Dogs today are lucky compared to those in the past when it comes to diagnosing and treating health problems. Science has opened a whole new world of diagnostic imaging tests for our canine and feline fur kids that can see far into their bodies. So why then do so many pet parents dread hearing the news that your dog needs an MRI?
When my veterinarian said Sophie needed an MRI to determine which part of her spine was causing her paralysis; I wanted to grab her and run out of the office. Hearing the words MRI for the first time was frightening and confusing. I didn’t know what to expect. I think my reaction was pretty typical. Pet parents know the names of tests like ultrasounds, CAT scans and MRIs, but we don’t know how they work or which test is best for our dog’s condition.
I was afraid the MRI was too stressful for Sophie and would make her condition worse. I worried about the cost of the test and wanted assurance it was going to give us a confirmed diagnosis.
If your veterinarian is suggesting an MRI for your paraplegic dog, here is information about how the procedure works, what problems it best diagnoses and how to prepare your dog. But before reading ahead, I was told an excellent piece of advice from a veterinary neurologist that you should keep in mind, “An MRI is used to confirm a diagnosis that cannot be confirmed another way. It should not be scheduled as a way to make an initial diagnosis.”