Local vet hospital acquires ‘unique equipment’

Green Cross, the largest and the oldest Veterinary Hospital in Macau has just acquired unique equipment that puts Macau on the leading edge of house animals’ veterinary medicine.
Starting from last week, the Clinic has had at its disposal a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, especially designed for animals. The machine is a prototype and will provide Macau’s pets with the best possible diagnostic care. Henrique Galvão, a veterinary physician specialized in orthopedic surgery and endoscopy, is one of the managers of the hospital and he explained to the Times, “this is a machine that only exists in major reference centers in the world, namely universities and research institutes. It’s a prototype and so it also carries a risk (for us) to acquire this very unique equipment but it’s a controlled risk and we believe that the benefits [of it] can easily outweigh the challenges [such as the acquisition price].”

In terms of benefits, Galvão explained that the CT Scan can provide detailed 3D images of the internal anatomy, making it the best diagnostic tool to diagnose head and spinal injuries, lung and liver cancers, brain tumors, bone and joint degenerative diseases as well as hernias and some kinds of fractures in cats, dogs and exotic animals.

Another big advantages is that through the CT Scan, “we can use it as a help to guide minimal invasive surgical techniques, like placing a needle in the spinal cord or guiding a venous catheter for example from a leg to the heart.”

“It [is already] allow[ing] us to detect a lot of clinical situations that until now were impossible to detect and also to provide a correct diagnosis and information to the pet owners,” Galvão said. He went on to note that on the first day of use, “it was possible to detect two situations, one in a dog suffering from epilepsy and another in a cat that had fallen from a third floor and had lost mobility on the rear legs that before [the CT Scan] was impossible to reach a conclusive diagnosis. It is a great help on the most complex cases and we do have many.”

As for challenges, Galvão noted the need of space (the machine is not much smaller than the human version of it) and the need of a professional team of people that can operate it and make proper use of the equipment, citing an example, “we humans, when doing a CT Scan, need to be able to control ourselves and remain completely still, as animals it is an even more complex situation as we do need to resort to ‘breathing stop’ and complete immobilization through anesthesia, which can only be done by a very well trained expert in this field.”

The cost of the machine was MOP5 million and with their investment the veterinary hospital aims to provide a better service and to cut expenses that were previously shouldered by pet owners; to perform this kind of procedure, it was previously necessary to travel to the two available CT scan machines in the neighboring territory of Hong Kong.

According to information from the clinic, the equipment will be accessible to other Macau veterinary clinics, examinations using the CT Scan machine will be available through referrals. 

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