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The latest in veterinary diagnostic tech

The latest diagnostic tech yields noninvasive, lightweight, easy-to-use equipment that delivers rapid results

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The phrase “Digital radiology is the splash in the veterinary world these days” spoken by a radiologist probably comes as no surprise.

That’s what Michael Bailey, DVM, Dipl. ACVR, a radiologist at IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants, stated as part of a discussion about the latest diagnostic technologies—along with mitigating the dangers of radiation.

“The equipment that’s used will have an impact on the amount of radiation,” said Dr. Bailey. “Radiation is a concern because it can harm the body. We are trying to ensure that the product reduces the amount of radiation to the patient and the staff.”

The Westbrook, Maine, company aims to curb radiation exposure with its ImageVue DR50 Digital Imaging System, which Bailey said reduces exposure by as much as 50 percent compared to conventional radiology.

It’s designed to enable low-dose radiation imaging while producing clear, high-quality diagnostic images, which improves the visualization of anatomy and provides greater detail, according to the company. Diagnostic images can be captured in less than 8 seconds, and the system provides a simpler work flow from capture to storage, with the flexibility to view images on multiple devices, the company stated.

The system is portable or can be fixed to a table, Bailey said.

“It’s the same equipment whether working in small animal or large animal,” he said. “Configuration is relatively easily. Once it’s installed, it is set up. If you’re used to using conventional radiology, it is even easier to use this new equipment.”

Test Results ASAP

Abaxis’ VetScan Canine Pancreatic Lipase (cPL) Rapid Test is a highly sensitive and specific semi-quantitative immunoassay for the detection of pancreas-specific lipase in canine serum or plasma that yields a numeric value rather than test results that yield only an “abnormal” indication, requiring practices to send out for a numeric value, according to the company.

“It’s very helpful to determine if pancreatitis is going on,” said Andrew Rosenfeld, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, medical director for the Union City, Calif., company. “It gives veterinarians a quantitative number right there and then, which makes it unique.”

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Abaxis’ phenobarbital rotor, which launched in March, provides a six liver enzymes profile at once, which allows veterinarians to see phenobarbital letter and whether there’s damage in the liver enzymes, according to the company. It can run phenobarbital and liver chemistries simultaneously, making it more cost effective, said Dr. Rosenfeld.

“The veterinarian can make changes to point of care right then and there,” he added.

Speed Is of the Essence

Heska Corp.’s Slate 6 (and Slate 6m) enables fast wireless imaging—turn it on, and within 20 seconds practitioners can begin an exam, said Doug Wilson, director of marketing for the company. The product’s InstaView feature allows an exposed image to be viewed in 1.9 seconds, and with RapidShotX, practitioners and staff can expose every 5.8 seconds until done.

“The Slate 6 can be used with just about any generator—portable or table mounted—the clinic may already have,” Wilson said. “It is a completely wireless and battery-powered system that not only redefines the best efficiency and intuitive workflow, but also the best portable digital radiography images available.”

Using the intuitive Cuattro Cloud DR touchscreen software, X-ray images can be captured and viewed immediately on the 4K display, as well having them sent to the cloud for access from any Internet-connected device, according to the company.

The Slate 6 primarily is an equine product but also is available in a mixed-animal/mobile companion configuration (6m) as well. Detector options are 10 by 12 inches and 14 by 17 inches.

“The lightweight design, speed and image quality is a perfect fit for the mobile companion animal practitioner on the road,” Wilson said.

Noninvasive Yet Everywhere

Midmark Animal Health’s recent Cardell Insight Diagnostic Monitor, the new-generation Cardell noninvasive blood pressure monitor, is designed for anywhere storage—on a narrow shelf, hanging on a cage or IV stand, or in a carry bag, according to the company.

“It can be used on awake animals to measure systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure to establish a patient’s baseline and diagnose and detect underlying diseases like renal disease and hyperthyroidism, or while the patient is anesthetized to monitor cardiac function automatically in pre-set intervals,” said Andrew W. Schultz, Jr., director of business development for the Dayton, Ohio, company. “Cardell noninvasive blood pressure monitors are used in all areas, including exam, treatment, surgery, recovery, or for monitoring patients as they move around the hospital.”

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It includes a high-visibility touch screen interface, standby mode for enhanced patient workflow and alarm management, automatic trend capture and a USB port for downloading data and updating system software, the company stated.

It also provides veterinary-specific algorithms, it’s fast and it delivers accurate, reliable and consistent blood pressure readings, even on small dogs and cats, Schultz said.

DR Loses Weight

Vetel Diagnostics’ new Generation II Wireless Digital Radiography systems, which are true cassette size and weight, require no accessories or attachments, according to J.K. Waldsmith, DVM, president of the San Luis Obispo, Calif., company.

“With the generation II being the exact size as the film cassette, it just means one size fits all,” Dr. Waldsmith said.

The product enables the use of the digital radiography (DR) panel in any table or device used for film or computed radiography (CR) cassettes, such as Bucky tables, or hoof tunnels.

Because it accommodates cassette handles, it helps practitioners adhere to the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) guideline for dealing with radiation, Waldsmith said, adding that it also accommodates wall mounts.

“The total system weighs between 10 and 13 pounds—less than half the weight of most case-based systems, yet with the same functionality,” he said.

Multiple image storage on the DR panel allows the images to be acquired rapidly and stored on to the panel and downloaded to a PC later.

“This mode runs faster, and you can take an image every three seconds or so, which facilitates image acquisition for repository studies or motion studies such as barium, venogram or myelogram,” Waldsmith said.

It is 100 percent battery operated and does not need to be cooled, according to the company.

The panels have up to 5 line pairs per millimeter of spatial resolution, offering greater edge detail.

“This is 25 to 35 percent better than the original wireless panels and the increased detail makes diagnosing the extent of arthritis, navicular disease, OCD, etc. much more simple and precise,” Waldsmith said.

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ECG Ease of Use

Vmed Technology’s wireless ECG and patient monitors for critical care monitoring and ECG diagnoses now come with an optional tablet for mobile display, as well as a wireless connector between the tablet or clinic computer to a large display, allowing for easy viewing from anywhere in the clinic, according to Paul Ulbrich, CEO of the Mill Creek, Wash., company.

Wireless monitors eliminate cables around the perimeter of the operating table, allowing easy movement of staff without cumbersome wires, Ulbrich said.

“Our products come with ECG interpretation software for quick diagnosis of arrhythmias,” Ulbrich said. “Files can be emailed for consulting confirmation and printed to present to the client, and are automatically stored in the computer for future reference.”

“Our products are user-friendly once users become familiar with the software,” Ulbrich said, adding that the company offers free online training and problem diagnosis.

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