Frequently Asked Questions

MRI is a safe and non-invasive procedure that does not cause any pain or discomfort. Unlike a CT scan, no ionizing radiation is utilized during an MRI. An MRI uses a strong magnet and radio waves to generate highly detailed images of internal anatomy.

In veterinary patients, MRI must be performed under general anesthesia which requires withholding food for at least 12 hours prior to the scan.

No, not all pets need to go under full anesthesia. If your animal is within the age range and otherwise healthy your Veterinarian and ours might agree that full anesthesia is not necessary. In this event, your animal will receive a lite sedative and muscle relaxing medication to perform the MRI.
The time required to complete an MRI study will vary.  We will try to provide an estimation of the time required to perform the scan at the time you and your pet arrive. Depending on the scan time, we will ask you to stay and wait in our waiting room or go about your day and we will contact you when the procedure is complete.

You will meet with a member of the MRI team, who will answer any questions you have about the procedure. Your pet will then begin preparations for the MRI. If needed, a mild sedative will be administered to calm your pet for catheter placement. A small amount of fur will be clipped to facilitate placement of an intravenous catheter for administration of anesthetic agents and intravenous fluids. Anesthesia is required because the patient must remain completely still during the procedure in order for clear images to be acquired. An additional small area of fur will be clipped from the chest where an ECG pad will be placed. The ECG will allow your pet’s heart rhythm to be monitored throughout the procedure.

Your pet will be anesthetized under the direct supervision of a board-certified veterinarian then placed on a padded comfortable table. This table will slide into a chamber which is surrounded by the magnet. The scan is performed under the direction of a board-certified Radiologist.

Following the MRI your pet will be moved to a warm, comfortable recovery area. Your pet may go home once completely awakened from the anesthesia. When your pet is discharged, PAI staff will discuss at home care. A final written report from the radiologist will generally be available to your veterinarian in 24/48 hours and will be reviewed with you. Since a final report of the MRI will not be available at the time your pet is released, the staff member will not be able to discuss the results with you.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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