What Happens to Your Pet
In order to obtain a high-quality MRI image, your pet must be completely still for approximately one hour. This would be impossible without general anesthesia and therefore, your pet must not eat the morning of the MRI and you must be prepared to leave the animal in the hospital for most of the day.
The specialist evaluating your dog or cat will make certain that your pet is a candidate for anesthesia by performing a physical exam and will subsequently recommend the appropriate pre-anesthetic blood tests and radiographs. Your pet will be anesthetized using safe, short-acting injectable medications (e.g., Propofol, Valium) administered through an intravenous catheter. General anesthesia is maintained by administering gas (e.g, Isoflorane) and oxygen through an endotracheal tube. While the MRI scan is being performed your pet will receive intravenous fluids. A specially trained veterinary technician monitors heart and respiratory rate, blood oxygen concentration, and vital signs closely throughout the procedure.
Once the procedure is completed your pet may be scheduled for additional tests or he/she will wake-up from anesthesia in the recovery area of the veterinary specialty center. Follow-up recommendations are specific to each patient but once the animal has recovered sufficiently from anesthesia he/she can be discharged from the specialty center. The MRI procedure is safe, painless and offers invaluable diagnostic information about your pet's illness.