A new purpose-built radiation oncology facility for dogs and cats has officially opened its doors in Sydney, promising to revolutionise the treatment of cancer in pets.
The groundbreaking facility, built by the Small Animal Specialist Hospital in North Ryde, boasts Australia’s first dedicated Veterinary Linear Accelerator with stereotactic capability.
“We will be able to save and extend the lives of pets across the country as a result of this incredible technology,” the Small Animal Specialist Hospital managing director Dr Justin Wimpole said.
“It has taken many years of design, development and delivery and we are proud to have launched such a much-needed facility for our furry friends.”
The central feature of the facility is the new Elekta Synergy Agility Linear Accelerator which is one of the most technologically advanced cancer treating linear accelerators available. Commonly seen in many human radiation treatment facilities throughout the world, it can provide stereotactic, definitive and palliative radiation treatments all in the one machine.
“The beauty of the machine is that it allows us to treat some cancers of very small areas with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissues—and in a shorter period of time to what was previously the case,” Dr Wimpole said.
“We are able to focus the delivery and strength of the radiation in a very precise and direct manner for our patients. This means we can maximally treat the cancer with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.”
The good news for pet owners is that the service is covered in part by many pet insurance premiums, Dr Wimpole added.
“Cancer is one of the most common illnesses to affect pets during their life and as pets age it will become more common. Hopefully, we can help to treat as many of them as possible with our groundbreaking technology.”