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Oklahoma State University

From 4 to 64: Hospital Gets New CT Scanner

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dr. Martin Furr (left) and donor/OSU alumnus Dr. Bob Shoup cut the ribbon to dedicate the Hospital’s new 64-slice CT scanner. Photo by Phil Shockley.

OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital recently upgraded its CT scanner from a 4-slice scanner to a 64-slice scanner. Thanks to generous gifts from these donors, this equipment acquisition was possible:

  • Mary and John Bowles
  • Catoosa Small Animal Clinic
  • Peter and Kimberly Erdoes
  • Dr. Jack Hoopes
  • Nichols Hills Veterinary Clinic
  • Merkel Family Foundation
  • Dr. David Mitchell
  • Vicki Palmer
  • John and Marla Palovik Charitable Trust

Drs. Bob Shoup and Steve Weir of Catoosa Small Animal Clinic supported this project for two reasons.

“We gave in recognition of the wonderful career and work that Dr. Mark Neer (who recently retired) did for the profession and the University,” said Shoup. “Plus advanced imaging is a must for referral centers. The 64-slice CT will improve imaging and diagnostic capabilities. However, machines are just machines unless you have people who can run the test, interpret the results correctly, and then give treatment options. OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital has the people in place who can utilize the new CT to its fullest capacity. Obviously, CT scanners are too expensive for the average veterinary clinic. That is why it is important that we have them easily accessible for our clients.”

Marla and John Palovik are grateful clients of OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital referred by Dr. Shoup.

“Our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Mattie and Alice, had mitral valve heart disease as many Cavaliers do,” explained Marla Palovik. “Dr. Shoup had done and tried all he knew to do with medications and treatment. He referred us to OSU’s veterinary cardiologist, Dr. Ryan Baumwart, in late 2016 for his expertise. Despite seeing some improvement in their health, we had to let the girls ‘go’ in December 2016. Due to the care and concern given us, we decided to make a first-time donation in memory of Mattie and Alice shortly after they passed away. Months later, Dr. Shoup mentioned the 64-slice CT scanner the Hospital was trying to acquire. We decided to make a second donation earmarked specifically for the CT knowing the advanced technology of the new 64-slice CT would benefit both small and large animals and meet critical medical needs of many more patients in a shorter period of time than with the original, older CT machine. We were honored to attend the Center’s Open House and dedication of the new CT scanner earlier this spring. We would not hesitate to bring our future pets to OSU’s Veterinary Medical Hospital again, or to refer others as well. If lives can be saved or medically improved, this is the place to be.”

“On behalf of the entire radiology department, thank you to everyone who supported the purchase of this machine and helped us upgrade our technology,” said Dr. Carrie Kuzma, clinical instructor in radiology in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. “The 4-slice scanner was much slower with its scanning time and was more susceptible to artifacts or distortions and motion from the patients. This required nearly all patients to be under general anesthesia for their scans.

“The 64-slice is a lot faster,” she continued. “We get our scans done in half the time or even less. We are capable of doing more patients under heavy sedation versus complete general anesthesia. Also, the new machine is less susceptible to motion and artifacts.”

As with any new piece of equipment, the 64-slice CT scanner comes with a learning curve.

“It’s a more complicated system because it is a 64-slice versus a 4-slice machine,” explained Kuzma. “Once you learn the system and the machine, it becomes easier and faster to run. The technicians become more efficient and more proficient the more they use it.”

Kuzma estimates that maybe one or two other veterinary practices in Oklahoma may have a 64-slice CT scanner.

“That’s going to depend on how many specialty practices there are, their caseload, and what they have decided to use for equipment,” said Kuzma. “I would say about 30 percent of veterinary colleges in the country have a 64-slice CT scanner. Some are still using either an 8-slice or a 16-slice. Once their equipment comes to end of life, their upgrade will more likely be to a 64-slice.

“It’s important that our referring veterinarians know that we have the 64-slice CT scanner,” she continued. “It is up and running and available. We have it for small animal, large animal and exotic animals. Again, this machine provides shorter scan times, less anesthesia, less anesthetic time and better image quality.”

According to Kuzma, the radiology team is now getting patients into surgery sooner.

“If a patient needs surgery, we can scan them in a quarter of the time compared to the 4-slice CT scanner. Then they are off to surgery, which allows the surgeons to get things done quicker because the patient is ready faster. We can also deliver patients quicker to ultrasound for fine needle aspirations that help with medicine cases.

“I think one of the biggest things that we are able to do now is look at more coronary arteries around the heart. We are able to see them in better definition. With the 64-slice we see a lot of those little, finer structures a bit better. Having the 64-slice CT scanner just helps overall with the diagnosis of patients.”

“If we want OSU to be a great referral center, it is critical that we make sure they have the best equipment available,” added Shoup. “It is also important to train tomorrow’s veterinarians on the latest technology so they can be their best when they graduate.”

If you would like to support OSU’s veterinary medicine program, please contact Ms. Chris Sitz, senior director of development with the OSU Foundation, at 405-385-5170 or

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