Pet hos­pi­tal never been bet­ter

Snowy gets $250,000 at­ten­tion

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Putting her puppy Snow through New Zealand’s new­est and most ad­vanced di­ag­nos­tic tech­nol­ogy was an easy decision for Stacy Mankelow.

The Toko­roa vet nurse was the first South Waikato res­i­dent to have her pet go through the coun­try’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary CT scan­ner for pets.

The Com­puted To­mog­ra­phy scan­ner, a unique di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing sys­tem worth about $ 250,000, ar­rived and was in­stalled at the Waikato After Hours Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal in Hamil­ton last month.

The tech­nol­ogy will typ­i­cally ser­vice pets in the Waikato area with lung dis­ease, nasal dis­ease, ear dis­ease, ab­dom­i­nal and some orthopaedic con­di­tions and pets with metal im­plants that can­not be im­aged with MRI.

Mankelow, a vet nurse from Toko­roa and Dis­tricts Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices, was stoked to be the first South Waikato res­i­dent to put her own dog, Snow through the scan­ner.

‘‘ My dog had been hav­ing mid­dle ear prob­lems off and on for the past six months. She had mul­ti­ple x-rays, which showed that her left tym­panic bulla was in­flamed. ‘‘How­ever, a CT scan­ner is de­signed to give a more com­pre­hen­sive and ac­cu­rate pic­ture than an x-ray,’’ she said.

To Mankelow’s re­lief, the scan showed no se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions.

‘‘Snow does not need to go for spe­cial­ist surgery and can also come off the med­i­ca­tion, which I was very pleased about.’’

Di­rec­tor at the Waikato After Hours Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal, Dr Keith Hous­ton, said ul­ti­mately, as in Mankelow’s case, the new tech­nol­ogy em­pow­ers New Zealand pet own­ers to make choices about their pet’s fu­ture with con­fi­dence.

‘‘Sound di­ag­no­sis can be dif­fi­cult with­out the help of the lat­est tech­nol­ogy,’’ he said.

‘‘Ba­si­cally, the CT scan­ner has an x-ray tube that ro­tates 360 de­grees around the an­i­mal to record the x- rays from many an­gles, cre­at­ing ‘‘slices’’. The slices are stacked to­gether via com­puter tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a three­d­i­men­sional im­age of your pet.

‘‘[It] cap­tures 480 slices in one ro­ta­tion, cre­at­ing high res­o­lu­tion images for di­ag­nos­tic ac­cu­racy and im­proved cus­tomer ed­u­ca­tion for sur­gi­cal plan­ning and pro­ce­dures,’’ he said.

Be­fore the scan­ner’s ar­rival, vet­eri­nar­i­ans across the coun­try used hu­man CT scan­ners in pet di­ag­no­sis. How­ever, the level of de­tail in di­ag­nos­tic images from the new CT scan­ner is up to 37 times bet­ter res­o­lu­tion than a hu­man scan­ner.

First in: Stacy Mankelow’s pup Snow was the first South Waikato pet to test out New Zealand’s new­est piece of tech­nol­ogy for pets.

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