The CT scanner will soon be ready for patients. (Atlantic Veterinary College)

Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College is testing its new CT machine, which will soon be ready to diagnose animals.

Until now CT scans had only been available for the most critical cases. Animals were sedated and taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to use the CT scanner there.

AVC hospital director Dr. Tracy Matthews said the college is excited about having its own CT machine, and expanding the use of the technology.

"It really was reserved for those really critical cases," said Matthews.

"We'll be able to use it as a day-to-day tool that I'm sure six months from now we'll look back and wonder how we ever got along without it."

On average AVC had taken two animals a month in for CT scan. Theresa Callaghan, manager of diagnostic imaging at the QEH, said special precautions were taken.

"There's always a barrier between the animal and the table. That's the only component of the equipment in the CT room that the animal would come in contact with," said Callaghan.

"Afterwards we use our stringent infection control policies to clean, as we would for any case."

The vet scans don't affect human wait times because they're done after hours, Callaghan said, and the vet college pays for any costs associated with them.

AVC will continue to use the MRI at the QEH, which it has also been doing, but only once every few months.