CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine will formally dedicate its new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine this Friday, adding to the suite of sophisticated instrumentation it has for treating animals.

The MRI will allow clinicians to conduct sophisticated imaging of an animal's internal organs, spinal cord, ligaments and tissues, enabling veterinary doctors at OSU's Lois Bates Acheson Teaching Hospital to better diagnose and prescribe treatment for animals suffering conditions from cancer to neurological disease.

The instrument will be used primarily for dogs and cats, but also can accommodate small horses, camelids, sheep and goats, according to Susanne Stieger-Vanegas, a radiologist in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine.

A reception will be held this Friday, Sept. 23, at 4:15 p.m. at the hospital, located in Magruder Hall on 30th Street, just south of Washington Way in Corvallis. The reception, which is open to the public, will honor Stan and Judy Stearns of Gig Harbor, Wash., who donated the MRI to the college. Stan Stearns is the founder and president of Valco Instruments Company, and he and his wife also created the Gabriel Institute to support bone cancer research in honor of their Saint Bernard, which died of the disease.

Stieger-Vanegas said the MRI will make "an enormous difference" in evaluating animal disease and injury.

"Having an MRI on-site will greatly increase our ability to rapidly diagnose and treat animals that may be suffering from neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions, and even some abdominal diseases," Stierger-Vanegas said. "We will, if necessary, be able to move animals immediately from the imaging area into surgery and that immediacy often can make a difference in the animals' recovery."

OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine is forging a reputation for its advanced technology. In addition to the MRI unit, the college also has a 64-slice CT scanner, one of the most sophisticated of any veterinary medicine facility in the country. In addition to providing better care for animals, this instrumentation allows OSU faculty to conduct pioneering biomedical research and provides students the opportunity to become familiar with state-of-the-art tools.

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Susanne Stieger-Vanegas, 541-737-4812