Dogs and cats in the Aloha State now have improved access to advanced care, thanks to a newly installed MRI in an Oahu 24-hour emergency and specialty care hospital.
Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center (VERC) in Hawaii has introduced an MRI, designed specifically for small animals. Featuring a V-shaped patient bed and spine coil, the machine’s design improves patient positioning to help boost image quality and enable detection of more subtle changes to soft tissue structures.
The installation, which is the first MRI of its kind in Hawaii, increases access to advanced imaging within the state and supports the hospital’s neurology service.
“MRI is the gold standard for imaging soft tissues such as the brain and spinal cord,” says VERC’s associate medical director, Erika Sox, DVM, DACVIM. “Previously in Hawaii, most patients with neurological conditions would get a CT scan, which yields significantly inferior images of these areas of the body and often misses the presence of subtle lesions, making it difficult to accurately diagnose patients with brain and spinal cord abnormalities. The addition of the MRI significantly improves our ability to diagnose and treat small animal pets with these conditions.”
Established in 2011, VERC, which is part of the Ethos Veterinary Health network, cares for patients on Oahu and throughout the Pacific Rim. It includes a team of emergency doctors, specialists, practice limited specialists, certified veterinary technicians, specialized and non-specialized veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, client care coordinators, and more.
“Having the first and only MRI on the island is a huge game changer,” says the hospital’s lead neurologist, Baye Williamson, DVM, DACVIM. “It allows us to better serve the pet-loving community, not only on Oahu but throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Several clients have already traveled from other islands for an MRI.”