Diagnostic Imaging in Shelter Medicine

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Digital radiography is an integral part of veterinary medicine.

By Dr. Christine Garvey, DVM, CVA, Veterinarian, Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester.

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At Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, our goal is to provide the best possible support to animals in our care. Diagnostic imaging is often an important first step  in shelter medicine if an animal has health issues or injuries. Consider the story of a lovable young Doberman named Mercedes.

Photo of the lovable doberman and the vet who treated her

Diagnostic digital radiography is critical to saving the lives of pets like Mercedes in an animal shelter environment.

She was admitted to Lollypop Farm on an early fall evening. Mercedes had recently escaped from her yard and been hit by a car. Her owners, unable to care for her, turned to Lollypop Farm for help.

Thanks to generous support from the community, our animal shelter includes a modern, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital. I am part of a veterinary team that includes three veterinarians, nine licensed veterinary technicians, and five veterinary assistants. We provide comprehensive medical care for the animals who are surrendered to us and spay or neuter all animals prior to adoption. Our veterinary team also is able to treat illness and injuries—most anything necessary to help homeless animals heal and send them on to new homes.

Mercedes was groggy from pain medication but sweetly gave kisses as we examined her painful broken legs. Mercedes was severely injured—we knew we had to help her.

After that initial exam, we radiographed the most severely injured leg. Mercedes’ tibia had splintered into numerous pieces. We were able to send the radiographs to a specialist who helped us to determine the most appropriate care plan for Mercedes. Without a digital X-ray machine, she would almost certainly have lost her leg.

Digital imaging connects shelter animals to specialists

Diagnostic digital radiography has become an integral part of veterinary medicine at Lollypop Farm. Our clinic sees a wide variety of cases for whom X-rays are indicated: from

Radiograph of Mercedes broken tibia

An X-ray showed that Mercedes’ tibia had splintered into numerous pieces. The digital radiographs were sent to a specialist to help determine the most appropriate care plan to repair her leg.

traumas to bladder stones to intestinal obstructions. We’re able to interface with some of the world’s best specialists without having to leave the shelter. Our radiography software allows us to email high quality images to the veterinary radiologists at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. These experts donate their time to help us care for the most vulnerable patients.

Digital radiography allows us to formulate appropriate treatment plans, which range from medications or supplements to abdominal surgery—ultimately saving lives in a shelter environment.

Mercedes’ shelter story isn’t over yet. She was transferred to the care of the specialist who took more images and performed advanced orthopaedic surgery. She is currently living in Lollypop Farm’s veterinary clinic where she is receiving daily bandage changes, medications, and other care. This happy-go-lucky girl is always ready for snuggles with a big goofy dog smile on her face. The road to recovery for Mercedes will be long, but diagnostic imaging made it all possible.

Learn about Carestream’s digital imaging solutions for veterinary practices.

Read the related blog on Top 10 Reasons for Veterinarians to go Digital.

Dr. Christine Garvey, DVM, CVA, Veterinarian,  works at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester


  • reply

    Joann Takehara

    Kudos to Lollipop and Dr Garvey for providing such great care and giving these sweeties another chance


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