AAI Mentioned in News Sentinel Article

Published on 06. May, 2010 by in Latest News


Taking a look inside sick pets

Local clinic able to perform MRIs, ultrasounds and more

By Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel

Worried pet owners can now find a facility offering MRIs, ultrasounds and other diagnostics to find out what’s wrong with their animals.

Advanced Animal Imaging, 5902 Homestead Road, in the lower level of Indian Creek Veterinary Hospital, opened March 1, 2010. So far, nearly 20 animals have been screened by the business, owned by a small group of northern Indiana veterinarians and physicians.

AAI’s MRI costs about half the cost of taking the animal to a veterinary science school, which up until now has been the only option for getting an MRI. In July, Advanced Animal Imaging will offer radioiodine therapy treatments for feline hyperthyroidism. Ryan Harrell, technologist, says it may seem like a lot of money, but if the owner looks at the ongoing cost of medication it evens out.

On this morning a brittany spaniel is fast asleep on the MRI table. The dog’s heartbeat and vital signs are closely monitored as it undergoes the procedure to see if it has a torn ACL in a hind leg. Once the MRI is under way, the doors to the room are closed, but the vet tech stays inside to monitor her patient.

Photos by Ellie Bogue of The News-Sentinel

Around the corner, Tim Thompson, an MRI tech with 22 years of experience, watches the computer screen as the machine begins the scan of the dog’s leg. An MRI uses radiowave pulses of energy to build a 2-D or 3-D image of the different tissue types in the area of the body being scanned. It is noninvasive and doesn’t use radiation to create the image.

In another room, a feline is getting an ultrasound on its bladder. The licensed ultrasound tech explains she is looking for bladder stones. So far she hadn’t found any. Like the MRI tech, she worked on humans before switching to animals.

A cat is checked for bladder stones.

A cat is checked for bladder stones. Advanced Animal Imaging is owned by a group of veterinarians and physicians.

“There are fewer differences in the organ layout then you might think,” said Claire Stull as she gently moved the ultrasound wand across the cat’s shaved belly.

For veterinarian Kevin R. Cawood an MRI is better than being able to talk to his patient; it shows him what’s going on inside the animal.

“So much of veterinary medicine is trial and error. The patient can’t tell you what’s wrong, so all you can do is treat through educated guesses and experience. The MRI eliminates the guesswork and saves the owner the cost of unneeded medication or surgery,” said Cawood.

Cawood can now do a brain scan when an animal is having seizure problems and know right away if it has a brain tumor or should be treated for epilepsy. It can be used to diagnose a host of problems, including chronic lameness, spinal cord issues and lower-back problems.

“Our pets are a part of our families now; they should be given the same level of treatment we receive,” said Cawood.

So far his clients seem to agree. “This has been extremely well received by my clients,” said Cawood.

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