Behind Every Great Veterinarian is a Great Radiologist

Board-certified radiologists are trusted partners in both diagnostic and treatment plans. Utilizing multiple imaging modalities to diagnose many different diseases and injuries, they collaborate with our specialists and veterinarians to come up with the optimal treatment plan.

Primary care veterinarians may refer their patients to VSCNL for diagnostic imaging or submit radiographs for specialist interpretation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a board-certified Veterinary Radiologist?

Medical images are very complex and a veterinary radiologist may be needed to interpret the results accurately. Veterinary radiologists are licensed veterinarians who have completed a 4-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, followed by a residency program in diagnostic imaging. This program is certified by the American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR) and the board-certified radiologist has successfully passed certifying examinations. They are a Diplomate of the ACVR. A veterinary radiologist is a specialist in the interpretation of many diagnostic imaging modalities including radiographs (x-rays), ultrasound (including echocardiogram), CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine.

What is diagnostic imaging?

Diagnostic imaging provides veterinarians an inside view of your pet. It is non-invasive, meaning no incision is necessary, and assist in diagnosing or ruling out a variety of conditions that cannot be confirmed by physical examination or blood tests alone. There are five types of medical imaging available through veterinary medicine: radiographs (x-ray), ultrasound, CT, nuclear medicine, and MRI. To learn more, refer to the variety of diagnostic imaging fact sheets we have available on our website.

What is special about the diagnostic imaging equipment and imaging staff at VSCNL?

Our diagnostic imaging unit is run by a board-certified veterinary radiologist, who is supported by registered veterinary technicians specifically trained in diagnostic imaging. There is advanced imaging equipment such as digital radiology, ultrasound, and CT. This combination of staff, equipment, and services is offered only by VSCNL within our province.

Will my pet need sedation and/or anesthesia?

The temperament of your pet and any medical conditions will be taken into account when deciding this. For further information, read Sedation & Anesthesia.

Will my pet need bloodwork? 

For the safety of your pet, procedures requiring sedation and/or anesthesia always require bloodwork.For further information, read Sedation & Anesthesia.

Does medical imaging always provide the final diagnosis?

Depending on circumstances, diagnostic imaging may provide a final answer (i.e., fracture, bladder stone). However, multiple tests may be required to determine a diagnosis. Diagnostic imaging results may identify the need for other diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy. It may also rule out conditions, which is also very valuable information.

Why does my pet need diagnostic imaging tests if we’ve already done other tests?

Many diagnostic tools to evaluate your pet’s health are available; each type of diagnostic can tell different things. For example, many problems involve multiple diagnostic imaging techniques for optimal evaluation.For example, an x-ray will show the size, shape and position of an organ. In contrast, an ultrasound and CT allows the veterinarian to see inside the organ and to assess function in some cases. For moving organs such as the heart, the size, tissue character, and muscle function can be assessed in “real time” via an ultrasound. Our veterinarians will be able to help decide which tests are right for your pet.



CBC/Blood Chemistries

CBC Complete Blood Count (CBC) evaluates hydration status, anemia, infection, blood clotting ability, immune system, some bleeding disorders, or other unseen abnormalities. Testing is essential …

Sedation & Anesthesia

Our specialists and veterinarians design the safest sedation/anesthesia plan based upon each patient’s individual needs. Sedation/anesthesia enables our doctors to conduct procedures with minimal anxiety …

Contrast Studies

A variety of contrast studies are available; each utilizing a contrast agent.  After administration of the contrast agent, a series of diagnostic images are then …

Computer-Aided Tomography (CAT) Scan

Also referred to as computed axial tomography and computer-aided tomography, a CT scan uses a narrow X-ray beam that circles around one part of your …

Echocardiogram (echo)

Also referred to as an echocardiogram or cardiac ultrasound, an echo is a painless, non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to take pictures of the …


Also known as sonography, ultrasound scanning is a non-invasive form of diagnostic imaging that uses sound waves to provide a real-time view of organs which …

Radiographs (Xrays)

Our digital radiography can be viewed and fully evaluated within seconds.

The Difference an X-ray Can Make

Griffin is a 3-year-old Rottweiler cross. He came to the Veterinary Specialty Centre Emergency on a Saturday night. Griffin’s owner said he wasn’t himself all …