This new CT scanner helps precious patients: Your pets

LEVITTOWN, Pa. – Medical science has advanced dramatically in recent decades because of high-tech machinery that produces 3D-images of bone breaks, tumors and other problems hidden inside the human body.

This image was taken with VSEC's new CT scanner.  It's a 3D image which can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

This image was taken with VSEC’s new CT scanner. It’s a 3D image which can be rotated and viewed from any angle.

Now some of this top-line imaging technology has come to an animal hospital affiliated with BluePearl in Levittown, Penn., which will help skilled veterinarians  provide better care for your pets.

Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (VSEC) this week began using a Toshiba Aquilon scanner on dogs and cats who are patients at the hospital. This 64-slice scanner is the same type used in many human hospitals. It’s a powerful tool which will help in the diagnosis and treatment of pets who have suffered trauma, bone breaks, tumors and other medical problems.

VSEC began using the new scanner in its Levittown hospital, and plans to install one in its Philadelphia hospital soon.

“This gives us a significant increase in diagnostic capability, but we’re not increasing the cost to clients,” said VSEC’s Dr. Alexander MacLeod, who is board-certified in veterinary radiology.

VSEC and other animal hospitals already use many imaging techniques that have become common in human hospitals, including sonograms, X-rays and MRIs. VSEC previously used a different scanner in Levittown.

But the new model makes even better medical images, using 64 different internal “slices” or pictures to construct 3D imaging models of bones and internal organs.

“We’ll have much better resolution in all three dimensions,” MacLeod said. Also, the new scanner records images much faster than the one previously in use.

The higher resolution provided by the new machine essentially means veterinarians will get a clearer view inside their patients’ bodies, for example, in the imaging of blood vessels.

“In a tumor or liver shunt we’ll get a better idea of how blood vessels are moving into the problem area,” said MacLeod. And that, in turn, will give veterinary surgeons a better idea of how to operate.

VSEC’s hospitals in Levittown and Philadelphia are open 24-hours per day for veterinary emergencies, and they also employ veterinarians such as Dr. MacLeod who have received years of additional training to become certified as specialists in their fields. These include veterinary surgeons, oncologists, ophthalmologists, neurologists and other specialists.