is a fast and sensitive means of detecting compressive lesions of the spinal cord as well as subtle luxations and fractures.
    • This can be performed under injectable sedation and completed in a matter of seconds.
  4. Elbows
    • Developmental skeletal diseases of the elbow are often the most radiographically elusive disease.
    • Often the smallest lesions, such as fragmented medial coronoid processes (FCP) can cause substantial lameness and yet go undetected radiographically.
    • The cross-sectional nature of CT imaging provides a fast and confident diagnosis of these diseases and can serve to justify and guide subsequent arthroscopic procedures.
  5. Incontinence or Suspected Ureteral Ectopia
    • Similar to CT angiography, outlined above, a CT IV urogram (administration of IV contrast media) can substantially increase the contrast resolution of the ureters and permit the radiologist to follow them from kidneys to urinary bladder.
    • Any deviation or interruption of the course of the ureters would be detected.
  6. Just how Large is this Mass and is it Resectable
    • Radiography often only reveals the 'tip of the iceberg', which is to say that tumor excision without the use of CT imaging can lead to necessary surgical revisions in the future.
    • CT combined with IV administration of contrast media can give a surgeon or practitioner a far better grasp regarding the size of the mass in question and its potential association with adjacent vessels and tissues.


Our CT scanner is extremely fast and we can offer outpatient imaging without general anesthesia, using only mild sedation. NorthStar VETS can also provide 3D renderings to help with surgical planning.

To schedule an appointment with our Radiology team, please call 609-259-8300.