At Desert Veterinary Specialists, we work closely with the Radiation Oncologist at Arizona Veterinary Oncology, who can provide radiation therapy to treat or palliate a multitude of neoplasms. CT is used to image tumors to determine if the tumor is surgically resectable, can be shrunk with radiation prior to surgery, to determine the size and shape of the radiation field when surgery is not feasible, and after radiation therapy to assess response. Therefore, CT can serve as both a diagnostic tool and to guide therapy decisions. In general, CT is better for thoracic, nasal, and bone imaging, while MRI is the best choice for soft tissue structures. However, most soft tissue abnormalities are visible with CT and CT scans are required for most radiation planning because the planning computer primarily recognizes the patient's bony structures. MRI images can be merged with CT images for radiation planning, but a CT study is still needed. CT studies are acquired much faster than MRI studies and, therefore, also decrease anesthesia time significantly. Our multi-slice CT (located at our Gilbert location) is regularly used to aid in radiation therapy planning. CT scans are also frequently performed to evaluate the thorax for metastatic disease prior to therapy.

Nearly every body part is accessible for radiation therapy, with careful consideration given to the incidence and severity of possible side effects and outcome before therapy is recommended. Every effort is made to irradiate as little regional normal tissue as possible. With Arizona Veterinary Oncology's new radiation system, precision treatments require very repeatable patient setup. The radiation oncologist and radiologist work closely together to ensure this positioning so the patient can be treated safely and accurately.

Figure 1

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Examples of areas that develop masses and can be amenable to radiation therapy, so often undergo CT, include the nose (Figure 1), mouth, neck, mediastinum/thorax (Figure 2), abdomen, pelvis (bony and canal), other bones, and skin.

DVMS works closely with Arizona Veterinary Oncology to coordinate care for your patients, so please call either team if you have questions about how we can help with your patient.

We welcome your call at 480.635.1110 EXT.7 to learn more, make a referral,
or discuss a case for referral consideration.

Cardiology - Mobile Cardiology - Internal Medicine - Radiology - Teleradiology