While MRIs are powerful, they are also very expensive. To get an accurate picture, the animal must remain completely calm, so anesthesia is required. The high costs and the need for anesthesia make it difficult to use MRI methods widely. However, ultrasound imaging technology is much cheaper and can be widely adopted by veterinarians. If someone you know is pregnant, you may recognize the word “ultrasound”. If the fetus is developing in the mother's body, then ultrasound is the preferred method to take pictures of the fetus. Today, however, they are used by cardiologists to take 3D and even 4D images of a patient's heart. The advantage of ultrasound is that it does not require anesthesia and is relatively inexpensive to perform.
Laparoscopic procedures use a small room and a light source that can be inserted into the abdominal or thoracic cavity to see inside the body. This is another example of a human medicine technology that fits the animal kingdom. These procedures are less invasive than most surgical operations and produce a clear image. The first widely reported laparoscopic procedure was in 2011 when Scotland's Royal Zoological Society used it to eliminate the sick seam of lunar bears.
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