107 Lakeside Drive, Katonah, NY 10536, US (Administrative Office)

(914) 767-0141


Welcome to Animal MR

About mri


What is an MRI?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe, non-invasive, advanced diagnostic test used to produce high quality images of an animal's internal organ. Images are computer generated, produced by recording the signal emitted from the organ following a radio wave stimulus while the animal lies safely in a high-powered magnet. The interpretation of the MRI images by the veterinary specialist helps diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of your animal's problem. 

When to Consider an MRI?

Neurology - behavior or personality changes, seizure, inability to blink or other asymmetries of head conformation, imbalance, incoordination, weakness or pain


Orthopedic - lameness, mass or swelling, cruciate ligament (ACL) tear

Oncology - growths, surgical planning, follow-up response

Ophthalmology - blindness, pupil size changes, bulging eye 

Internal Medicine - liver, kidney, spleen, adrenal problems

Other - sneezing, gagging, head shaking or flinching, or based on your primary care veterinarian recommendations

Are MRIs safe?

Yes. The general anesthesia that accompanies MRIs carries limited risks, which are minimized by pre-anesthetic tests and patient monitoring. 

Are there any contraindications?

Pacemakers and pregnancy. Metallic implants adjacent to the anatomic region imaged may obscure image quality. 

How long is the MRI scan?

The average scan takes one hour. The duration may be longer or shorter depending on the region(s) of the pet that are imaged and the associated findings. 

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.  


The cost of a complete MRI study normally ranges from $2000-2500, depending on the facility. This cost includes:

  • focus on a single study area
  • anesthesia
  • hospitalization
  • intravenous catheter
  • customized interpretation by our specialists

Specialist office consultation, lab tests, radiographs, other recommended ancillary tests and multiple site MRIs are subject to additional fees.

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To learn more about MRIs and their role in diagnosing pet ailments, visit these sites:

  •  American College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Founded in 1965, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons is the American Veterinary Medical Association specialty board which sets the standards for advanced professionalism in veterinary surgery. 
  •  The American College of Veterinary Radiology (ACVR)
    Founded in 1961, ACVR’s mission is to determine competence of voluntary candidates in veterinary radiology and to encourage the development of teaching personnel and training facilities in veterinary radiology. 
  •  American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM)
    Established in 1972, ACVIM is the recognized specialty college responsible for establishing training requirements, evaluating and accrediting training programs, and examining and certifying veterinarians in the veterinary specialties of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Large Animal Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology and Oncology. Its Web site provides information about the functions of the College, members, publications and scientific/educational programs. 
  •  The Basics of MRI
    A book by Joseph P. Hornak, Ph.D, a Professor of Chemistry and Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches courses in magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and analytical chemistry. He is also Director of the Magnetic Resonance Laboratory, a research and development laboratory on the RIT campus. 
  •  MRISafety.com
    This is the official web site of the Institute for Magnetic Resonance Safety, Education and Research, providing up-to-date and crucial MRI safety information. 
  •  The Adelaide MRI Website
    A privately managed Web site containing a wealth of information about MRIs for professionals and laypeople alike.