Dogs with cough, noisy breathing, and rapid or labored breathing require multiple tests for accurate diagnosis. There are many different types of respiratory diseases which are diagnosed using advanced imaging including computed tomography (CT) of the chest. The criterion standard technique to best diagnose lung, airway and lung blood vessel diseases is an inspiratory:expiratory breath-hold CT (I:E-BH CT), a type of advanced imaging that requires general anesthesia. All dogs undergoing general anesthesia have risks, and these risks can be higher in dogs with respiratory compromise. Sedation in lieu of general anesthesia has appeal. However, standard sedated CT exams of the lungs do not provide the same information as an I:E-BH CT scan, and have the potential to provide inaccurate and misleading information. At the University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center, we are investigating a new type of sedated CT examination using respiratory gating to capture and assess maximal inspiration and exhalation. We believe this type of CT should more closely resemble the I:E-BH CT negating the need for general anesthesia.
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