Wisconsin’s Veterinary Care Upgrades Nuclear Imaging

The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine reports that the upgrades will speed up visits and improve diagnoses for its animal patients.

UW Veterinary Care’s nuclear imaging capabilities are now quicker and quieter with its new upgrades. Pictured is Wibby, a 16-year-old thoroughbred gelding, undergoing a whole bone body scan. Fourth-year veterinary medical student Sarah Springborn, left, keeps Wibby calm and still while diagnostic imaging technicians Lori Pike, middle, and Amy Lang operate the machine’s improved gamma camera and gantry.

Nik Hawkins

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine’s UW Veterinary Care (UWVC) recently incorporated nuclear imaging upgrades in the effort to speed up visits and improve diagnoses for its animal patients.

UWVC has been using an imaging method called nuclear scintigraphy, in which tracers are tagged to injected drugs that travel to specific sites in the body. By using a gamma camera to determine the location and quantity of the element in an organ, veterinarians can measure how well it is functioning or if an active process, like cancer growth or bone fracture repair, is affecting the area, according to the university.

This improved gamma camera will allow images to be obtained more quickly and with greater detail, the university noted.

“The new camera is 33 percent faster, and it’s more sensitive, so it provides more detail and helps us with diagnoses and allows us to get animals in and out faster,” said Kenneth Waller, DVM, clinical assistant professor of diagnostic imaging and assistant dean for clinical affairs at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s definitely an overall improvement in our clinical offerings.”

Recent upgrades also help reduce stress for animals, according to the university. The new gantry is quieter, making it less disruptive, and it’s more mobile, so it can move around the patient rather than the animal having to shift into different positions, the university further noted.

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