A wildlife charity has invested in new equipment to help its vet team treat animals more efficiently.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has purchased an x-ray digital scanner which has the potential to speed up animal care, reduce costs and make the work greener.

The AGFA CR30XM x-ray digital scanner has been supplied by Celtic SMR.

Ghislaine Sayers, Head of Veterinary Services for Paignton Zoo, explained: “It is better than our old style x-ray system in a number of ways. Running costs are minimal, as we don’t need to buy film or the chemicals required to develop it, or pay for the chemical disposal. It is more environmentally friendly to run, as we don’t have to dispose of large quantities of used chemicals.

“It’s faster than developing film manually, and images can be stored on DVD, so they take up much less room than films. Once the image is on the monitor, you can improve it by altering the contrast, brightness and sharpness - that will reduce the number of radiographs we have to take and therefore reduce anaesthetic time and the radiation dose the animal receives.

“The new generator is much more portable, so we can use it around the Zoo to radiograph animals we could never take to the Vet Centre, like lions and giraffes.”

Computed radiography uses similar equipment to conventional radiography, except that in place of film, an imaging plate of photostimulable phosphor is used to create the image.

Instead of taking an exposed film into a darkroom for developing in chemical tanks, the imaging plate is run through a special laser scanner, or CR reader, that reads and digitizes the image. The digital image can then be viewed and enhanced using special software, instead of on a light box.

Suppliers Celtic SMR have been at the forefront of veterinary radiographic equipment supply for over 30 years. Their extensive catalogue is complimented by excellent technical support and knowledge.

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