I was so thrilled a little over a year ago when the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne updated to digital X-ray equipment and donated their old processor to Peace River Wildlife Center. Prior to that, we had been developing our X-rays by manually dipping them into what is affectionately referred to as hand tanks. I believe they are called that because over time, your hands dissolve into the caustic chemicals that develop (strong base) and fix (strong acid) the film. Automatic processors came into widespread use in the 1970s for hospitals and radiology specialists. As is usually the case, it took a few years for the price of the equipment to come down before veterinary practices could afford the cutting edge technology. Now, the cutting edge is digital radiology, and many veterinarians are starting to switch to that for the faster times and better images.
While private practice veterinarians have to wait a few years for the cost of technology to come down a bit before they can invest, nonprofits like PRWC must sometimes wait decades for the convenience of newer equipment. Notice, I did not say “new” equipment.
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