[VIDEO] Aquatic Veterinarian Performs Ultrasound Exams on Sharks

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Performing ultrasound exams on animals isn’t easy at the best of times.  Scanning sea creatures presents an even greater challenge for most aquatic veterinarians. That’s why Dr. Luke Ross from The Aquarium Vet and Kate Willson curator at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium are excited about their new Clarius veterinary ultrasound system.

We caught up with both Luke and Kate to find out more about how they’ve integrated the new technology and what it means for the aquarium to have wireless handheld ultrasound so readily available.

“Clarius ultrasound has changed the way we look at animals and enabled us to provide better care,” says Luke. “Animals don’t like being handled and having a lot of equipment around. So, having a small system with an iPad that they’re already familiar with helps us to get an exam done quickly. Since it’s so compact, we can carry it with us anywhere. It used to be difficult to carry our trolley system up and down the stairs.”

Scanning in Wet Spaces

Being able to scan in and around water is another advantage over a cart-based ultrasound system. “We use Clarius in a Ziploc bag to keep it protected from salt water, and abrasive skin, like you find on most sharks. If we can leave the animals in water during health checks and pregnancy exams, it’s less stress for them and makes their lives better,” Luke explains.

Since there isn’t always a veterinarian on premise, remote consultations with specialists in Australia or around the globe are easy. Kate finds it helpful to share images using Clarius Live or from the Clarius Cloud. “If there’s an emergency and Luke can’t get here, he can direct me to what I’m looking at in real time and figure out how to best treat the animal.”

Eliminating Cable Danger

In addition to improved image quality compared to their last ultrasound system, not having to deal with cables is proving to be a big benefit. “I had an incident when I used an ultrasound with cables – it touched the animal’s skin and it got frightened and ran away. There’s a real danger with an animal tripping over wires or standing on them and causing damage.”

During a recent Livestream on Facebook hosted by SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, Kate and Luke used Clarius to scan a white tip reef shark and Wobbegong shark. Watch the exciting video to see them in action.

To learn more about Clarius for Veterinarians, you’re invited to visit our page on Handheld Ultrasound for Veterinarians.