Fundamental IR techniques help provide invaluable treatment options for animals


Peter Littler (Newcastle, UK) talks to Gerard McLauchlan (Surrey, UK) and Alex Horton (Surrey, UK) about veterinary interventional radiology following a special session titled All Creatures Great and Small: IR for animals at the British Society of Interventional Radiology annual scientific meeting (8–10 December, Glasgow, UK).

McLauchlan and Horton discuss some of their most recent interesting cases, with Horton noting that they treat oncological and other conditions such as large arteriovenous malformations in the liver with intrahepatic shunts and other therapies such as prostate embolization and intra-arterial chemotherapy.

He notes that although the “fundamental IR techniques are identical” when it comes to treating humans and animals, there are still some “adjustments” needed and a learning curve with dealing with animals.

McLauchlan says his work with Horton means they can now “offer the animals and their owners a lifeline that they previously would not have had”. He goes on to state that “around 80% of our caseload is oncological so what we now see more than anything is prostate cancer in dogs. It is really uncommon, making up 0.6% of all dog cancers, but we are seeing at least one case a week come to us because we now offer embolization as a treatment.”

They identify some of the interesting and unique problems that arise when working with animals and pinpoint the biggest hurdles as being equipment cost (“four nurses worth of equipment in a cupboard”) and room set-up, particularly in regard to imaging that this available.


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