A new purpose built ‘Radiation Oncology Facility’ for dogs and cats officially opened its doors in Sydney in March and it is already saving lives. The ground breaking facility, built by the Small Animal Specialist Hospital in North Ryde, boasts Australia’s first dedicated Veterinary Linear Accelerator with stereotactic capability.

50 percent of dogs over the age of ten develop cancer. Since opening, the facility has treated a number of animals with some pet owners experiencing extraordinary improvements in their pets' health within a matter of weeks.

The Managing Director of the Small Animal Specialist Hospital, Dr Justin Wimpole said “the new centre is revolutionising the treatment of cancer in pets. We will be able to save and extend the lives of pets across the country as a result of this incredible technology.”

“It has taken many years of design, development and delivery and we are proud to have launched such a much-needed facility for our furry friends.”SASH logo web

Jan Hogan from Forster took her dog Chip to the SASH radiology facility. Chip was suffering from nasal cancer. His options were limited. Jan said they were given three options:

1. let him pass away with pain relief 

2. undertake chemotherapy which had awful side effects and the results weren't as good, OR

3. undertake the new radiology treatment which had a 97% success rate and minimal side effects on the dog. 

The Hogan family chose option 3 and took Chip to the new facility at North Ryde.

According to Jan, if it wasn't for the new cancer facility, her dog probably wouldn't be alive. Within a matter of weeks, her dog was much better and the lump was gone.2dogs web

The central feature of the facility is the new Elekta Synergy Agility Linear Accelerator which is one of the most technologically advanced cancer treating linear accelerators available. It is commonly seen in many human radiation treatment facilities throughout the world. It can provide stereotactic, definitive and palliative radiation treatments all in the one machine.

“The beauty of the machine is that it allows us to treat some cancers of very small areas with minimal effects on surrounding normal tissues and in a shorter period of time to what was previously the case,” Dr Wimpole added.

“We are able to focus the delivery and strength of the radiation in a very precise and direct manner for our patients. This means we can maximally treat the cancer with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue."

“Our entire philosophy is based around ensuring that pets and their owners receive the best care without compromise and support throughout the cancer treatment process.This is certainly a world class facility for our furry friends."

“The good news for pet owners is that the service is covered in part by many pet insurance premiums, which is important for pet owners."

“Finally, pet owners across Australia have access to one of the world’s most advanced cancer treatment technologies. Like specialists for humans, our patients, in this case pets, are referred to us by family veterinarians throughout Australia."

“We have already had pet owners travel or arrange the transport of their pets interstate to be provided treatment at our world class facility. Our team at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital is comprised of veterinarians who have undertaken many years of additional training to become specialists in their sphere of animal care."

“We are excited to open our new ‘Radiation Oncology Facility’ and are looking forward to helping pets and their owners across the country to enjoy more time together."

“Cancer is one of the most common illnesses to affect pets during their life and as pets age it will become more common. Hopefully, we can help to treat as many of them as possible with our ground breaking technology.”

The Small Animal Specialist Hospital is a specialist veterinary hospital for pets. Established in North Ryde, Sydney in 2007, the hospital has grown to become Australia’s leading specialist animal hospital and has since expanded its operations with the opening of an additional state of the art and advanced site on the NSW Central Coast. The hospital treats animals referred by veterinarians when an animal needs specialist veterinary care. In addition, the hospital also operates an out of hours emergency hospital for those seeking treatment for their pets at night and on public holidays.