El Paso Zoo Animal Hospital acquires state of the art digital radiography machine
February 4, 2013

El Paso, Texas (February 4, 2013) - The El Paso Zoo has acquired a new portable digital radiography machine, Mark 1417 CW by Sound Elkin. The new machine, a rugged portable touch screen computer with wireless signal, allows veterinary staff to take necessary x-rays of the Zoo's animals in their holding areas as well as the medical center. 

The Mark 1417 CW has made a difficult task a much easier and faster for veterinary staff and zoo keepers meaning a faster and safer recovery for Zoo animals. In addition to the portability of the machine, instantaneous image transfer and superior images, the digital file allows veterinary staff to share x-rays with other veterinarians for case consultations. 

“This machine has already made a huge difference during our medical procedures. We have once again been able to increase the quality of care for our animals,” said Dr. Victoria Milne, Zoo Veterinarian. 

This new portable machine offers new technology being used by only a few zoos in the United States. The machine provides veterinary staff the opportunity to take quick x-rays and get instant images, minimizing risk to the Zoo's animals and staff. Prior to acquiring this machine, Zoo staff had the ability to take x-rays in the field but was required to take x-ray film to the animal hospital to be processed. Although this was an adequate process, it required animals to be under anesthesia longer than they are now. Prolonged anesthesia, like in humans, can be risky to animals. 

This machine has particularly made it easier for veterinary staff to take x-rays of large animals such as elephants, giraffes and even lions. To avoid the need of anesthesia, some animals receive training to present body parts that can be examined when necessary. Giraffes and elephants present body parts such as their feet and legs making it possible to take x-rays without anesthetizing them. In other cases, animals such as lions can be examined in their holding area without having to be transported to the animal hospital, which minimizes the risk for not only the animal, but staff. 

"We're so pleased to have the opportunity to donate these funds to the Zoo. This is important for our staff and our animals, alleviating unnecessary stress for both," said Renee Neuert, Executive Director of the El Paso Zoological Society. 

This new technology at the El Paso Zoo is possible due to a donation of $125,000 from the El Paso Zoological Society and a donation of $25,000 from the El Paso Veterinary Medical Association. The donations covered the cost of the machine, staff training and maintenance of the machine. 

“The EPVMA membership is very pleased that this project is complete, and our zoo animals are now benefiting from a state of the art radiology system," said Pete Koplos, DVM, EPVMA President, Co-owner of the El Paso Veterinary Specialty and the El Paso Animal Emergency Centers and Contract Veterinarian for the El Paso Zoo. "Our zoo's animals deserve the best technology available. We are proud to have been a part of making this goal a reality." 

Locally recognized as the Best Place to Take the Kiddos, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres of fun and adventure. Bigger and better than ever, the El Paso Zoo is an expansive green space that is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star train and the Hunt Family Desert Spring. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. For more information, visit elpasozoo.org. For news and exclusive content, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/elpasozoo) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/user/theelpasozoo).