WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — The Humane Society of West Michigan was gifted a high-tech animal ultrasound machine this month thanks to the generosity of a metro Grand Rapids business.
The shelter in Walker has operated off its hospital hand-me-down machine for years. But the newest machine offers higher resolution and technology that has already helped veterinarians monitor and detect ailments in pets.
Staff veterinarian Dr. Claudia Thompson said her own rescue dog, Elliot, has played a large role in training.
“He’s been having some gut issues for a long time,” she said. “And more recently, he had some high liver values, so it’s allowed me to watch and I noticed some stuff going on with his gall bladder and I’ve started medications.”
Metro Grand Rapids-based Core Imaging has sold animal ultrasound machines across the country for nearly three decades. President Randy Laufersky said in many cases, companies trade in their older models for updated equipment. While Laufersky said the company could have resold the machine for tens of thousands of dollars, he understands the need many shelters and clinics are currently facing.
“It’s almost weekly that we get calls, even more shelters now that are saying, ‘We want some kind of diagnostic,’” he said.
That’s why Core Imaging decided to kick off the holiday season by gifting the machine.
“I’ve been able to do a lot more than just say previously, ‘Yeah, there’s a big growth in there,’ or ‘Yes, there’s fluid.’ Now I can say, ‘Oh, look: Here’s a spleen,’ or, ‘Now there are the kidneys,’” Thompson said. “Or I can actually very easily measure the size and monitor and track progress with certain things. It’s been immensely helpful that way.”
Shelter staffers told News 8 they plan on donating their previous machine to another clinic or shelter in need as part of a way to keep the kindness going.