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How Do PET Scanners Work?

Your Animal Hospital in San Jose Offers PET Scanner Technology for Diagnosing Pet Conditions

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans reveal how well an animal's tissues and organs are functioning in real-time. PET scanners focus on providing San Jose veterinarians with the ability to detect tumors/lesions, show the shape, size and position of organs and offer detail for the origins of neurological and cardiological disorders.

PET scan

PET scans are also helpful for determining stages of cancer so your veterinarian can choose the best treatment option according to the severity and stage of cancer. In addition, veterinarians order PET scans to assess oxygen intake, organ metabolism, and blood flow if the heart or neurological problems are suspected. Since PET scans work well to detect a variety of health issues at cellular levels, vets often rely on PET scans to get an in-depth view of complex systemic disorders and diseases.

How Does a PET Scan Work?

Prior to receiving a PET scan, San Jose veterinarians administer a substance called a radiotracer into pets so the PET scanning device captures images of targeted areas via detection of subatomic particles. PET scanner software evaluates a type of electromagnetic radiation called gamma rays produced by radiotracers that are then used to create a highly detailed map of tissues or organs being studied.

PET scanners are perfectly safe for use on pets and humans. The radiotracer given to animals is quickly broken down and harmlessly eliminated by the body following a PET scanning procedure. While undergoing a PET scan at our animal hospital in San Jose, your pet will need to be sedated to optimize results of the scan. Movement during the scan can reduce the quality of images and interfere with establishing a correct diagnosis. The time it takes to complete a PET scan depends on what area of the animal's body requires scanning and evaluation.

To learn more about the advantages of PET scanning technology from your San Jose veterinarians or to schedule an appointment please call our animal hospital today at 408-972-2000.