More than a Machine
To our patients MRI is a life saver.
After noticing an odd lump on his dog's head in the spring of 2013, Joel Greenhalgh of British Columbia, Canada took Mr. Bear, a then 11-year-old Australian Shepherd-Rottweiler mix, to his local veterinarian. At first the advice was to watch and see, but when it didn't go away, his veterinarian took a biopsy. Mr. Bear had cancer.
The Canadian oncologist referred Mr. Bear to WSU. Neurologist Dr. Annie Chen and veterinary student Beryl Swanson at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, examined Mr. Bear and got him in right away for an MRI.
"We needed to know how far the tumor had extended," said Dr. Chen. "MRI is the best way for us to evaluate the brain. To know up to the millimeter is very important."
The MRI scans were vital to Mr. Bear's successful surgery. Without knowing the extent and exact location of the tumor and blood vessels beforehand, the surgery would have been a lot more risky. And because there is little margin for error when performing surgery on the brain, having that knowledge ahead of time is critical.
The WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital is the only place in the Pacific Northwest and western Canada that offers high-field MRI that can accurately diagnose patients large and small. The nearest comparable MRI machine is more than 800 miles away from Pullman.
In the last 5 years, more than 2000 animals have received MRI scans. Dogs, cats, horses, bald eagles, grizzly bears, sheep, and even a ferret have received enhanced diagnosis—often lifesaving—with this sophisticated machine. For equine patients, for example, MRI is the best way to accurately diagnose soft tissue injuries in a horse's hoof, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
But after 18 years, its lifespan is quickly approaching its end. For our patients the time to act is now.
A Future of Care and Hope
When you bring your animal to WSU, you expect the highest quality care. And we have been delivering exceptional patient care for more than 100 years. But today, we look to the future of patient care. A new MRI cannot wait. Too many animals' lives are at stake. For years into the future, your gift will bring exceptional care to patients and offer hope to the clients who love them. To Mr. Bear and the thousands of other patients this machine really is more than a machine. It is a life saver.