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Thoracic CT can provide additional diagnostic information in comparison to thoracic radiography for animals with respiratory diseases1 2; however, the requirement of general anaesthesia can be of risk and may not be possible in cats with respiratory distress. The concept of applying conscious CT scanning in small animal patients was first attempted with a positioning device (VetMouseTrap)3; nevertheless, individual cats may still move around inside the containing chamber of the positioning device, leading to multiple repeated scans or failure in CT scanning without general anaesthesia.2 4 5 The purpose of this preliminary study was to describe a simple alternative technique for aiding in thoracic CT scanning without general anaesthesia and without causing evident stress.
A total of 21 cats were prospectively recruited, including one healthy cat owned by a faculty veterinarian and 20 clinical cases presenting with various respiratory diseases. After the success of the first attempt to apply the technique described in the present study to a healthy cat, the option of CT scanning without general anaesthesia was provided to cat owners if thoracic CT imaging was suggested as a part of diagnostics according to the individual cat’s medical condition, but there was concern about the anaesthetic risk. All cat owners were informed that the present technique was an attempt and could not be guaranteed to be successful. With the owners’ agreement, 20 cats were enrolled due to the need for thoracic CT scanning because of the presence of labored breathing, abnormal opacity on thoracic radiographs or survey for metastasis. The project was approved by the National Taiwan University Veterinary Hospital ethics committee.
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