Gawler Animal Hospital loves caring for animals and providing the best care we can, so I’m very excited to tell you about our latest equipment upgrade. We have recently been using and purchased the very first veterinary mobile Micro-X Rover Digital Radiography system!
This digital x-ray system uses cutting edge nanotube x-ray production technology which significantly lowers the amount of radiation required and comes as a mobile cart with a moveable arm for easy positioning. This revolutionises the use of taking radiographs in the veterinary setting. Let me explain:
Traditionally, a veterinary practice may have been developed within a re-purposed house with an x-ray machine put wherever convenient, or it may be in a purpose built building with a graphite-lined dedicated x-ray room. Either way, patients would need to be taken to the x-ray machine for a radiograph and ideally given sedation or general anaesthesia so that they don’t move (you can’t just tell them “hold your left paw out against the plate!”) and that operators are kept safe from radiation exposure. Well the Micro-X cart is a game-changer.
Firstly, the cart allows us to move to the animals. In an emergency, an injured or sick animal rushed into the treatment room and being treated by our emergency team doesn’t have to be moved while it is potentially unstable. Patients being prepped for surgery that may require radiographs first (which is a common occurrence for many procedures, especially in orthopaedics) don’t have to be moved in and out of a radiology room. In fact if an animal feels more secure just lying on the floor instead of being lifted onto a table, it can stay on the ground and have a radiograph taken there! It is even possible to take a radiograph horizontally with the animal standing in some situations.
Also, we tend to perform a lot of orthopaedic surgeries at Gawler Animal Hospital and have found that taking post-operative radiographs while the patient is still ON the operating table has saved so much time but more importantly is so much safer for the patient than moving them back and forth at this important time toward the end of their anaesthetic.
In fact, from a patient care perspective this to me is one of the most exciting aspects of the Micro-X Rover’s versatility. Our anaesthetic nurses are extremely well-trained and experienced but even they will tell you that interrupting a stable anaesthetic to move the patient from one place to another is a critical time which significantly increases the risk of an adverse event. Being able to minimise this extra risk by eliminating unnecessary patient movements is just fantastic.
The Micro-X Digital Radiography System comes with its own touch screen on the cart that then shows the image immediately after it has been taken. The image can be modified immediately and checked for correct positioning and image quality and is stored for then sending to our image storage system.
The system’s versatility also creates timesaving’s by better improving workflow. Many busy veterinary practices are restricted with space or need to have their radiology room as a multi-use space. Just last week I had an injured koala to x-ray while a colleague had three patients with back to back scheduled ultrasounds –instead of having to wait and fit in the koala and disrupt my colleague’s schedule, I simply moved to another area and we were both able to continue on.
Very importantly though, our staff here at Gawler Animal Hospital love using the Micro-X Rover and the images they are getting simply because this results in better care for our patients, and that’s what we are all about!
Dr Stephen Crouch