Pictured Above: A new CT table at the University of California, Davis, will drastically improve how scans on horses are performed.

It is a laborious task when a horse or other large animal needs a CT scan, but a team at University of California, Davis, just simplified the process.

When the Diagnostic Imaging Service at William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis needed a new CT table, technician Jason Peters, RVT RLAT, stepped up to the task.

“We set out to acquire a new large animal table for CT,” according to Peters in a press release by UC Davis. “Due to our room configuration, however, we could not purchase a pre-existing table. So, we decided to build our own.”

Peters worked with the UC Davis College of Engineering to develop the table. They decided on carbon fiber to construct the table, knowing that it would have to be large and able to support thousands of pounds.

Carbon fiber is used by NASA in the space program, as well as in luxury sports cars, motorcycles and sailboats.

“Just because something is made from carbon fiber, however, doesn’t mean it’s strong,” says Peters. “If it’s not molded correctly, that greatly affects the strength and durability of the piece. So we made sure to work with professionals who knew the best techniques.”

Finishline Advance Composites, a carbon fiber manufacturer specializing in automotive parts, manufactured the table. The finished table weighs 100 pounds, but can support 10,000 pounds at any point.

The old table, which had been in use for 30 years, weighed twice as much but did not offer the same strength.

Other benefits of the new table include enhanced mobility. The old table was stationary. Formerly, if a horse needed both front and hind legs scanned, it had to be manually rotated by technicians. The new table has slide actuators so that it can move horizontally and vertically around the CT machine — the horse remains stationary while the table moves.

It also deconstructs quickly for use with smaller animals with the removal of locking pins. Alternately, there are extension plates on hand for any oversized cases.