By Peri Children | [email protected]
An outpatient imaging center for pets is a rarity in veterinary medicine, with most advanced imaging done in specialty hospitals. But Sage Veterinary Imaging in Sandy (8590 S. 1300 East) brings high-quality CT and MRI to pets in the Salt Lake Valley.
James Collins is co-founder and president of SVI. He started his first pet imaging clinic in Texas and just opened the clinic in Sandy, offering 3T MRI, 128 slice CT, biopsies, ultrasound, digital cytology, radiographs, and more.
“We’re creating a place for pets to go and get an answer quickly using human-quality imaging, CT, MRI, imaging and ultrasound, and provide those images and the diagnosis to the animal’s owner and their primary care veterinarian,” Collins said . “They can decide the best course of treatment to repair the problem.”
The 3 Tesla magnet is the strongest clinically-used MRI in human medicine. The stronger the magnet, the better it works for the small structures, brains, joints and ligaments of pets, and can analyze those parts better than a weaker magnet.
This imaging allows vets to get answers on cases that might have previously been too difficult to diagnose, especially in small-breed dogs. Patients do not need to be referred by a vet. Owners can schedule a screening if they’re worried about their pet’s limping, odd walking or sitting habits, or unexplained injuries.
Because pets can’t talk, diagnosing ailments can be problematic, but CT imaging at SVI can help identify some cancers, abnormal blood vessels in the liver, disorders of the abdomen and elbow dysplasia. MRI referral indications include back pain, seizures, persistent head tilt, depression or foot dragging.
Along with top-notch imaging, SVI’s neurosurgeon Dr. Liv Shoup works with all types of neurological cases. Some of her experience includes a training internship with the US Navy Marine Mammal Program.
“We’re convinced that this was the way to go and we’ve rolled this technology out to different locations,” Collins said. “The number of diagnostic and surgical options have really increased across the board. The owner usually comes to us directly because they’re aware of something isn’t quite right with their pet.”
Imaging at SVI is about twice as fast as what is available for pets. This is important because animals need to be anesthetized during the procedure, in order for them to be still. Faster imaging means less time under anesthesia while still getting precise results. For more info, visit SageVeterinary.com.
At a satellite clinic in Midvale (8407 p. 900 East), SVI provides hyperthyroid therapy for cats. As one of only two licensed locations in Utah to provide this treatment, cats are provided an opportunity to get off thyroid medication and extend their lives.
“Salt Lake is such a great town for pets and one of our favorite places to be,” Collins said. “It’s definitely a place for dog lovers.”