The Radiology service at SASH allows specialist veterinarians to diagnose all manner of pet diseases, so that they can then pick the most appropriate treatment.
SASH boasts state of the art traditional and advanced imaging techniques, including:
- Digital x-ray
- Fluoroscopy (moving x-ray)
- CT (Computed Tomography)
Ultrasound is most frequently used to scan the abdomen, particularly for pets suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea. Ultrasound means vets can quickly diagnose diseases such as pancreatitis or intestinal obstructions and move on to appropriate treatments as early as possible to ensure the best outcome.
MRI is most commonly used for investigation of brain diseases (including seizures, brain tumours, strokes) as well as for many spinal diseases.
Our full-time radiologists, Dr Richard Lam and Dr Katharina Flatz provide primary diagnostic imaging support for the rest of the specialist team, performing examinations, offering quality control and short turn-around in-house interpretation. Having radiologists on site improves the quality of patient care within the hospital by allowing the primary accession services at SASH (surgery, internal medicine, oncology, neurology, ophthalmology, dermatology, avian and exotics) to have immediate access to diagnostic imaging services.
Both Richard and Katharina are assisted by Susan Proctor who is a very experienced radiographer with expertise running the Siemens Essenza MRI used at our hospital.
The team is also supported by our radiology nurses and trainee nurses who also look after your pet during its ultrasound scans, CT scans and MRI procedure.
The Radiology Team has been structured to provide the best images and diagnostic outcomes for our patients.
For our new hospital located in Tuggerah on the Central Coast, we routinely perform radiographs and ultrasound examination and are very proud to offer CT examinations with our new 64 Slice Philips Brilliance CT scanner. That gives us the possibility to scan, even large dogs, in a short time with sedation only.
If your pet needs an MRI examination we can transport your cat or dog to our North Ryde hospital and back to Tuggerah after the examination. We have on-site radiology support on Wednesdays provided by Dr Katharina Flatz. The remaining days are supported off-site by the North Ryde Radiology team via teleradiology.
Medical linear accelerator (LINAC)
The bespoke, Radiation Service compliant facility at SASH houses a brand new Elekta Synergy LINAC, the same model as those found in top human hospitals. Because this machine is built to fit fully grown adult humans, it can accommodate even the largest dogs. It is Australia’s first LINAC which can offer stereotactic radiosurgery to pets. Different from traditional surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery does not require cutting into tissue with a scalpel. Instead, it uses highly precise beams of intense radiation to accurately target and kill tumours and cancer cells, while minimising damage to healthy surrounding cells. The Elekta Synergy LINAC has advanced imaging capabilities with a large field of view. This allows our specialists to see more of the patient, more easily, to maximise accuracy. It also uses state of the art beam technology that is more energy efficient compared to other models, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
Role it plays in the Hospital
What does LINAC means?
The LINAC can be used to treat several cancers, which include:
- Acanthomatous ameloblastoma (mouth)
- Adrenal (a hormone gland above kidney)
- Anal Sac adenocarcinoma
- Arthritis (refractory)
- Bladder and prostate
- Brain and pituitary (small organ at the case of the brain)
- Carcinomas (I.e. skin or organ linings)
- Heart tumours
- Dermal and subcutaneous hemangiosarcoma (blood vessel walls)
- Infiltrative lipomas (fatty lump)
- Injection site sarcoma (tumours from injections/implants)
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver)
- Lymphomas – nasal or localised e.g. epitheliotropic (white blood cell cancer)
- Melanoma (type of skin cancer)
- Meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain and its membranes)
- Multilobular osteochondrosarcoma (a type of bone cancer)
- Nasal tumours
- Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
- Salivary mucoceles (cyst from the saliva of a damaged gland or duct)
- Soft tissue sarcomas (mouth and skin)
- Squamous cell carcinoma (type of skin cancer)
- Thymomas (thymus, a lymph organ)
- Thyroid carcinomas
- Tonsillar tumours