Close up image of a feline patient undergoing radiation treatment
The VMC has had to shut down its linear accelerator while it works to replace the technology. Photo: Christina Weese.

VMC plans to replace linear accelerator, radiation therapy temporarily shut down

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) plans to purchase and install a state-of-the-art linear accelerator that will allow the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) to offer a wider range of advanced radiation treatment services to its oncology patients.

The VMC expects to have the new equipment installed and operating by early 2023. With the new linear accelerator in place, the VMC’s veterinary oncology team can add optimized image-guided radiotherapy and high-speed radiation treatment to its list of services.

While this investment in the VMC’s veterinary oncology program is exciting news for the college and the western Canadian veterinary community, the veterinary teaching hospital has had to shut down its existing linear accelerator because of substantial mechanical issues. 

Until the updated technology is installed and commissioned, the VMC can only offer strontium radiotherapy for small, superficial tumours in patients. The VMC’s oncology team can still provide consults about radiation as a treatment option, but if radiation is indicated, the clinical team will refer the patient to another veterinary centre.

The VMC veterinary oncology team continues to provide specialized diagnostic services — including CT, MRI and PET-CT — as well as other oncology treatment options such as chemotherapy and surgical services for primary and referred patients.

During this transition, the VMC apologizes for the inconvenience to its patients and their families as well as to the hospital’s referring veterinarians. The VMC will update the veterinary community about the project as plans are finalized.

If anyone has questions or concerns about the hospital’s plans, please contact Dr. Steve Manning (; 306-966-7109).

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