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Scintigraphy is a medical imaging technique that uses radioactive substances (isotopes) and is used when traditional medical imaging (X-rays, CT, ultrasound) does not provide sufficient information about an animal's problem or disorder.

The substances are harmless for your animal and the radiation load is minimal. This kind of examination has a long tradition in both human and veterinary medicine. The radioactive particle loses its radiation after a period of time. This is called half-life. It varies according to the substance and determines how long your pet emits radioactivity.

Not only the decay of the isotope, but also the pace at which your animal secretes the substance through urine or faeces is important.

Why is the use of isotopes interesting?

The technique is very sensitive so it can show problems at a very early stage. Another advantage of this technique is that it can often show an image of the entire animal which is not that obvious with other techniques. The results in scintigraphy are often combined with other medical imaging techniques to come to a correct diagnosis.

Our clinic applies routine scintigraphy in the following domains:

Scintigraphy of the thyroid gland

Cats often have an overactive thyroid gland at a middle or advanced age that produces too many thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Often benign tumours cause hyperthyroidism, but the cat's general health suffers from the surplus of hormones. Although there are different medical treatments, treatment with radioactive iodine (which is also carried out in humans) is considered the best for hyperthyroidism. You can read more about this therapy for cats in this brochure.

The thyroid gland can also function too slowly, which can also be traced by scintigraphy. This disorder is common amongst dogs. Blood examination doesn't always provide a sufficient answer when looking for a diagnosis. Scintigraphy can prove to be the appropriate method in these cases.

We sometimes discover thyroid tumours in dogs. Scintigraphy is often recommended to diagnose and assess possible treatments. Some of these patients also benefit from a treatment with radioactive iodine, which can be carried out in our clinic.

Scintigraphy of the bone

When your animal limps and the cause cannot be found after orthopedic examinations, scintigraphy of the bone can be an aid. This technique has a high sensitivity and will first and foremost indicate the location of the injury (which is not always that obvious in veterinary medicine). This technique is a good addition on top of orthopedic or neurological examinations.

Scintigraphy of the liver

Tracing a portosystemic shunt (abnormal blood vessel or vein in the liver) can be done through ultrasound, but scintigraphy can be of use here as well. Scintigraphy can confirm the presence of a portosystemic shunt.

Scintigraphy of the kidney

The activity of each kidney can be visualized separately with scintigraphy, which is unique and necessary for further treatment in some patients.


Total recommended price for diagnosis, treatment and hospitalization of hyperthyroidism in cats is 850 euros.

Total recommended price for treatment and hospitalization of a thyroid tumour is 1000 euros.

Bone scan: 325 euros (plus VAT, overhead and anesthesia)

Scan of the thyroid gland: 160 euros (plus VAT, overhead and anesthesia, in case of a tumour often a surcharge of 75 euros is added)

Diagnostics portosystemic shunt: 150 euros (plus VAT, overhead and anesthesia)